Hiring talented employees and retaining them within your organization has never been more challenging. The post-COVID-19 world has shifted the employee mindset to value company culture more than ever. Employees are looking for the overall experience of working for a company, not just the job duties and salary. As you look to find your next office superstars, consider the value of culture to attract top talent and keep them happy in their positions.
Why Focus on Culture?
Culture isn’t just about having a ping pong table in the office or weekly team lunches. It’s about creating a positive and inclusive environment where employees feel valued, supported, and inspired to do their best work.
Culture should naturally develop from the positive behaviors that already exist within the company. Culture always needs to be bottom-up, meaning it starts with leadership setting the tone, but it also needs to be organically driven by employees.
Forcing cliche core values and forcing your employees to memorize them isn’t going to do much in terms of creating a positive culture. Instead, focus on fostering communication, trust, and transparency within the organization to create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up and sharing ideas.
A strong company culture can have a major impact on recruiting efforts as well. Job seekers are more likely to apply for positions at companies with a positive workplace culture that aligns with their personal beliefs and values. This leads to a higher caliber of candidates and, a more talented team.
Additionally, employees who feel fulfilled and happy in their work environment are more likely to stay with the company long-term. This not only saves money on recruiting and onboarding costs but also fosters a sense of stability within the organization.
Finally, you should understand that a perfect or best company culture isn’t realistic. Instead, focus on building a culture that is right for your team and communicating the transparency of that culture to potential applicants. Again, it’s about finding the right fit for your culture, not necessarily the best candidate.
The traditional 40-hour, five-day workweek is outdated and unlikely to attract talent. We are not robots that can continuously work without breaks or time to recharge.
Instead, focus on empowering your employees by offering them flexibility in their work schedule and trusting that they will complete their tasks effectively. This allows for a better work-life balance and can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Employees are happier when they have the autonomy and freedom to choose how and when they work, and they often will leave positions in search of roles that do.
As you think about your company culture, flexibility is critical to consider. It can include remote work options, personal time off policies, and parental leave benefits.
Remote options also allow you to expand your network to more candidates and attract a diverse group of talented individuals. The geographically mixed group can bring unique ideas and perspectives into your company.
Invest in Your Employees
A company culture that prioritizes the growth and development of its employees is one that will attract top talent and retain them for the long term. This includes offering professional development opportunities, training, and mentorship programs.
Also, you can create a winning culture by respecting their lives beyond work. Investing in your staff’s well-being through wellness programs, mental health support, and work-life balance initiatives shows that you value them as individuals, not just as employees. What will you offer regarding remote-work options, leave policies, or flexible schedules?
Your company culture should encourage open communication and feedback between management and staff members. This allows for continuous improvement and growth within the organization. Conversely, a company with an autocratic vibe will create a revolving door.
Work is our livelihood and how we take care of ourselves and our families. A significant aspect of company culture is ensuring that employees are fairly compensated for their time and expertise.
Pay disparity can be a major source of dissatisfaction within the workplace and attract negative attention from job seekers. Consider conducting regular salary reviews and offering competitive compensation, including benefits and bonuses, to show your employees that you value their contributions to the company.
Reward work that goes far beyond the call of duty, and be transparent about raises and promotions. Employees will perform for a company that rewards hard integrity and work. Greater demand for job responsibilities or promotions should always have a pay increase.
If increased pay is not an option, you’ll need to get creative with other ways to reward and incentivize your employees, such as offering flexible work options or extra time off.
Burnout is a psychological term when someone experiences physical or emotional exhaustion, detachment from work, and reduced performance. It can have serious consequences for both the individual experiencing it and the company.
It’s ok to push your employees to their fullest potential, but be careful not to cross the line into burnout territory. A culture that encourages too much overtime or constantly sets unrealistic expectations will lead to employee dissatisfaction and increased turnover rates.
Allow for work breaks, vacation time, and encourage employees to step away from their desks and take care of themselves. Burnout not only harms an individual’s performance, but it hurts the company’s bottom line.
The “always-on” mentality is temporary, and employees will eventually become burnt out and move on to a healthier work environment. Instead, prioritize your employees’ well-being and overall satisfaction in the workplace, and they will stay with your company for the long run.
Foster Inclusion and Diversity
If your workplace accommodates various backgrounds and perspectives, it will attract a wider range of talented individuals. This can include race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and abilities.
Inclusion and diversity bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table that can benefit the company in numerous ways. It also shows job seekers that your company values inclusivity, and you’ll cast a larger net to hire top talent.
Some ideas to foster inclusion and diversity are to have employee resource groups, offer sensitivity and cultural competency training, and support diversity initiatives in the community. Allow for flexibility with religious holidays and celebrations, provide accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and have zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
Ideas to Develop a Culture to Retain Employees
Strong company culture does not happen immediately, and creating an environment that draws and retains talent takes work. Here are some ideas to get started on developing a culture that will keep your employees happy and engaged:
- Talk about culture during the hiring process. It should be evident that company culture is a priority, and potential employees should understand what it entails before accepting the job.
- Lead by example. You can’t expect others to care if you don’t. Culture is the behaviors its leaders exhibit, tolerate, and reward.
- Create connections. Isolated employees are not engaged employees. Encourage team building and communication, both in person and through technology.
- Provide growth opportunities. Employees want to know they have room for advancement within the company. Offer training programs and support continued education to show your investment in their personal and professional development.
- Listen to feedback and make changes as needed. Culture constantly evolves, and as your company grows, so should its culture. Stay open to suggestions and make adjustments as necessary.
- Value Employees. Undervalued employees are less likely to stay at an organization for the long hull.
- Stay consistent. Whatever initiatives you decide to take on, make sure they are kept. Employees dislike inconsistency and unclear communication. Make sure you can commit to your changes and stick with them.
- Training. Your culture should be one of continuous learning. There’s always something new to be learned, and encouraging this type of growth shows your investment in the success and development of your employees.
If your company culture isn’t quite where you want it to be, don’t panic. Creating a culture that attracts and retains top talent takes time and effort, but it’s never too late to start. Assess where your company currently stands and make an improvement plan. Remember, culture is not just about perks or benefits. It’s about the values and behaviors that drive your organization’s actions. By creating a positive work culture, you can ensure success for yourself and the company for years to come!