Does your culture make employees better?

Whether you are a small architecture firm or a major design conglomerate, understanding how to create a positive culture within your organization is key to fostering the creativity and mutual respect necessary for success.

It’s no secret that employee satisfaction contributes to overall productivity – but it goes further than that. The right company culture allows each and every one of your team members to feel vested in their role and connected to their coworkers, ultimately resulting in a healthier professional atmosphere. In this post, we will cover some simple yet effective methods for establishing lasting camaraderie among all levels at your architecture or design firm: from clients and colleagues alike!

A Strong Corporate Culture Is Intentional

Cultivating talent suggests nurturing a concept and helping it grow, not dictating its essence. So how can an architecture and design firm plant the corporate culture seeds that will take root and thrive in the company?

Growth begins with fertile soil.

The American Architect Institute has condensed the many facets of workplace culture into five aspects, all essential for building a vibrant corporate culture:

  1. Engagement: Architects and designers feel connected to work and how it gets done.
  2. Trust: Teams of employees become high-performing when they trust each other.
  3. Recruiting: The work culture attracts candidates from other firms.
  4. Productivity: Workers accomplish more because they are less worried about stressors.
  5. Retention: The most satisfied employees share the same values as their employer and teammates.

Effective Methods for Nurturing Camaraderie

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula or grower’s guide for corporate culture. You must know what motivates your employees and provide it through objective and subjective experiences.

  • Recognize that shared values are more important than money. Team members seek ways to be significant; they want their work to make a difference. Values make it possible.
  • Hold high — and explicit — expectations and help the team meet them. Teams that rely on synergy aren’t afraid of work; they know they have each other’s backs when accomplishing more.
  • Brand and culture align closely. Clients recognize the alignment when your actions naturally reflect your brand. For example, if your brand is about serving others, you meet client needs first.
  • Hire “culture add” employees, not “culture fit” prospects. Hires that fit in with your culture won’t help it grow. Those who add to the culture will help it thrive.
  • Keep the conversation about culture. To enrich the corporate culture, talk about how what, why, and when you’re doing something.

Ultimately, workplace culture should focus on employee satisfaction, directly correlating to how every team member perceives their role and connects with colleagues. While bonuses and incentives can play a role, satisfaction may come from improved workplace benefits or the feeling when encouraged to work away from the office.

Architects and designers are looking for firms that nurture a rich corporate culture full of camaraderie. Is yours one of them?

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