Pizza (with or without the beer) is often synonymous with a happy team, downing tools on a Friday, chomping on a tasty stonebaked something from a popular local pizza place. For a fast growing company with fast paced work, little spare time and a workforce that deserves to be rewarded for success, building a strong company culture with plentiful foody treats may seem like the answer.

Who doesn’t like pizza? It’s an easy win.

But is pizza, or any other similar reward, really the way to demonstrate that you value your people? After all, we all love those little perks, the odd gift and nice-to-haves that, on the face of it, show the workforce that they are valued and appreciated. But the key is to make sure that these are not the only things that your team sees as rewards. There needs to be another way to show you value their work.

pizza and beer with hands sharing the pizza

Being valued runs deeper than pizza.

If you want to cultivate a culture of belonging and value, then nice food isn’t the only thing that leads to a happy motivated team (although I’m sure it will always be appreciated!) Demonstrating that you value your people and the work they do, needs to be done in a sustained and consistent way. Regularly talk with your team members, get to know them and develop a genuine understanding of what makes them tick. They need to see that you are listening and paying attention:
  • Take the time to have conversations but make that time count (we all know that meetings for the sake of meetings are soul destroying).
  • Give everyone the time and space to share and learn and develop new ideas, and make sure these are received and acknowledged and not lost to the mists of time.
  • Create opportunities to collaborate and cross-pollinate.
  • Show people where there has been impact and positive change and what their part in it has been.
  • Check-ins – both with you and as a team – go a long way to ensuring everyone knows when things are going well. It also helps them stay accountable and feel part of the team.
  • Ask, don’t tell, and listen to the answers! Ask what people think and give them the space to be able to think in the first place.
  • Provide feedback and share with them what you can about your plans and how they fit into the grand scheme. Even the small cogs are part of the big picture.

The culture of your organisation

When you deepen the experience of being valued, you can embed that feeling into the very culture of your organisation. Being a part of the culture means being part of the way things are done, which is exactly where being valued should be. It’s not always the things that you can see and put a name to. It’s in the feeling of belonging and being in the right place with the right people. When your team feels valued and like they are working in the right place with ‘their people’, they stay motivated and enthusiastic, They want to do their best work. Which is great for productivity, and even better for keeping hold of your staff in the first place.

If they feel they belong, they won’t want to look for a bigger slice of pizza elsewhere!

So don’t stop celebrating successes. You don’t need to throw the pizza out with the bathwater (too many metaphores!?) Seriously, don’t stop the fun stuff. Just make sure it’s not the only way you show your people that they are brilliant. If you need help to create space for conversations, or help with building a strong company culture and values in your organisation, give me a shout.

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