What makes a good office culture?

by | 18.11.2014
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Office culture. It’s a frequently used buzzword, and chances are you’ve heard it often enough in business and management circles. But what does it actually mean, and how can you achieve a positive one?

Whether you actively seek to shape your office culture or not, a culture will emerge within your company. Some cultures are productive and positive, while others force employees to jump ship at the earliest opportunity. Your culture is your choice, your actions will shape it and the relationship you form with your staff will sow the seeds for a culture to grow.

Pret a Manger, a British fast food chain, is rapidly expanding and have developed a culture where employees can thrive. The company’s culture is characterised by a workforce that is always smiling at customers, and is created by a head office that actively chooses to invest in its people.

The results are tangible; the company has a happy workforce, is continually growing, and receives constant positive feedback.

 

Here’s how they did it – and how you can do it too:

1. Empower your staff

Giving your staff the power to make decisions, no matter their position, shouldn’t be underestimated.

At Pret, if a customer has a complaint it is up to the team member to decide how to resolve it. It’s a question of common sense – and if you allow your employees to use it and make their own decisions, you will show them respect and command motivation and enthusiasm in return.

2. Invest in your people

Investing in people doesn’t just mean investing in your staff, but investing in your customers too.

Happy staff means happy customers. Combine these two and all of a sudden you’ll see success speaking for itself, eliminating the need for huge marketing budgets to convince your customers of what they can already see.

3. Develop promotion prospects

Promoting from within your company speaks volumes about the trust and respect you have for your staff, feeding straight back in to a positive and productive culture.

Pret have managed to epitomise this by employing what they describe as the world’s most overqualified sandwich makers. Their staff know the business inside out and have the desire and motivation to drive themselves up within the company.
60% of Pret’s head office staff began life on the shop floor, and truly don’t think of themselves as being any more important than the servers on the floor.

4. Provide incentives

It’s not a revolutionary idea – everyone knows that a workforce benefits from being incentivised. But the trick is to develop the right incentives that will work for your company.

For Pret, this came about in the form of mystery shoppers. Each week a mystery shopper visits every single Pret shop, and the results of the reports are translated directly into staff bonuses. And that’s in addition to regular events and parties organized for staff.

5. Make time to look after your staff

We’ve worked with different businesses and industries across the world and we’ve found that many want to achieve a positive working culture, but struggle to find the time to take care of the day to day management of staff and the level of admin that comes with it.

With our workforce management software we help businesses free up their time by optimising labour-intensive tasks like creating a rota. At the same time, we give power back to employees to allow them control their availability and shift patterns, creating a flexibility that lets them enjoy work.

Don’t just take our word for it. Try it for yourself. We’d like to offer you a free trial of Quinyx to see how we can help you develop a positive culture within your business.

It's time to do things differently.

Tommy Tonkins

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