Things like unlimited vacation, a casual dress code, and a sweet lounge area may work for some company cultures, but those aren’t the only ways to get creative when it comes to building a productive, creative, and sustainable company culture.
Below, we’ve outlined 11 fresh ideas to add a little extra oomph to your company’s culture.
1. Catered lunches
Companies providing meals for their employees—both in and outside of the office—is becoming a common offering. It’s a great perk for both the employee and the company culture—ever heard of two birds, one stone? Having lunches catered in, whether it’s one day or all week, not only saves your team money but it allows employees to sit down together, share a meal, and build bonds with people they may not always interact with.
That, in turn, can translate into the way they communicate and collaborate on projects. 🙌
2. Team cooking class
You know the old saying: A team that cooks together and eats together just works better together. 😏
Rather than hosting another happy hour, planning a team cooking class creates a unique experience where your employees can learn new skills, build a stronger bond, and get inspired to create and innovate.
Not to mention the job satisfaction it can bring, 89% of millennial employees cite workplace happiness as a reason they stay with a job, with 66% saying that unique perks are what keeps them interested.
And to that, we say,bon appétit!
3. Philanthropic group events
Whether you’re running for a cause, planting trees or visiting adoptable dogs—there are so many things you can do as a company to give back to the community. Plus, there’s a ton of research that shows those who regularly volunteer experience a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.
By incorporating volunteering activities into your company culture, you can encourage team building, boost employee satisfaction, and you’re showing a commitment to both your community and keeping your employees happy and healthy.
4. Company-wide retreat
As long as it’s in the budget, a company-wide retreat is an excellent opportunity to show employees you value them by coming together IRL for a weekend or a few days of relaxation. It can help your team members press pause on day-to-day tasks and take time to get to know each other’s personalities. It also gets everyone out of the office together, which can build trust within teams, and in turn, will have a positive impact on your business.
Plus, they’re always a great time. 🎉
5. Holiday parties
Throwing a holiday party is another wonderful way to show appreciation for your employees (and get them away from their desks). Even if you don’t have a huge budget for a swanky party, a great holiday party comes down to honoring your employees.
All it takes to make your holiday party a success is to show gratitude, promote relaxation, and celebrate success—all thanks to your stellar team.
6. Birthday and workaversary celebrations
One simple but powerful thing you can do to show your employees you care is by celebrating their birthdays and workplace milestones.
At Zestful, we give our employees $50 on their Zestful card for both their birthday and work anniversary—after all, there’s nothing like being able to celebrate a big day like snagging something you’ve had your eye on for a while. Many companies decorate desks, take employees out for a celebratory lunch, or simply give their team members a nice card. Even something small will show your employees that you’re just excited about their milestones as they are.
7. In-office barista
Let’s be real, people take their morning coffee seriously.
According to a study conducted by Staples, one in four employees would give up their vacation to keep their daily cup of coffee and, interestingly enough, one-third of respondents claimed they would rather run down a busy street naked instead of giving up coffee for a year! 😳 So, since free coffee is standard in an office, why not step it up a notch with an in-office barista?
A simple Google search in your area should bring up a few options, even if you want to bring in a specialty coffee bar just once a month.
8. Wellness day
A healthy work environment sets the scene for engaged employees, and a wellness-oriented day will put a spotlight on the physical and emotional wellbeing of your team. This day can be an out of office experience or an in-office one with massages, nutrition classes, fitness classes, healthy food, and more.
Wellness days can serve as a kickoff to some fun health challenges for the year (daily pushups? Wall sits in meetings? Extra perks for completing activities?) as well as any wellness initiatives you’re going to start implementing day-to-day in the office. Walking meetings, anyone?
This is a great way to get your employees more enthusiastic and reduce the risk of burnout. #namaste
9. Improv workshops
If you want to inspire collaboration and creativity in the workplace, take a cue from your local comedy club.
The foundation of improv is “Yes and”, meaning when someone in a scene states something, you accept it as the truth, then the “and” builds on the reality that has been set for you. As you can imagine, this can be a great principle when it comes to business as well! An improv workshop can help your team members build upon ideas rather than shutting them down as they come up.
It might be a bit awkward at first, but we promise you’ll all have a ton of fun.
10. Escape room
Escape rooms are an immersive experience where participants are placed in a room and tasked with solving a mystery within a set amount of time. The theme varies from venue to venue, but all rooms have the same goal: use teamwork to solve a problem before time runs out. This allows your team members to bond and use technical skills all while saving themselves from a zombie invasion. 🧟
If you’re going to host a creative group activity, you might as well go all-in on a top-notch night of karaoke. Singing in front of each other builds common ground, and nearly everyone has a passion for music, so it will give everyone a sense of each other's style, taste, and personality.
And let’s be real, nothing bonds a team more than singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” at the top of your lungs together.
72% of employees said having more work benefits would increase job satisfaction. Today's employees want a company culture that’s engaging, healthy, and full of joy. Implementing some of these ideas will help your employees feel valued, cared for, and excited about working for a company that shows their appreciation through creative perks.
Up next: Read part one of our startup showdown where we duel it out between two common office cultures: open versus closed office layouts and unlimited versus set PTO.