company culture

Creating a solid company culture is often one of the most overlooked aspects of building a business. The fact is company culture has a lot more to do with the bottom line than most business owners think. In a study by the Hay Group they found that companies with engaged employees earned, on average, 2.5X more revenue than companies with unengaged employees. Even more astounding, a study of 64 organizations found that organizations with highly engaged employees earned, on average, achieve twice the annual net income of organizations who’s employees lag in engagement.

These five tips can help your business achieve higher gains while fostering an environment of excitement and happiness.

1. Use the Psychology of Color

It’s no secret that colors can incite a variety of different feelings and actions within people. Color has been used since ancient times to foster different emotions in people. For example:

  • Red was used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.
  • Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
  • Orange was used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.
  • Blue was believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.
  • Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems.

Company cultures can be affected by the colors of walls, desks, and furniture. Consider using color to your advantage by carefully selecting the colors you incorporate in your office. Even shared spaces can reap the benefits of color by using bright, lively colors. Branding companies like Vistaprint allow you to brand everything in your office and can really help set the tone of a special workplace.

2. Use the Power of Social Media

Create an inter-office facebook group or the social network of your choice. This allows employees to connect online and joke with each other without requiring them to become “friends” on the network (because we know how awkward that can be). Social networking groups (like Facebook groups) also allow employees the ability to begin sharing and connecting with one another without completely letting each other into their personal lives.

I would advise setting up parameters for social networking before creating any inter-office social network group. Help your company see the purpose of participating such a group and how it can benefit their work life.

3. Food…and Lots of It

Potluck events or cheap outings together. Order some pizza, make your famous potato salad, or bring a desert, but having everyone bring something to munch on makes team meals possible for even budget-constrained startups.

4. Stuff we All Get aka Swag

Swag has the ability to get teams and individuals fired up. Items like jackets, t-shirts, and hats all have the capability to foster company pride. You don’t have to be a large corporation to reap the benefits of improved company culture that comes from people walking around wearing t-shirts stamped with your company logo. Get creative with the SWAG you provide your employees. Consider:

  • Mugs: Great for those morning meetings.
  • Hats: Hats can be a great way for employees to show a little pride.
  • Stress squeezies: Let’s face it, we all get stressed out once in a while.
  • Sweatshirts/hoodies: These are great for extending your company culture into the homes of your employees.
  • USB drives: Not only are USBs super useful, but they can also give your company more exposure. You can even pre-load them with useful information and other promotional offerings.

5. Create a Mantra

This may be the best suggestion because it is both free and effective. I recently interviewed Executive Vice President Jarrod Morgan at ProctorU and was impressed with his response to company culture. He said,

“Don Kassner, myself, and Matt Jaeh got together in 2011 as ProctorU was about to explode, and asked ourselves, ‘Who are we, and why are we successful?’ After a great deal of discussion, we whittled the answer down to what became the four pillars of our company: integrity, service, simplicity, and fun. It set the tone for the kind of company we were going to be, and guided us every time we had a tough decision to make.”

Creating a mantra can be extremely beneficial for its ability to motivate and give employees purpose.

I want to know what you think. What do you do to help nurture company culture?

Read more: Tips For Maintaining Your Company Culture As Your Business Grows