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6 strategies to improve company culture in small businesses

6 strategies to improve company culture

It’s perhaps the greatest conundrum in modern small business management. There has never been a greater understanding of the importance of culture and social connections to workplace life and economic success. But cultivating a shared culture might be challenging in the new era of flexible employment. Establishing a shared understanding of what your company stands for and “how things are done around here” is now more difficult than ever because “around here” could refer to anywhere.

How therefore do you develop that vitally crucial distinctive vibe that distinguishes your business and serves as its glue? That keeps everyone motivated in moving your company forward, aligns your teams, and helps you attract and retain varied talent?

Technology can aid in the difficult and organic process of creating a strong culture. We examine six ways you can use the platform to aid in establishing solid cultural foundations in the flexible workplace as Microsoft announces the introduction of Teams Essentials for small businesses in the UK.

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1. Make dialogue natural

Any office with a kettle will instantly become a hub for communication and teamwork. This is due to the fact that it encourages natural dialogue, which is when we are most at ease and creative. The problem is solved over coffee.

So wherever they are, encourage your workers to replicate that successful communication experience. For less than the cost of one coffee ($3), you can give each member of your team a month’s worth of access to Teams Essentials, which includes unrestricted chat, Teams meetings, and video calls.

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While email tennis can be cold and impersonal, chat and brief Teams meetings offer warmer, more natural communications experiences and allow for collaborative decision-making that everyone feels involved in, which is essential to any great culture.

2. Create smooth interactions

Working conditions with two tiers cause conflict. In order to develop a strong corporate culture, frictionless experiences that make everyone feel equally involved must be prioritized.

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Make sure everyone in a meeting, whether they are in an office, at their kitchen table, or in a café, has an equally engaging experience. With Teams, all participants can give virtual reactions and participate via video or instant chat without disrupting the flow of the conversation. Breakout rooms can be used to allow smaller group discussions, which can strengthen participants’ feelings of inclusion and social connection.

3. Put inclusion first

Try to make sure you’re generating accessible experiences that contribute to an inclusive culture while establishing seamless encounters across many locales. This is much simpler to do with Teams Essentials. For instance, when managing a live event, you may choose the Captions option to translate content into as many as six different languages, and you can offer meeting transcripts and recordings to attendees who want to take in information gradually.

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You can use the Accessibility Checker button, which appears on the Review tab, to make your content more universally accessible before distributing it via Word, PowerPoint, or email. Visit the Microsoft website to get more accessibility advice.

Technology is crucial, according to Ben Whitter, founder and CEO of HEX, a global thought-leader in human and employee experience, to build a truly inclusive workplace:

  • “Building environments and settings, whether digital or physical, that support our best work is now a top priority for all firms.
  • From our study at HEX, we’ve learned that it is indeed feasible to build a company where employees feel like they belong, and more and more, technology is bringing that connection to life alongside executives who serve as role models for what a brand and business symbolizes in the world.

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4. Tell others what you think a wonderful culture is

Consider the strongest brands in the world. The majority of them have passionate leaders that openly discuss the principles of their organization. A single goal to strive for and a shared understanding of how to get there are created when leaders take the time to describe the culture they are attempting to develop and model the behaviors they want to see.

Regularly holding team-building and training exercises can contribute to developing a solid culture. You may embed your video feed right into your presentation using Cameo in PowerPoint to better express your vision as you deliver it. Additionally, with Teams Essentials, shared files are constantly accessible, allowing you and your team to keep sharing thoughts on how to develop a cohesive culture.

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5. Create a favorable culture by promoting good behavior

If hybrid working is conducted improperly, it runs the risk of being connected to a “always-on” mentality that over time erodes workplace culture and generates discontent. But that isn’t necessary. Make health a priority by utilizing technology to foster a culture of compassion and positively reinforce work-life balance.

By adding ‘no meeting’ spaces to Outlook’s calendar, you may promote productive work habits and provide individuals valuable concentrate time. With Outlook, you can also create shorter default meeting times to promote breaks.

And assist people in prioritizing what essential to them by utilizing the flexibility that technology allows. When a deadline is approaching, working together synchronously could be crucial, but other times, you can work asynchronously and still be productive since your files are always live and accessible on Teams. You can show individuals you care about them as a whole person—not just their professional selves—by allowing the runner on your team to go out early before the heat of the day or a parent to work late so they can make the most of their children’s playtime. And it is crucial in developing a culture that people identify with.

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Ben Whitter believes that progress should be gradual:

  • One experience at a time, I deliver a strong business culture. Culture develops over time and acts as a strong unifying force for the entire business, from the major events to the minor ones. Companies advance more quickly as a result of it.
  • “That’s why we frequently see little enterprises making a big effect; it’s no accident; they have managed to jointly build a brand that people are proud of.”

6. Place connection first

Working from home can seem…remote. Finally, give connection a high priority within your company. Despite the fact that Teams is our favorite thing, don’t simply utilize it for meetings! Look for additional opportunities to connect, such as work anniversaries, project milestones, or feel-good Fridays, so that everyone feels seen, heard, respected, and linked to your goal as well as to one another.

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Corporate culture is “the only enduring competitive advantage that is fully within the control of the entrepreneur,” according to David Cummings, author of Think Beyond the Inbox. Why not seize that power right now and begin reaping the benefits for your workforce as well as your financial line?

Visit aka.MS/HybridSMB for more information and advice on how technology may improve your culture, communications, and security.

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