A rewarding work culture is just as essential as compensation – if not more so.
Employees say company culture is a top priority for potential jobs, which means a positive workplace culture is more crucial than ever.
To create a positive work culture, offer attractive benefits and perks to entice new talent and provide the right environment to keep them long term.
While fair and competitive compensation is critical, keeping employees happy requires more than just a paycheck.
This article is for employers looking to improve hiring and retention rates for top talent.
Business success requires myriad elements supporting and executing a company’s mission and vision. Employees are perhaps the most vital element of a company’s operations and growth, providing a face to customers and an essential backbone supporting all its endeavors.
Attracting and retaining top talent is a top priority for most businesses, but not every company can compete in a salary-driven contest. Fortunately, every organization can shore up its workplace culture to create a positive, supportive atmosphere that can mean as much – or more than – money.
We’ll look at the importance of company culture in hiring and retaining excellent employees and share tips on creating a positive culture where your team will thrive.
Why company culture matters
There’s been a shift away from employees accepting a less-than-stellar workplace culture even if compensation is adequate. If you want to attract and keep excellent employees, you must create and maintain a positive company culture.
Here’s why company culture matters:
Potential employees strongly consider workplace culture. A landmark 2019 Glassdoor survey that polled over 5,000 workers from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany found that 77 percent would “consider a company’s culture” before seeking a job there. Another 56 percent said a good workplace culture was “more important than salary” for job satisfaction. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents from four countries said they “would not apply to a company unless its values align with [their] own personal values.”
Toxic work environments drive overall turnover. Today’s employees won’t stand for a toxic work environment. Amid the pandemic-induced Great Resignation – which saw record employment turnover – workers seemed to reevaluate their priorities. MIT Sloan research revealed that toxic work environment complaints are the No. 1 reason driving turnover in various industries, drastically overshadowing other issues.
Younger employees are more likely to switch jobs. Lever’s 2022 Great Resignation report revealed that 65 percent of Gen Z employees are likely to stay at their jobs for less than a year and are more than twice as likely to leave their jobs in the next month. They leave jobs in droves because they’re seeking a professional fit that aligns with their desires – and they’ll take a pay cut if a job is worthwhile.
Employee retention is more challenging than ever. In the aftermath of the Great Resignation, it’s been crucial for companies to find ways to retain employees and bring in new talent. Companies view employees as investments – but employees also view their employers as an investment. Companies that prioritize flexibility and employee happiness in their cultures seem to improve retention rates and can draw new prospects.
How to create a positive company culture
A positive company culture is a vital element of growing your business and team. If you create a culture that offers personal and professional growth, that will attract employees that want to be challenged and invested in their jobs.
Here’s how to build a better, more positive work culture:
Hold performance assessments to improve company culture. Performance reviews can be a chore, but they can significantly impact your team’s growth when done thoughtfully and with care. Reviewing employees’ progress and welcoming their feedback can improve relationships and boost productivity. Regular reviews can foster a company culture of support and improvement.
Conduct employee surveys to improve company culture. Proactively seeking feedback via employee surveys can help a company grow and improve while demonstrating to employees how valuable they are. Soliciting employee input gives management and owners a chance to view their organization from different perspectives. When they implement employee suggestions, everyone wins.
Flexible work schedules improve company culture. Flexible schedule options are a creative way for businesses to show employees they’re valued, even if they can’t provide a salary increase. Company cultures that accept various work schedules are more likely to appeal to new candidates. Businesses with strong post-pandemic “return to office” mandates have been met with resistance from people accustomed to working from home and benefiting from flexible work policies.
Career development opportunities improve company culture. Organizations that encourage professional growth and offer a career trajectory tend to retain employees. When companies offer new hire training programs, mentorship programs and promotion paths, they foster a workplace culture of support and ensure better long-term employment rates.
Stress-reduction measures improve company culture. Work is often a source of stress for many employees, whether or not they love their job. Deadlines, pressure and multitasking can lead to employee burnout. If you find ways to create a stress-free work environment, you can help keep top-tier talent and appeal to excellent candidates.
Emphasizing your mission improves company culture. People want to work for companies they believe in, so it’s crucial to have a clear and defined mission statement and vision statement that jive with current employees’ and potential applicants’ views. The Glassdoor survey revealed that 66 percent of respondents said a clear mission is important for staying engaged at work. Clearly communicating your mission sets a company direction employees are happy to follow.
What else contributes to employee happiness?
A positive company culture contributes to happy employees, but there are other factors. Here are a few additional ways to ensure a satisfied workforce.
Offer fair and competitive compensation. The easiest way to make an employee happy, outside of a strong culture, is to provide fair and competitive compensation. If you understand the market and your industry’s demands, that gives you an advantage in maintaining and growing a workforce. The costs of hiring employees are significant, so landing and keeping the right candidates is critical. Routinely improve wages as much as possible, and promote from within. Keeping your wages competitive and anticipating the market is part of building a great culture that boosts employee engagement.
Trust employees. Employees value feeling trusted at work. Typically, trust is built over time, so longer-term employees should be able to reap the benefits of trust and respect. A culture of trust also helps in the hiring process. Seeing employees with autonomy and freedom will appeal to job candidates who want that level of trust in their careers.
Offer the best benefits possible. Creating a great employee benefits plan that includes a paid time off (PTO) policy can go a long way toward attracting new hires and keeping excellent current employees, even if your pay isn’t as high as some competitors.
A good company culture reaps rewards
In today’s employment climate, companies face the challenge of finding the right candidates as they expand. To attract the best talent, businesses must consider various structures, including on-site, hybrid and remote, as well as attractive employee perks like flexible schedules and paid time off.
While everyone wants high pay, there’s a limit on what employees are willing to sacrifice to get it. A strong company culture can safeguard your business by fostering employee happiness and long-term goodwill.