Written by Michelle Faulds
Different business owners and managers use a variety of different tactics to bring in people that will work successfully together. Some use intensive rounds of interviews, others use personality tests like Myers-Briggs, some just go with their gut (and good references). But putting your team together is just the first step; keeping it together takes a little effort!
At my company, SlyFox Digital Media Marketing, we’ve adopted quite a few different ideas to create a team environment. It’s not just about incentives we offer, either – much of it is what we all can do for each other!
SlyFox is a small business dedicated to helping small businesses, and as such our team is fairly small, too. Instead of putting up barriers between each other and boxing everyone in cubicles, the team does their work around a large table in an open environment. We don’t do this to “force” them together, like locking them in a room and throwing away the key! We do this because we’re a creative company, and creativity in a team environment works best when the ideas can be tossed about.
The office should be a place where ideas have value, so the open environment lets employees become comfortable with one another. Sitting where everyone can actually look at one another lets the team know each other’s strengths and creates the type of creative atmosphere where no one is scared of throwing out a suggestion. To be a team, the members must get to know each other, and our large work table lets this happen organically!
Sometimes, though, they’re too nice. Not to brag, but our team is pretty humble. We let them channel their pent-up generosity and speak for each other so that achievements get the kudos they deserve! The office now has a “peer recognition” program where employees can nominate one another for their efforts, be it solving a tough issue or making a fresh pot of coffee. We have to resist nominating our adorable officemate Rusty, the wiener dog/mascot of SlyFox. Of course, the only incentive he needs are dog treats!
Speaking of incentives, we offer our team a lot of perks under the Employee Incentive Program, all of which celebrate their hard work and the moments when they go above and beyond the call of duty. The highest honor is the recently introduced “Fox of the Month” program, where we look at our employees’ individual successes, attendance, attitude, and peer feedback to pick one that has done an exemplary job. They get a sweet gift package and their face goes on the “wall of fame”. Of course, it’s super hard to pick just one!
Another incentive we’ve instituted is the Payroll Lottery Program. Every week that an employee has perfect attendance, we put their name on an entry. At every quarter, we draw a name out of a hat and they’ll win a $50 gift card to the place of their choice! It’s an easy incentive really, because it’s a gentle reminder that we care about their performance, while they get a chance at a reward for simply showing up to work!
A team works together when they feel cared for, and at SlyFox we try to mix incentives with environment to create a positive team environment for everyone. I have to admit, nobody does this better than our adorable mascot Rusty!
Michelle Faulds is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario, and Co-Founder of Sly Fox Digital Media Marketing.
A version of this article previously published on www.sly-fox.ca
Featured image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net