2017 is your year to get on the “Best Places to Work” lists!

December is always filled with end of the year lists, and one of my favorites is always the “best places to work” lists. However you cut it—San Diego based, international and everything in between—these businesses share two very important traits: great culture and great success.  Congratulations to two of our clients CDC Small Business Finance and Kaiser for gaining spots on San Diego Business Journal’s Best Places to Work!

This lesson isn’t exactly new, the old adage “culture eats strategy for lunch” has been heard in B-schools for years. Every “best place to work” knows how important it is to bring smart talented people together and keep them happy and engaged with a strong culture of collaboration, innovation, and fun. After all, this is what we see at Glassdoor “Best Places to Work” list-toppers like Air BnB, Guidewire, and Facebook.

You don’t have to have the resources of Kaiser or Facebook (with dedicated HR staff to create culture).

Here are 5 ways you can foster an inspiring, collaborative, and fun culture today! 

1. Play!
We all know the value of a good vacation (even if many of us don’t take them), but we often underestimate the value of play time at work. I mean this figuratively—a playful attitude goes a long way to getting through the grind—and literally. Try a 10-minute play break mid-day to re-energize, re-focus, and tap into the creativity of your team.

2. Try saying “Yes, and…” to the next idea you hear
I’m not suggesting you suddenly turn over the big account to an intern, but “bad” ideas often come with a fresh perspective. Next time a colleague suggests something you think won’t work, try acknowledging the idea and adding something to it. Play around a little bit. Doing so ensures that when a member of your team comes up with the next great idea they will bring it to you, and fast-tracks the innovation process.

3. Create now, evaluate later
There is a time for creativity and a time for editing. A culture of innovation keeps these things as far apart as possible.  Next time you are brainstorming with a group, ask one person to sit out of the brainstorm and act as referee.  Have them “blow the whistle” each time you stray from brainstorming into evaluating.

4. Ensemble first.
People don’t work hard and create success for a company…. they do it for other people and because it challenges and excites them.  Great collaboration comes from caring about the people on your team and connecting genuinely. Take the time to make connections with your team outside of the typical work tasks.  It is imperative that you make time for team building events, group lunches, and simple moments of unplanned play on a regular basis.  The time you take to play today will pay off tomorrow when your team needs high levels of support and trust to achieve great things together.

5. Play! (So important, I said it twice)
At a loss for ideas about what to do? Want to chat about how to create a great culture? Give us a call at (619) 306-6047 for a free consultation on how you can bring more play and collaboration to your workplace.  Let’s get you on the 2017 Best Places to Work lists!

Improv For Business

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