11 Ways to Build a Motivational and Collaborative Company Culture

What is one way you’ve built a company culture that encourages motivation and collaboration?

Business team huddling

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Transparency

When team members at all levels know what’s going on, they feel more engaged, more open to communicating any challenges they are facing, and more empowered to solve problems on their own.

Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula

2. Video Games

We are a geeky company that encourages all of our employees to play video games together. When we play together, we get to know each other better, learn teamwork, and blow off a little steam at the same time. We’ve even turned gaming into a charitable venture by creating Geek Powered Gaming, a side project where we play video games to raise money for charity.

Guillermo Ortiz, Geek Powered Studios

3. Daily Huddle

An addition to the workday that not only inspires collaboration but also motivates the team is a 10-minute, company-wide daily huddle. Meet in a common area about 10 minutes before lunch to have employees share their projects, opportunities for collaboration, public thank yous, and progress on departmental KPIs. This is a process that inspires and motivates any team.

David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

4. Random Day

Each month we hold an event called “Random Day.” All of our interns and our small team works on an idea that matters to them. The goal is to bring ideas to life by the end of the day. Our first Random Day resulted in the revival of the World Pillow Fight Championships (random, I know). This last Random Day resulted in a new client. The event is a great way to collaborate and motivate your team.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Google employees working in a semi-formal setting
photo credit: Andrewarchy / Flickr

5. Freedom

With our team, we agree on an end goal and a timeframe, but we’re allowed freedom to work on the project at our own discretion. Collaboration across departments occurs on its own when need be. In short: Organic motivation and collaboration occur with the correct combination of clear goals and the freedom to achieve them.

Andrew Namminga, Andesign

6. Team Events and Competitions

We like to plan a lot of fun activities that are really just training exercises to deepen collaboration and motivate the staff to work more efficiently and enjoy what they do. We have a competitive group that likes to playfully egg each other on with different competitions, and it’s been a way to create a sense of closeness, trust and respect for each other.

Cynthia Johnson, American Addiction Centers

7. Internal Workshops

Once a month, we have one or two employees lead a workshop that is based on their expertise and passions. This allows them to share their knowledge and feel like they are contributing to the company’s growth. As a software development firm, change is constant, so our employees are able to learn and teach new technology from our the industry and how it can apply to their jobs.

Humberto Farias, Concepta

8. App Launch Parties

We build mobile apps and web apps for clients. For every project that we launch for our clients, we throw a party for the entire team. This creates a sense of reward and achievement in team members. It also brings them closer and allows them to have some fun. Sometimes they discuss their issues and resolve them. It costs me some money as the owner but I get the returns back very quickly.

Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

Community service work in a local area
photo credit: Neighborhood Centers Inc. / Flickr

9. Community Work

I’ve put the team to work on projects in the community like building a house or working on a community location like a garden or community center. Here, we are working together on a project outside of the company where we can relax and get to know each other’s styles. That way, we can go back in and get excited about getting back to work and understand how to work more closely together.

Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

10. Flexible Schedules

Some people are most productive in the evening, while others get things done in the morning. We have a remote team, so employees are able to make their own schedule. But they have clear goals and deadlines that they have to meet. When our team is all in the same location, we always plan a fun get-together outside of work to unwind and bond as a team.

Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

11. Positive Feedback

We have many channels to provide team members with peer and managerial positive feedback on their work: a weekly form to fill out, a Slack general channel, and a gaudy trophy that’s peer-awarded every week. We also close all management meetings by nominating a team member as a core values story. That positive reinforcement for a job well done encourages all of us to be our best.

Zach Robbins, Margo