Maintaining a startup culture as your startup company grows can be tough. For many employees, choosing to work at your company may well be down to the startup vibe that it had in its early days, so maintaining this can be substantial in boosting employee morale. It’s no surprise that happy employees lead to better productivity. Moreover, it creates a better working environment if your staff enjoy being there. The culture of a business is often defined in how it motivates its employees.
This seems like the most obvious and yet there are many ways in which companies miss the mark when organising team social events. Having a drink down your local on a Friday is enjoyable yes but are your employees going to be looking forward to this all week? Maybe, but not as much as they’d look forward to something they’ve never done before.
Senior management of a startup lives and breathes their work and the business. It’s easy for them to forget that most employees have a life (that they enjoy living) outside of the nine to five. Therefore, it’s a common assumption that staff will be willing to give up their free time to spend time with their colleagues (whom they spend 80% of their week with). An important factor to consider when planning a team event is to make it so cool that they won’t be able to turn down the opportunity. Drinking at the pub is definitely more fun than working but is it more fun than spending time with your friends and family? Arguably not. Thinking outside the box can be difficult but will pay off in attendance and the wow factor when your employees start telling their friends what they get up to at work events.
Indoor trampoline arenas like Skyzone are a fun way for your employees can jump around aimlessly or enjoy an organised game of dodgeball. Who doesn’t enjoy pelting balls at their boss? If that sounds a little too energetic, why not visit an indoor table tennis centre like Tennis Quest. This is a great opportunity to organise some healthy competition and incorporate some prize incentives.
It’s not uncommon to hear that exercise has greater effects on the body than just physical health. Employees that have or make time to fit in regular exercise often feel more motivated and alert in the workplace. Although it’s not for everyone, the chances are that a lot of your employees would relish the opportunity to get out of the office and work up a sweat. Not everyone will have a Fitness First Platinum membership allowing for visits to multiple gyms around the city, so it’s a good idea to think of other ways to get your employees involved and keen to join in.
If you have enough employees for two five-a-side soccer teams, this is probably the easiest and cheapest option. Just head to the closest patch of grass or open space and kick a ball around for half an hour. Failing that if your workplace is amongst the concrete jungle of the CBD, or if your staff are way too competitive for a friendly kick about, there are externally organised sports you can take part in. Research corporate sporting tournaments in your area, there are plenty of options for a range of sports which vary on time and days needed for commitment. Taking time out of their busy day can sometimes be a deal breaker for even the most energetic of employees, if this is the case, search for a lunchtime tournament such netball, in which the game last only twenty minutes.
A downfall of organised tournaments can be the cost to enter or register. If your startup business is tight on cash and low on numbers, organise at 3pm jog. Plan your route, rally the troops and you can be back at the office in twenty minutes. Alternatively, arrange a five-minute squat/push up/planking session, where everyone exercises at the same time.
Startup Style Perks
If you can’t muster the time or effort to organise any of the above, there are more subtle ways to keep your employees sweet and your startup culture alive. Catered lunches are a nice treat that allows all employees to get together over lunch without the hassle of having to drag them out of the office. It’s a great alternative to going out for a pub lunch as, although getting out of the office is encouraged, sometimes it can be hard to get people away from their desks. Getting food delivered can be cheap, easy with minimal effort required.
Food catering platforms such as You Chews allow for a simple ordering process in which you advise of your needs and they provide a short list of caterers that would meet those needs in your area. Why is this better than heading out to a nearby restaurant? Cost and time are the main selling points. Lunch at a pub usually ranges from $15-30 whereas catering can be as little as $6-8 per person. It’s also much more efficient concerning timing due to no travel or ordering time needed. Having food delivered allows for less time spent overall (better for productivity) and optimum time spent eating and chatting to each other (the aim of the game).
If your startup is in the early stages and you’re looking for a free alternative to all of the above then consider casual dress codes and pet-friendly office policies.
Think outside the box when it comes to setting the workplace social scene. Get your employees excited. Encourage exercise. Treat them well. Give them some freedom. In turn, your company will reap the rewards, after all, a happy workplace is a successful workplace. Questions? Call us on 1300 544 755.
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