5 Signs of Toxic Corporate Culture — and How to Fix Them

Having a healthy corporate culture is becoming more and more essential to running a successful business. While most companies like to think they have a perfect corporate culture, many times it only seems that way on the outside looking in. It doesn’t take much to turn a healthy environment into something toxic, and there are a few warning signs to watch for to make sure things don’t go sour. 

Low Employee Retention Rates

A low employee retention rate is a clear sign something is wrong. In some industries, high employee turnover is fairly common. These tend to be high-stress, high-volume environments in which employees are expected to sink or swim. However, most companies intend to foster a productive environment that also offers employees some satisfaction so they’ll have an incentive to stay. With a mandate such as this, having a higher turnover rate than the industry standard is a sure sign of trouble. Employees generally won’t remain long in a toxic environment unless the reward is perceived as worth the abuse. Being only a few years away from receiving a pension is one example. New employees certainly won’t stick around to suffer horrible bosses, insufferable coworkers, or corporate policies that don’t protect their well-being.

If you think retention might be an issue in your company, determine exactly why your employees are jumping ship so quickly. Check into terminations and resignations over the last few years and look for any patterns. Are employees who are leaving doing so because of a corporate policy they feel is too restrictive? If a large number of employees are being terminated from a location due to “insubordination” or some similar cause, it might say more about that department’s management than its workers.

Having a “Yes” Culture is a Big “No-No”

While we all like to think we know what is going on and what decisions to make when running our business, let’s face the fact that we’re not omniscient. We can’t see every situation from every perspective, and our own personal biases and experiences can blind us from time to time. The employees who speak out about policies that aren’t working and voice their concerns offer us one of the best ways to gauge the areas that need more attention. If your employees are too afraid of retaliation to disagree with you, or convinced their voices won’t be heard, then you’ll be blind to what’s really going on. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Encourage their feedback through incentives, and then listen to your employees. It’s also a good idea to start garnering customer feedback as well, if you haven’t already.

Cross-Department Initiatives Crumble

Another tell-tale sign of a toxic environment is that collaboration between departments tends to fall flat. This might be for a number of reasons. It could merely be a communication and organization issue. Perhaps the teams involved just have no clue how to operate outside their own departmental bubbles, so nothing gets accomplished. Another issue could be some underlying strife or feuding between the departments, especially in situations where the departments tend to butt heads in their day-to-day work.

For example, if store-level advertising and corporate graphics need to work together, they’re not going to get along if corporate drags its feet in approving time-sensitive materials or delays in releasing digital assets that need to be printed and in stores by a deadline. It would be even worse if corporate tried to pass the blame onto the store-level teams for the displays not being placed on time. In this situation, getting these two groups to play nicely together could be almost impossible without sorting out the resentment between them. Having planning meetings early on as well as open discussions with the teams individually can be an easy way to spot any potential issues with the project and disarm them before they can derail the entire collaboration.

Aversion to Risk

Risk-averse employees can create a corporate culture that is stymied, stagnant, and unable to make the creative decisions required to move the company forward. In many cases, this aversion is caused by a fear of repercussions due to policies that are too restrictive. If the corporate structure is hidebound, it won’t allow any leeway. 

Set up practices that inspire and reward a certain degree of risk-taking and flexibility to promote better productivity. For example, income might increase if employees are allowed some latitude in making their sales pitch rather than quoting verbatim from a script that probably sounds emotionless to them and the customers as well. Letting employees add a little personal touch to their jobs not only helps them discover new solutions to problems but also makes your business feel more human to your customer base.

Silos and Isolation

In a business that has multiple departments with autonomous responsibilities, it’s common for employees to form cliques and feel as if the only others they really need to care about or interact with are the coworkers in their own little silo. This can cause problems when it comes to cross-department collaborations or when there are tasks that rely on multiple departments in order to be processed properly. The first step in breaking up this isolation mentality is to get the departments more involved with one another. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in a way that has them physically working together. It can be achieved through corporate events and team-building retreats.

Scheduling corporate events in Iowa can help your employees bond, especially if the events are more social in nature rather than listening to business strategies or training. It’s even better if you’re able to do something that could qualify as a team-building exercise and stress relief for your workers all bundled into one. If your team members really have trouble working with one another or just don’t know how to solve problems together, scheduling a corporate outing at an escape room could be an innovative way to kill two birds with one stone. It would force people who aren’t normally accustomed to working together to bounce ideas off one another and collaborate in solving problems.

Fixing a toxic corporate culture involves identifying the problem areas and then formulating strategies to correct them. Keeping an open mind is vital because, like it or not, you may eventually discover you are part of the problem. Be willing to listen to feedback, and show flexibility within reason. Before you know it, you’ll have devised basic ways to change things for the better and keep them that way.

corporate events

5 Ideas for Planning Engaging Iowa Corporate Events

Have things around the office gotten mundane? Are you trying to figure out something to liven things up and let your employees have fun? A great way to do this is by throwing a corporate event. Many companies will throw the same event every year, and it starts to become repetitive and dull. Instead of going the same route, figuring out a theme can really make things more alive and give your employees the time of their lives. If you’re trying to get ideas for Iowa corporate events, then keep reading to get five different themes with tips on how to throw a spectacular party.

Hollywood Movie Night

The first theme you could do for an awesome corporate event is a Hollywood movie night. With this theme, there are a few ways you could set things up. The first way is by having a general Hollywood theme. You could rent out a space and have a red carpet leading inside. Add some people with cameras, and your employees will feel like real celebrities. Inside, have some bubbly ready and serve amazing food. You could even host some kind of fun little award ceremony that takes after big Hollywood events like the Academy Awards.

On the other hand, you could decide to set up the building in different areas and decades. For every decade, you could do a different type of theme according to what was big during that time. For example, the 50s would have movies like “Grease” and offer foods such as hamburgers, while the 70s would have gangster movies and be all about pizza. You don’t have to use these decades, and you could just do movies and foods associated with them.

Fandom Night

Since so many people have their own fandoms and interests, you could also do a fandom night. The best way to figure out which fandoms to do is by simply doing some kind of poll with your employees. Some popular choices might be “Supernatural,” “Harry Potter,” “Dr. Who” and “Sherlock Holmes.” These might not be a huge interest in your workplace, so make sure you know what everyone loves. Plan to incorporate a few different fandoms into your party so that everyone can enjoy the festivities and have a great time.

In terms of food, drink and decorations, you’ll want to match each fandom. For example, you could have floating candles, Butterbeer, and chocolate frogs for a Harry Potter-themed table, but the Sherlock table would have something like investigator hats and pipes, and tea and scones. The good thing is that you can find a lot of ideas online to get you started. You don’t have to have activities, but if you do, make sure they are geared toward adults and go with the theme.

Around the World Night

Most workplaces have quite a bit of diversity, so try doing an around the world night. This particular theme has fantastic potential. There are two ways you could do this. The first one is going national. Doing it this way means you can include places like China, India, Ireland and Germany. If you wanted to do it on a smaller scale, you could do it with cities, like Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas and Baton Rouge. Regardless of which way you go, try and do a poll to see where everyone’s home state or country is, then use that to plan your party.

In terms of decorations, this theme is extremely easy. You can use the flags and colors from each place to decorate things. You could also use other items that are important or well-known to each area. Once you have your decorations, you want to make sure you include food and drink from each area. For example, you could do curry goat from India or deep dish pizza from Chicago. For activities, you could do trivia about each place, then give a prize to the person or team that gets the most answers right.

Casino Game Rentals

Who doesn’t love playing at a casino? Let your employees have fun and get some casino game rentals. By doing this, you can bring a little slice of Vegas right to you. You can decorate the entire space to make your employees really feel like they are in Sin City. You can include things like backdrops, bar areas, cut-outs of famous people who frequented Vegas, like Frank Sinatra, and replicas of various statues that can be found in the different casinos on the strip. Food and drink can be pretty much anything you want, but a popular option to go with this theme is a buffet. If you’ve been or heard about Vegas, then you know that buffets are everywhere.

In terms of games, there are many you can choose from. Some options are slot machines, poker tables, craps tables, roulette and keno. While most places will have rules and regulations on these actually paying out money, you can give tokens or tickets and let the employees pick out prizes at the end of the night. These can include gift cards, electronics and fun items.

Masquerade Ball

Finally, add a little mystery and host a masquerade ball. For this theme, you want to make sure you rent a venue that can be easily decorated and give a true feel of mystery and luxury. You can choose to have your guests arrive with their masks or give them the option to leave them off if they want. You’ll also want to make sure they know if it’s semi-formal or formal.

When thinking about decorations, food and drink, you have a lot of possibilities. To get ideas for decorations, try and research how masquerade events usually look and try and use that with your own ideas. Since it’s a formal event, you’ll want to have a nice sit-down dinner and fancy drinks. To finish the night, schedule in an hour or two of dancing.
These are only a few ideas for corporate events in the Iowa area, and you can pretty much come up with anything you can think of. The important thing is just to make sure you research everything and figure out how to make it an awesome party. There’s nothing worse than putting all kinds of work into an event and having it fall short. The best way to figure out the perfect theme for your party is by paying attention to what kinds of things your employees are interested in and figuring out what they’d appreciate. The possibilities are nearly endless, and you never know how great the idea will be if you don’t at least try it!

5 Ideas for Your Next Company Retreat

Have you been tasked with planning your company’s next office party or company retreat in Des Moines? No matter the event’s purpose, it can be an overwhelming undertaking, especially for those who may not have a knack for planning. That’s not to mention the pressure you are under to create a new and exciting event that your co-workers will look forward to every year.

There are many different corporate event ideas out there that are sure to please even the toughest crowd. Depending on your allotted budget, the time of year, and other factors, your options may seem either limited or too broad. Below are five great ideas to consider for your next retreat or office party in Des Moines that are ideal for the summer months.

Plan a Corporate “Glamping” Trip

You’re probably thinking, “What is glamping?” In a nutshell, the word is formed by marrying the word “glamorous” with “camping”. If you’re planning a corporate event or retreat that includes a getaway, then enjoying the beauty of a Des Moines summer in nature is an excellent retreat idea. What will make this even better is that there are more luxurious ways to host the team at this type of event instead of roughing it tent style, which may not go over well with everyone.

The Des Moines area boasts some beautiful lakeside cottage colonies that your people are bound to love. They are excellent for team-building exercises, scavenger hunts, and survival-themed activities. With an outdoor company retreat, the sky’s the limit for outdoor activities. The upside to this is it will get your staff out of the office and into a different space for more than just a few hours.

Fun Team-Building Retreats

Team building retreats and office parties are excellent ways to spend a few hours with your team and build critical thinking skills together. It doesn’t always need to be focused on the same theme; in fact, murder mystery corporate events and other types of fun team-building events are becoming quite popular.

Why plan a themed team building event? Because your team already spends their full-time work life living and breathing what your company does. An entertaining team-building theme will give your people a break from the everyday, get endorphins flowing through laughter, and help them to build on the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills your company needs.

Casino Themed Corporate Event

Casino themed corporate events have become quite popular lately, and it’s definitely an idea worth considering. The nice thing about a casino themed office party is that it creates some after-hours fun for your team without having to take a field trip to a local casino or planning a large, more expensive trip to Las Vegas. You can easily host casino corporate events in a rented hall or your building, if space permits.

To plan a successful one, you can have it customized to suit the purpose of your corporate party with casino rental companies that offer this type of company retreat party service in your area. They will supply everything from card dealers, required equipment, and theme-planning ideas.

Whether you want to raise funds for a special cause as a company or you want to have a night of fun together, a casino-themed party is a fun way to make it happen.

Favorite Decade Office Party

If you’re tasked with planning a themed office party, an excellent idea is throwing a favorite decade party. Employees can dress up in clothes and styles that represent that particular era, and you can have music to match, which will surely bring out dance moves you haven’t seen in years.

This event is sure to bring a hint of nostalgia among the office, many laughs, and fun memories that will be remembered and talked about for some time. Office parties don’t always need to have a work focus, and they shouldn’t if you want happy co-workers and employees for years to come.

Casino-themed parties and other themed events can be great ice-breaking activities as well and can help your team feel more like a family instead of just colleagues and co-workers.

Awards Night Banquet Celebration

Coming together for a night of celebrating milestones and accomplishments your team has achieved is an excellent way to build a strong team of valued employees. In today’s world, feeling validated is an important part of feeling like you’re part of a team and a company’s mission, which is needed more than ever before.

Life is busy, business is always changing and fast-paced, and the personal challenges of life can feel overwhelming for some of your employees. Giving them a night, day, or weekend of fun, celebrating achievements, could end up helping your employees and co-workers more than you even realize.

If you run a large and fast-paced company, it is possible you do not have the time to sit down with each team member and give them a pat on the back. Awards ceremonies allow you to focus on core skills and talents your team members have, and it gives you the chance to recognize them and their skills as a major asset to your vision and goals. You can also focus on the ways their expertise and talents have improved the company.

As with anything, planning a successful corporate event or office party in Des Moines really begins with proper planning. You will not be able to cover every single detail; however, having a plan is your framework for a successful event.

If you have a plan and choose a purpose for your event, your co-workers will know exactly what to expect and can plan accordingly and prepare. You can do this by deciding on your intended outcome for the event, choosing the right one that all employees can participate in, and by putting out an agenda outlining everything about your corporate party.

Putting together an office party or corporate retreat doesn’t need to be complicated or outlandish; it should serve a purpose and help build on company culture in some way. While it may be stressful to plan the right event, consider some of the above suggestions, and don’t forget to have some fun in the process.

5 Essential Elements of a Successful Corporate Event in Iowa

Running a company means juggling a lot of different balls, and not all of those balls have to do with the bottom line. A company needs to worry about its employees, too — while there is a lot bantered about when it comes to morale, milestones need to be celebrated and employees need time together outside of the office. That informal time is needed for more than mere morale but to also show that people are more than their position. Plus, they need some time to build informal relationships outside of the office to have stronger relationships inside it. And when your employees are happy and get along well, they’re likely to be more productive and less likely to quit on you.

An Event to Match Your Company Culture

A corporate event is any event outside of the office that provides employees an informal environment to build relationships. While that sounds sort of stuffy, this can mean anything from a casino night to a paintball game. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it allows people to drop their workday facades and build real relationships. It’s just a matter of finding the right corporate event theme that will excite and engage the most people. Pay attention to your employees’ primary age demographic and their interests. It can help to listen in on water cooler conversations and pay attention to the open chat channels on Slack.

The Right Location

For basic corporate event themes, company owners do not need to make too big of a stretch. The nature of the state itself offers a number of different options, and sometimes it can be interesting to see what people do for fun. The basic key is to find events that force some level of conversation; tickets to the State Fair may be popular, but as the employees are more likely to go at different times and disperse even if they arrive together, it does not exactly help create any real camaraderie. Conversely, a hunting trip is definitely going to forge friendships among those that attend, but they are unlikely  to be well-received by the entire company. The goal is to find some sort of event that works for as many people as possible.

A Great Theme

For corporate event themes, Iowa offers quite a bit and by exploring those themes available, something is bound to click. A great theme to consider is the casino night; it is almost always one that that goes over well and will definitely be something that will be talked about for weeks. For casino themed corporate events Iowa companies usually rent out a place, such as a hall or a hotel, and then make sure that they decorate the location as much as they can. There are some games that are almost mandatory, such as roulette, blackjack, and poker, and there needs to be plenty of food and drink available. These all set up an atmosphere that makes celebrating almost difficult not to do.

Casino-themed corporate events in Iowa tend to pull people together because of the competition, food and drink, and the ending auction that provides a great capper for the evening. All of these elements come together to create a happening that makes something that others want to attend. It provides people a chance to dress up and a reason to hire a babysitter, so that alone makes the night worth going to. For those looking for something interesting, casino night offers everything that employees are looking for in an event and that employers look for in morale-building events. By creating casino themed corporate events Iowa, companies can solve a number of morale issues.

But there are more ideas for corporate event entertainment outside of the casino theme. A barbecue is always going to be popular, especially if run like a potluck with competitions. While not everyone will want to compete or even judge, that does not matter; the goal is to provide a way for everyone to get together. Those that provide the food link to those that eat, especially if the food is good, and people who compete will forge their own relationships. Even those who merely attend will find ways to connect to others, either by being encouraged to talk or finding something that they like as much as others. The key is not the theme, but making sure that your employees come together.

Good Food and Fun Prizes

Throw in a good buffet, some great desserts, and some decent drink, and the guests will usually provide the party. It does help to offer prizes for the games, however, as this incentivizes people to come out of their shells, participate, and socialize. They’re particularly important for some themes, such as a casino themed corporate event. Here are some ideas for good prizes to offer at your company event:

  • Gift baskets
  • Gift cards
  • Cash
  • Paid time off
  • Company swag
  • Gadgets

Focus on the People

No matter how much fun you plan to have with the event, never lose sight of what’s most important: your employees. Using a professional event company can be very helpful for making sure that you have all your bases covered, making the most of your budget, and maximizing the results of the event. It also takes a lot of stress off the shoulders of whoever’s been charged with coordinating the event, as they probably haven’t done something like this before, and asking them to work on the event on top of their usual workload can produce an effect opposite of what you’re intending.

At Chicago Casino Rentals, our mission is to provide our clients with a flawless casino experience. As a full service, all-inclusive casino event provider, we offer the equipment and staff necessary to ensure the smooth operation of your next casino event or casino party. Our selection of casino grade equipment and our professional, energetic casino dealers are guaranteed to fully engage and entertain your guests in a unique and memorable fashion. Get a quote today!

How to Plan a Successful Casino-Themed Party

Casino-themed parties are perfect for adults who enjoy gambling and getting dressed up for the evening. With the right selection of casino party games, your guests can bet without losing big. If you want to host a casino-themed party, then there are a few important steps to take to ensure it’s a hit. Here’s a guide to planning a high-rolling casino night. 

Set a Budget

Knowing your budget in advance is essential to determine how much you can afford on the food, decorations, and venue. There should also be extra wiggle room in your budget for unexpected costs that arise. You may need to order more food if extra guests RSVP at the last minute. Look for deals before shopping around and compare prices from vendors to get the best rates.

Select a Theme

Choosing a fun and exciting theme for your party will impress guests and get everyone in the mood to gamble. Whether you want to capture the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas or channel 007 with a Casino Royale–themed party, the theme you choose will give you a direction while choosing decorations, food, and games. 

For a traditional casino night, consider a black, white, and red theme with plenty of dice and playing card decorations. You can use green table cloths on guest tables to make it look like a card table and even include neon signs to mimic the Vegas strip. Transform your venue with plenty of drapes, drinks, and dim lighting. Establishing a dress code will also ensure that everyone looks the part once they arrive.

Plan a Menu

The food and drinks you choose for your menu should accommodate hungry guests and encourage them to stay longer. Consider serving alcohol beverages, punch, and water at a station in the venue. You can also hire a bartender if it works within your budget. 

For food, hire a caterer to ensure there’s a variety of options available. Finger foods are ideal for serving throughout the event, but you can also include a main course. A meat carving station is a great option that will allow your guests to come back for seconds. Make the dessert table work around your casino theme with brownies that look like a pair of dice and spade-shaped cookies.

Choose Your Games

Choose casino party games that complement your guestlist. If you and your friends have a favorite table game, then you can focus your efforts there. That said, it’s a good idea to provide a variety of games so that new and experienced casino-goers alike can enjoy themselves. Some popular games to consider include:

You can even rent a money wheel for the more casual gamblers in your party. Whether you choose to focus your efforts on one game or want to include a variety of options, you guests are sure to enjoy the thrill casino-style table games bring to the party.

Hire Dealers

Hiring dealers for your event allows guests to interact with real professionals. Dealers should be skilled in dealing the cards and dishing out the chips. Look for someone who is outgoing, engaging, and will allow your guests to have fun throughout the night as they participate in the various games. Professional dealers can be hired through a local casino rental company.

Rent Gaming Tables

There are a few casino theme party rentals you’ll need to accommodate your guests. Gaming table rentals not only elevate the event but also provide guests with an authentic casino experience. The number of tables you need will depend on how many people you expect to attend the party. 

For a party that’s fun for all, you want everyone to have a seat at the table. Send out invitations well in advance of your event so guests have the opportunity to RSVP. Once you have your guest list, you can finalize your casino party rental selections. 

Give Out Prizes

Part of the fun of hosting a casino night is giving out prizes to guests and rewarding the best players. Gift cards are an ideal prize instead of giving out cash. You can also give out gift baskets full of casino-themed goodies like playing cards and chocolate coins. Other prizes like televisions or electronics will also incentivize the winners.

By creating an outline and knowing the different details that need to be planned in advance for your casino-themed party, you can have all of your bases covered. The event can go on without a hitch for a memorable and fun evening with your family members, friends or coworkers.

Iowa Casino & Poker Rentals provides full-service casino event party planning throughout the state of Iowa. From casino equipment rentals to skilled bartenders, we give you with everything you need to pull off a memorable event. Reach out to us for a free quote.