Tips for Association Leaders on Cultivating a Great Work Environment

November 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM


Globetrotters travel the world to chase adventure and immerse themselves in different languages and cultures. Just as travelers look to visit countries with vibrant and welcoming cultures, associations should cultivate an inspiring and engaging culture within the office to attract top association talent. We've compiled a few tips to help your association work towards cultivating a positive, inviting, and productive office environment for staff.   

  1. Regardless of your association’s staff size is, recognize and celebrate achievements, both big and small. Birthdays, major life milestones, and work anniversaries are worth honoring. For an insightful look into the ettiquette of office celebrations, this article sums it up. 
  2. Venture out of the office as a team. Whether it’s going to lunch as a team, grabbing coffee with a colleague, or heading out to happy hour together, spend time with your colleagues and your association’s culture will grow as a result. Association conferences, and other work-related events, are also great outlets to grow interpersonal work relationships.
  3. Rearrange the association workspace to inspire productivity, collaboration, and creativity. Associations Now has published several articles (here, here, and here) about the importance of a well-designed office and the effects of aesthetics on productivity. If you are looking for aspirational office designthis article runs through some of the most exquisite offices in the world. 
  4. Take small breaks. Phyllis Korkki, journalist for the New York Times, explains the correlation between productivity and taking regular breaks in this article
  5. If you are an association or nonprofit leader, promote the vision and mission of your association internally, and inspire your staff to work together and towards the common goal. In this article published by the Harvard Business Review, the authors discuss the importance of “emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work” to staff in order to inspire collective productivity.
  6. Design and implement a staff-engagement strategy. Kevin Kruse, a contributor for Forbes, offers the idea of sharing a survey with staff for a “bottoms up approach” to staff engagement.


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