Looking to Build Company Culture? Start with Games.

MIN READ

A strong culture is one of the most important things your company needs. It is important to both keep current employees happy and to attract new team members. While it can be daunting to build company culture from scratch or reinvent a bad company culture, with enough dedication and effort, it is possible. We believe in the power of play and the use of games to help create company culture.

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IN THIS ARTICLE:

What is company culture?

To first understand the goal for your company’s culture, it is important to understand what company culture is and what makes it good or bad. Think of company culture as the personality of a company. It includes the things your team values, how you treat your employees, the work environment, and your company’s mission, values, and ethics. 

When someone asks a member of your team what it is like to work at your company, they are likely going to describe the company culture. So your company culture also encompasses how your workers feel about the company and its reputation. What are examples of company culture?  Everything from workplace hierarchy, the amount of time off (or perks like unlimited time off), a dress code, the ability to work remotely, and leadership and communication styles.

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Why is company culture important?

A strong company culture can be one of your best recruitment and retention tools. With a 40 hour workweek, an employee spends more than 2000 hours a year at work. They spend about a third of their day working. So as much as they are invested in a paycheck, they also care about the kind of environment they are in, how they are treated at work, and what kind of vision they are a part of. More than ever, employees want meaning and purpose for their job satisfaction and overall well being. It is becoming more common for prospective employees to ask in interviews, “How do you describe your company culture?” as they decide where they may be a good fit professionally. It’s important that you’re able to not only articulate your company culture, but also create one that you are proud of—one that will attract the best applicants possible. 

What is a good workplace culture?

Wondering what makes a strong company culture? You’ll be able to see it and feel it when morale is high, employees are engaged, and there is high productivity and creativity. Your employees will feel valued, informed, and celebrated. If you’re not sure if your employees are happy with your company culture, there is a high chance they are not, especially if you have not taken the time to invest in developing a strong culture.

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What is bad workplace culture?

It is also clear what makes a toxic work culture. If your employees are burnt out, checked out, and competitive instead of collaborative, your workplace culture is not as strong as it should be. In a bad workplace culture, employees may be planning their exodus and applying to other jobs. These workplaces also have bad reputations that will deter solid applicants from applying.weve_tired workplace

How do you fix bad workplace culture?

There are many ways to fix a bad workplace culture from a stronger Human Resources team to increases in pay, perks, and time off. Take the time to talk to employees about what they want and need. Now that you understand your goal, you can consider, how do you build culture in the workplace? A great place to start improving company culture is through games that help your team bond. 

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What is the most important part of company culture?

It’s probably clear by now that overall job satisfaction is higher at companies with a strong corporate culture. Investing in your employees will ensure you have dedicated, more motivated employees who work harder and are happier than those in a negative company culture. The most important part of company culture is making sure everyone’s experience is the best it can be and you’re building a better workplace culture for everyone to thrive. 

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How To Use Games to Build Company Culture

  1. Hiring

    Want to show prospective employees that you have a strong company culture from the start of their interview process? Use games during hiring. Playing together is a great way to see how a person deals with obstacles, uses their critical thinking skills, brainstorms, stretches their creativity, and loses graciously (or not!). You can also invite current employees to play with interviewees to see if they work together well. Games like Pictionary allow you to quickly note collaboration skills and how seriously someone takes themselves (or not!). These strategies can be particularly helpful if you are not able to meet an applicant in person. It may be hard to gauge personality during an entirely remotely hiring process, but games can help showcase the personalities of both the company and the interviewee.

  2. Onboarding

    CEO-announcementOnce you decide to move forward with a hiree, use games for an onboarding experience that is both fun and informative. Show that your company is serious about both work and fun. Use games to share info about company policies, employees, culture, perks, and more. Create custom trivia about company history to help get new hires up to speed. If you’re hiring many people at one time, stream training videos and then have trainees answer questions about what they have learned while they work together and compete for points. Create and schedule new games whenever you have a new hire or even to share new information with all employees to keep virtual training fresh and fun. During the onboarding process, use games as icebreakers to introduce your employees to the rest of the team. Both new teams without any history and work friends that are already best friends will have a chance to get to know each other even better. Of course you can always schedule an unfacilitated meet and greet, but having games can help people get to know each other fast and more intentionally.

  3. Retention

    Once you have hired rockstar employees, it is important to keep them. Retain employees by creating a positive company culture where people want to come to work and feel they are treated well. Keeping good employees will save you both time and money. (Hiring and replacing positions is expensive and time consuming!). With a strong company culture, you will attract employees that are interested in staying long term. Schedule regular events, brain breaks, and game nights (or mornings!) to touch base with your team outside of regular work tasks. This helps to create a level playing field and chances to bond. (Go ahead and pair your entry level employees with your CEO on a trivia team.) Put on a happy hour paired with a game night as a recurring event that people can pop into. Frequent get-togethers help you keep the finger on the pulse of what is happening with individuals, gauge their happiness level, and show them that you are invested in their happiness and well-being. Regular face-to-face time also helps people feel more seen (literally and figuratively) and connected, which keeps them invested in the company’s well-being as well.

  4. Employee morale

    awardsRemember when your teacher would take the class outside for a lesson or extend recess? It made everyone much happier. Remember when that same teacher would tell everyone how great your class project was? It made you feel special. Adults want to feel recognized and special, too.. You can boost employee morale with surprises such as games and playing together. Go further by being intentional about employee recognition and acknowledgement. Everyone loves to be appreciated for their hard work, and you can host employee awards ceremonies in virtual game format. 

    To maintain a strong company culture, host employee award ceremonies regularly all year long. There is no need to wait for a conference or in-person event to show your employees some love. And you do not have to take it too seriously. Of course it’s important to recognize employees for major accomplishments like breaking sales records. But you can also play an Awards Show game where you list different categories and their colleagues get to nominate them for awards such as, “Most Likely to Pack the Best Office Lunch” or “Most Unique Ties.” Pull award winners “on stage” to receive their award. Encourage silly victory speeches and play their favorite song to celebrate.

  5. Collaboration

    A company that plays together stays together. Practice collaboration skills outside of work tasks with games. Games have lower stakes than professional tasks so everyone can relax a little more but still use the same cooperation and team building muscles. Playing games such as Categories or a Scavenger Hunt allows people to shine and share their skills in a new setting. How else can you find out how many Star Wars characters your graphic designer can name or how creative your company’s accountant is?

  6. Social connections

    music_video_bigBuilding trust through games can lead to lasting work friendships and better communication long term. Not every department works together, and there may be people in the office who have never even shared a conversation. Bring them together through games. People are less likely to leave their workplace if they have a friend and more likely to feel lonely at work without any social connections. Games provide intentional opportunities for people to bond which strengthens company culture. (We think strong friendships are quickly developed when teams work together to build the tallest spaghetti tower or create a team music video together.)

  7. Less stress

    Any job can be stressful even if you create a positive and fun office environment. Help lessen work stress by playing together regularly. Model work-life balance and plan something just for fun. Get out of the office and run around in a city-wide scavenger hunt. Both of these will create lots of laughs that will alleviate stress and show that it is important to spend time having fun together. Creating a positive corporate culture creates less stressed employees in general. It also allows a culture where employees can let leadership know they are stressed and ask for help and/or a break. Supporting employee’s physical and mental health (which are both affected by stress) supports your overall mission of a stronger and healthier culture. Healthier employees also have stronger performance which contributes to productivity and overall company goals.

 

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Ready to start building your company culture? Use games to create stronger teams. “Weve” got lots of options. Book your next team building event for in-person or remote teams at weve.co and sign up for a demo now.

 

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