It’s often the small things that make life that little bit more awesome. It could be that tempting morning muffin or eagerly anticipated festive latte. For me, it’s getting out for an autumnal walk with my favourite pooch, Lily. Whatever it is, it’s the small things in life that motivate us and make us happy.
So, what about when it comes to the workplace? As our businesses grow and become more complex, it can be a challenge to maintain that supportive, family culture that’s common to many smaller teams. But it can be done!
Below I reveal the small things that can make a big difference to your team culture and business success (however big your company is!).
5 Small Things That Make A Big Difference At Work
1. Small Teams
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has a golden rule: If two pizzas can’t feed your team then the team is too big (or everyone’s skipping one too many lunches!). I too, am a fan of the small team. Here’s why.
Research shows employees are more engaged and productive when they work in smaller organisations or teams. Whereas, the Ringelmann Effect shows individual output decreases as teams size grows! One of the main reasons small teams work well is because every member can see how they make a difference to the group’s success of failure. This sense of personal accountability and purpose drives individual productivity and increases employee engagement.
The idea of small teams isn’t about ditching your valuable employees. Far from it! It’s about planning work, projects and company growth effectively. So, next time you’re recruiting, holding a meeting or planning a project, make team size a top consideration. Is the project team too big or just right? Why not try Bezos’ golden rule to find out. This sounds like an excuse for pizza!
2. Create a Supportive Work Culture
Most employees want to work for small teams because they are perceived as more supportive working environments. Whereas, studies shows most people believe support is less available as the team gets bigger.
The reality is we can’t always change the size of our team, nor do we want to. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter how big your team is! You can still create a supportive working culture, where everyone feels valued and able to share their ideas, knowledge and the odd joke with each other.
The message boards on the company LMS are a great place to foster these supportive work relationships and friendly environments. For example, you could create discussion groups where employees can ask subject matter experts about anything from a team project to the office ‘Latte Lovers Club’! Virtual tools like these mean that however big or remote your team is, there’s always a place to connect with colleagues, learn from each other and laugh together.
3. Celebrate the Small Stuff (Because really it’s all big stuff!)
A little praise goes a long way! Don’t wait until your employees do something jaw-dropping before you dish out the compliments. Recognise the small yet powerful contributions they make towards the business mission every day.
The key to successful regular recognition is making sure it stays relevant, meaningful and authentic. All it takes is a small thank you for meeting that deadline or a simple ‘good job’ for completing a task. This matters because 75% of employees who receive at least monthly recognition are satisfied with their job. What would that figure be if you gave your team members weekly, or even daily recognition?
Don’t let the praise start and end with you. Encourage employees to recognise each other’s good work. Celebrating success helps build team cohesion and ensures everyone understands the contribution others make. A simple and fair way to award recognition is using virtual rewards on the company LMS. This way everyone can see their teammates’ achievements and send them a virtual pat on the back!
4. Continuous Development
As we’ve discovered, it’s worth creating a supportive team culture as tightly knit as your favourite winter woolly! The big question is, how can you maintain that community spirit, whilst also encouraging employee growth and innovation? The answer is continuous learning.
Providing opportunities for continuous development shows employees you care about their growth and it empowers them to think big. Make sure your team always have access to the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their role and innovate. This will build their confidence and encourage them to step outside their comfort zone. That’s where the real learning happens!
I couldn’t create a list of everything small yet mighty without including microlearning! So what is it?
65% of people cite training and development as their top work motivators. However, in today’s fast paced world, many simply don’t have time to do hours of classroom training or formal online learning. The good news is you can use microlearning technology to deliver bite-size chunks of training content straight to your learners’ phones. This means they can access training whenever and wherever they need to.
You could say microlearning is the mini muffin of the learning world! It’s yummy bite-size goodness that’s easy to gobble down and fits in the palm of your hand! It is just the training solution needed to fuel your team’s development wherever their day job takes them next.
There you have it – a few of my favourite small things that can make a big difference to your team culture and business success. Use these ideas to create that community spirit we all strive for and see your employee productivity and happiness at work soar! Remember it’s the small acts of kindness that change the world.