Beat the Great Resignation: how to create a fun start-up culture

Start-ups need to create a fun and positive culture in order to drive growth and success

The Great Resignation,” a workplace trend that has seen millions of workers resign from their positions at unprecedented rates, has caused businesses from all over the world to reconsider their practices if they want to retain their employees and keep them satisfied in their positions.

In most cases, this mass exodus from the workplace is due to the forced self-reflection that many of us experienced during the pandemic (mainly because of the lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements). With more time to ponder over their career and work-life balance, many workers felt they were being unfairly treated, underpaid, or the work culture was simply too toxic for them to continue in their roles.

The importance of company culture for start-ups

If you are a start-up founder, it is critical that you pay attention to these employee concerns so that you can promote a happy, fun, and productive company culture from the outset. After all, workers are clearly beginning to value things other than money and status from their place of work, such as a feeling of balance and belonging. Offering a modern work environment that prioritizes employee welfare and happiness may also be a great way to attract top talent from more established companies, many of which may otherwise be out of your reach as a start-up company.

As a matter of fact, 94 percent of entrepreneurs and 88 percent of jobseekers believe that positive and strong workplace culture is essential for success. Businesses that cultivate a positive and strong workplace culture can experience a 400% increase in revenue. These figures are not to be scoffed at. As a result, you should treat establishing a fun and happy company culture with the same rigor as any other area of your organization processes. On that note, here are four short tips to get you started.

Be inclusive from the get-go

Unfortunately, toxic company culture is one of the biggest contributing factors to the Great Resignation and employee dissatisfaction. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the main elements that cause a toxic culture to arise include a failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior.

This is no surprise, especially since diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are becoming increasingly important social justice issues within our society. As a business owner, you must be aware that these are all vitally significant facets of a happy and healthy workplace, and if you want to get it right, you need to make inclusivity a priority right from the get-go. This means taking a hard look at your hiring practices while eliminating any causes of unconscious and conscious bias when shortlisting candidates.

Not only will this help to create a more harmonious, and peaceful workplace, but it can also make a huge impact on your bottom line since 43 of the most diverse public corporations were 24% more profitable than the S&P 500.

Schedule in time for fun and celebrations

Setting out time once or twice a week to schedule fun is a great way to boost employee morale, especially if they are struggling with an excessive workload. Whether you give them one hour per week to play video games, compete in competitions with timed online jigsaw puzzles – like im-a-puzzle, or schedule a “Friday Happy Hour”, scheduled fun periods throughout the week will likely lead to vast increases in productivity and social bonding between team members. And the fact that the top management has scheduled this fun time means that employees can relax without the feeling of guilt, creating a more easy-going atmosphere.

The same goes for celebrations- when the company reaches a certain goal, or even when an employee has a birthday, order in a cake and some refreshments and take the time to acknowledge the relevant employee. By celebrating things together, employees can begin to feel that their office is more like family.

Clearly define your values

If you want to create a fun culture in your workplace, you need to clearly define that this is a priority to your employees. After all, instilling a company culture requires all of your team members to buy into it. If they don’t fully understand what is expected of them and your company values, you shouldn’t be surprised when the culture doesn’t turn out the way you would have liked. Some of the most important values that you need to instill to create a fun atmosphere within your start-up include:

  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Accountability
  • Open communication
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Employee welfare

Consider going animal-friendly

A new trend sweeping across the working world is animal-friendly offices. Think about it, what better way to create a fun workplace than to have all of your employee’s furry friends roaming around all day? Not only will this improve office morale, productivity, and creativity, but it will also make the lives of your employees much easier.

This is because those with animals won’t have to worry about leaving them at home for prolonged hours of the day (or in a kennel) if they can bring them to work. This makes their day much easier, logically speaking, and the added convenience will likely translate into more employee loyalty, trust, and collaboration. Just make sure you find a place to do their “business,” away from the office floor!

Practice what you preach

Finally, it’s going to be practically impossible for you to create a fun company culture unless you practice what you preach. After all, culture is set by the leaders and is then followed by the employees. One cannot work without the other. Therefore, you need to take the time to train your team in your mission and core values and then walk the walk yourself. If you follow all of these steps, you will be well on your way to creating a fun, productive, and happy work culture at your start-up.

See also: From Uber to Adobe – 15 lessons to get company culture right

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