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The Conference Room

Five Adoptable Tips to Create an Effective Workplace Culture

By Tom Gimbel The Conference Room FOXBusiness

Indian employees at a call centre provide service support to international customers, in the southern city of Bangalore March 17, 2004. The hiring frenzy at call centres in India is the flip side of daily tales pouring out of the US and Britain, ... where thousands of software and back-office jobs are being cut as companies take advantage of cheap communications offshore to drive down costs. India is the undisputed leader of emerging markets to which developed economies are outsourcing high-technology jobs, IT consultancy firm Gartner said in a report released on Wednesday. The $3.6 billion industry in India is seen rocketing to 13.8 billion by 2007 with the number of jobs quadrupling to 1 million. Picture taken March 17, 2004. REUTERS/Sherwin Crasto SC/ (Reuters)

Much like the endless debate of what came first, the chicken or the egg, entrepreneurs question if the workplace culture creates the company or if the company creates the culture. Regardless of which comes first, if profits are low and you have an unmotivated staff, there are adoptable practices to turn a halfhearted team into one that’s resilient and devoted. It’s as easy as celebrating and investing in your employees.

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For instance, at LaSalle Network rather than celebrating a day you just wake up breathing, we celebrate the anniversary of the employee’s hire day—your 're-birthday'—where employees are greeted once a year with decorations, balloons and gifts of appreciation.

Here are few other things LaSalle does that you can easily adopt to turn a stale workplace into a motivated, curious group of overachievers:  

No. 1: Inspire Creativity.

Creativity requires the constant blending of both divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas), and convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best results). Put people who don’t usually socialize together on teams — Baby Boomers with Gen Y (Millennials), operations with sales, HR with finance. Change throws people off, and that’s a good thing.

No. 2: Embrace the Madness.

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Companies that attempt to squash the fun and energy of March Madness or other hyped sporting events are approaching the situation the wrong way. The games are an ideal opportunity to boost employee morale. Limiting an employee’s ability to watch or discuss the games is the reason for decrease in worker productivity during these time periods. The more a person is told they can’t do something, the more they want to.

No. 3: Involve staff in important decisions.

Employees want to know that their thoughts and opinions matter. They want to know that they are more than just a number. Involving staff in important decisions demonstrates that you value their opinion. This can be done in a variety of ways; implement a staff council, meet one-on-one with team members or bring lower level employees into management meetings.

No. 4: Schedule time with employees.

Set aside time regularly to meet with staff in order to discuss what motivates them. For some it’s face time, for others it’s outward recognition. In order to best retain employees, it’s essential to know what keeps them happy and motivated.

No. 5: Invest in them.

Most employees want to continue to develop their skills while learning new ones. Offering training sessions and having employees attend webinars and conferences will feed their desire to learn while augmenting their skill sets.

Tom Gimbel is the Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a $35+ million staffing and recruiting firm based in Chicago. Founded in 1998, LaSalle has served thousands of clients and candidates, placing job seekers in temporary, temporary-to-permanent and permanent positions.

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