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Building a Culture Where Interior Designers Want to Work

creating positive culture hiring interior designers how to attract quality candidates how to manage employees leadership leading a team leading interior designers managing interior designers Aug 11, 2023
How to create a culture where people want to work | Behind the Design

As the world works to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are still trying to figure out how to get their employees back into the office, with some questioning if doing so is even a good idea. There are pros and cons to both, for companies and employees alike.

On the one hand, businesses that can function with a remote workforce will save on the overhead of an office, but on the other, they may not enjoy the same level of organic collaboration and creativity that seemingly occur more naturally in person. Furthermore, though most employees applaud the improved work-life balance of flexible, remote schedules, some may feel disconnected from coworkers and lose a sense of investment and loyalty toward their employer as a result.

Corporate conglomerates like Disney, Amazon, Meta, and Google are all actively pushing workers to return to the office, at least for part of the time, and they’re facing some dissent, but the bigger problem that they may be failing to account for is the work culture they cultivate.

Making employees feel positive in workplace environments is a big part of creating conditions that encourage in-person attendance. It’s not easy to compete with the benefits of remote work, but when poor working conditions are the alternative, it should come as no shock that employees would much rather stay home. 

Therefore, if you want your design team to operate at least partially in-office, you need to create an inviting setting and a culture that entices your employees back. With that being said, here are a few things you need to know about how to create a good team environment:


What Is Company Culture?

A company’s culture centers on a collection of beliefs, behaviors, and goals that dictates interactions between management and employees. It includes the mission, core values, and policies and procedures that drive business operations.

Company culture can be affected by things like leadership style, as well as how employees are treated in general. Management should encourage communication, listen to employees, recognize their achievements, and provide support. Each of these factors can contribute to a positive workplace environment where employees want to show up every day.

To some extent, benefits and perks can also entice employees, but there are always going to be competitors offering greater salaries and benefits. Competing for talent, securing in-office staff, and boosting retention requires something more: You need to make consistent leadership and employee satisfaction major priorities.


Why Is It Important to Create a Positive Workplace?

Before you start thinking about how to create good work environments, you need to understand what your company will gain by doing so. 

Remember, your employees are brand ambassadors, and when they love where they work, it can increase popularity, profits, and your ability to grow and sustain your business. With that being said, a positive workplace culture can impact every aspect of the employee experience. 

An effective culture encourages ownership, contributes to your brand identity, and supports employee well-being. What’s more, it can help you hire top talent and improve employee retention and performance, all while contributing to the public impression of your company as well.


Encouraging a Feeling of Ownership and Investment

In our current day and age, people spend a lot of time working, and they want to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in return for their efforts. Building a great company culture will do wonders in fostering feelings of pride that not only generate investment in the workplace but give employees a reason to increase their efforts and improve performance as well, much to the benefit of your organization.


Contributing to Cohesive Brand Identity

Your brand identity is more than just the visual elements that go into it, like your logo or choice of font. It has much more to do with the essence of your brand, including your mission and core values. Your employees have a role to play in maintaining a cohesive brand identity, and when you create a positive work environment that they feel proud to represent, they effectively become your best brand ambassadors.


Supporting Employee Well-Being

As a business, your reputation influences how you’re seen across your industry and in the public eye. When employees feel valued and supported, it contributes to their overall well-being, and that, in turn, helps ensure greater morale while enhancing performance and productivity.

Therefore, when your employees report satisfaction and adequate well-being, it helps you to build a reputation that supports boosted recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction rates, all while garnering public goodwill.


How to Create a Good Work Environment

Now that you have a basic understanding of what company culture encompasses and why creating cultures that support employee satisfaction is important, it’s time to learn how to create a good team environment that is conducive to positivity. 

There are several things you must consider, such as:

  • Your core values and shared goals
  • Clear communication
  • Inclusivity
  • Team building
  • Recognition
  • Job flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Employee engagement
  • Opportunities for advancement

A thoughtful approach to creating a positive company culture is the best way to ensure sustained employee satisfaction and a collective willingness to compromise when it comes to remote versus in-office operations.


Define Core Values and Shared Goals

The first step in determining how to create a good environment at work is crafting a solid foundation upon which you will build policies and procedures that support a positive culture and consistent operations. 

Your core values, beliefs, and goals should guide your organization and inform your company culture. When everyone understands the basis for the decisions and feelings involved in the process, it encourages stability, confidence, and consistent outcomes.


Engage in Team Building

Some companies are notorious for establishing an environment of competition, where employees are pitted against one another to outperform themselves. That only drives stress-induced performance, and such a cutthroat atmosphere is neither sustainable nor conducive to employee satisfaction and well-being.

Instead, you must work to create an environment of trust and camaraderie, one that encourages collaboration through team-building exercises. If you’re confused about how to create a good team environment, it starts here, building rapport among management and team members.


Focus on Clear Communication and Implement Open-Door Policies

Communication is incredibly important when it comes to creating culture, and employees, therefore, need to feel both informed and included. That starts with setting clear goals and expectations so they don’t constantly feel like they’re getting sandbagged or forced to pivot for no reason.

It also means committing to open-door policies. Employees need to know they can voice ideas or concerns without worrying that they’ll be ignored or, worse, penalized. You no doubt hire candidates that have the education, experience, and skillset you need, so let them know you value their opinions and insights by making space for their professional contributions.


Make Inclusivity a Priority

It’s great for employees to feel like they’re equal members of a group and that their ideas and contributions are respected, but it’s more important to make sure they feel safe. 

With that said, as you determine how to create a good environment at work, one of the most important steps you can take is creating policies that build a safe and inclusive atmosphere. As you build your team, make sure diversity is a prioritized consideration, implementing zero-tolerance policies for discrimination, microaggressions, and disrespectful or harmful behavior in the workplace.


Recognize Employee Contributions and Successes

A competitive salary and benefits package might get talent in the door, but employee satisfaction — and therefore retention — requires acknowledgment of one’s accomplishments. Public recognition of employee contributions and successes is a great way to create a culture of pride and get employees invested in both their personal and company outcomes.


Consider Flexible Scheduling

Many people grew comfortable with remote work at the height of the pandemic, and they’re not keen to return to a schedule of commuting and full-time, in-office work. Some prefer to work in an office setting to avoid distractions at home, and others are looking for a balance of remote and on-site work.

Businesses that offer some flexibility are going to have the easiest time attracting talent and promoting employee happiness and well-being, but there is no single road map for success here. Some companies have given up the overhead of office space and made all employees work remotely, while others have demanded a return to pre-pandemic, office-only work.

If you offer employees a range of options or create a hybrid situation, you have the best chance of appealing to modern job seekers and ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and positive in workplace situations that suit their preferences.


Creating Culture Through Strong Leadership

Building a great company requires strong leadership. Without it, a workplace can feel unstable, uncaring, and even hostile, leading to increasing dissatisfaction that drives employees into the arms of your competitors.

Good leaders not only incorporate the company’s mission and values into everything they do, but they treat employees with compassion and support. Employees who feel heard, understood, and cared for are more likely to be engaged, productive, satisfied, and willing to go the extra mile.


Don’t Neglect Employee Engagement

It may seem obvious, but considering how few companies incorporate it, it needs to be said: Creating a positive workplace means encouraging employees to have fun. A lot of emphasis is placed on employee engagement, and one of the best ways to drive engagement is by allowing for fun in the work environment.

You’ll have to decide what works for your business to accomplish that, but some ideas include adding a game room or lounge in which employees can take breaks to socialize and de-stress. Consider designing an office space with uplifting decor, allowing for casual attire days, and making your office pet-friendly so employees don’t feel guilty about leaving their furry friends back home. You could also schedule a weekly meeting to check in on everyone and engage in group activities.


Opportunities for Development

Some people settle into a job and are happy staying right where they are. Others want more. In any case, a strong company culture will offer opportunities for both personal and professional growth through training, mentorship, and continuing education. In addition to providing opportunities for advancement, you should try to create clear guidelines for pathways to promotion.


Cultivate Growth and Culture in Your Design Business

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