4 Building Blocks for Great Company Culture

In case you missed it, the Boston Business Journal again named Cresa Boston among its Best Places to Work. This year marked the 11th time in 12 years that our firm has earned this accolade, which is based on anonymous employee surveys. Beyond the great PR for our company, knowing that our employees feel so positive about their place of work is truly the most special aspect of the BBJ’s designation each year.

You might assume this is based on the pay, amenities, and benefits we enjoy at Cresa Boston – benefits like 401K matching, company paid healthcare, profit-sharing opportunities, and our fantastic employee outings, including a day at the beach on the Cape and a spooky Halloween party with a costume contest. While these aspects certainly do not hurt employees’ perception of our firm, what makes Cresa a great place to work is our culture.

We have a mantra around here that we repeat often: “do the right thing” — for each other, for our community, and for our clients. Here are four ways we’ve seen companies – including Cresa Boston – work to “do the right thing” and create a positive corporate culture in the process:

Recognize humanity

The crux of a company’s culture comes down to how people feel at work. Do they feel respected? Heard? Human?

In the modern workplace, employees – Millennials, especially – seek to be part of a community. A bad apple or two can really be disruptive. Prioritize hiring personnel who not only can drive revenue, but who fit into your culture of respect and community. Plan special events and activities that build community and remind employees that they’re people first, employees second – including opportunities to serve in the community together.

Emphasize wellness

Your employees are whole human beings – mind, body, and spirit. A healthy body and spirit contribute to the strong mind we want our employees to bring to work.

Striking a healthy balance between work and the rest of life is key. In fact, according to a recent Jobvite study, better work-life balance outranked health benefits as a key reason people leave their jobs. Cresa and other companies with positive office cultures work hard to emphasize wellness, fitness and balance; provide delicious, healthy food; and even encourage “mental health days” to provide employees rejuvenation and rest.

Employees are part of company success

This seems obvious, right? No employees, no success. But too many companies undervalue employees’ contributions and fail to trust them. At Cresa, we’ve worked to build a collaborative environment of engaged, motivated, and satisfied employees — employees who truly enjoy coming to work.

This starts at the top. Trusting your employees goes a long way toward building a positive company culture, because trust leads to independent employees who help your company grow. In trusting and providing a collaborative environment, managers act more as coaches than bosses and trust their employees to perform their job well instead of micromanaging them. Offering opportunities to have a share in the company’s profits lets employees know that they have both a stake and reward in the company’s success.

Let voices be heard

In some offices, workers don’t know where they stand. They’re constantly on pins and needles. Not here. We put a premium on clear communication with each other – both praise and constructive feedback. We think transparency is a cornerstone of a healthy office culture.

By minimizing the layers of management in the company we can allow employees’ voices to be heard. This level of freedom and empowerment creates confident employees and improves morale.

Company culture embodies way more than just tearing down cubicles, finding the hot new office space, or offering decent health benefits. Culture is built, top to bottom, by emphasizing humanity and wellness, and by listening to and respecting every employee in the company – regardless of their position.

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