First things first, there are no simple fixes to company culture. Your culture is something that is developed over time, rooted in the type of people you bring in and your company values and vision (for example, here are Dragon Army’s.)
But let’s say you have all that in place and you’re making strides, but things are getting a little stagnant around the office. Here are eight things you might try implementing to add more energy and excitement to your culture:
1. Turn on some tunes. Sometimes a simple thing like having background music can help spice things up. People start talking about the music, share their personal experiences (concerts, etc.) and suddenly things feel a little lighter.
2. Take a field trip. Grab everyone and surprise them with a few hours of time at a local attraction. I’ve taken our team to see MLK Jr’s childhood home, for example. Fun, cheap, and gets everyone engaged again.
3. Surprise the team with some donuts. Or bagels. Or King of Pops! Little things like that can help add some much needed energy.
4. Start a weekly beer cart. Thanks to Raj, we had a beer cart at Engauge (my last company) and once a week everyone had a chance to relax and hang out. Also, one of my favorite companies, Friendly Human, has a weekly breakfast that their CEO cooks in the office.
5. Ask someone to do a short “lunch & learn” on something they’re working on, something they’re an expert on, or just something that is unique to them. Order pizza and let that person share more about themselves with the team.
6. Have a brainstorming session on how to improve the office space. This is fun because people start to envision ways to make the office more fun, and often times they come up with very inexpensive, simple ideas. But more importantly, giving people the chance to impact the office helps them connect more deeply with the company and their teammates.
7. Have a decorating competition. Let each group, team, or individual decorate their area and have a vote to see who was the most creative.
8. Celebrate a crazy holiday. For instance, July is apparently National Hot Dog Month. Who knew.
Hopefully, ideas like this will spur more creativity and fun in your office, improving at even a small level your company culture. But make sure that your company is set up to actually have a great culture before trying these simple ideas.