Company culture is now more critical than ever. It’s not that company culture was ever unimportant, but it’s quickly proving to be a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have.”
Ensuring employees are happy and good staff are retained is essential for successful businesses, not only is it a costly exercise having to replace staff, the opportunity cost from productivity lost can also be significantly impactful.
Many studies have shown that employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, engaged and loyal to their companies.
Here are a ten tips to help keep employees happy while fostering a thriving culture:
1. Have a strong vision and values and actually use them-having a clear company vision and defined values is good, but significantly more important is the effective communication and actual demonstration of these. Having them written down and displayed for employees and customers to see means nothing if they are not being genuinely followed on all levels, particularly by management. Specifically reflecting on these when any decisions are being made is what it’s all about.
2. Be transparent and communicate – a recent study found that the No. 1 contributor to employee happiness is transparency. Money and promotions are important, but what people want to know is the actual truth about the state of the company. The cost of improving transparency is almost zero, but it requires an ongoing dialogue between management and staff that is often neglected or not consistently conveyed.
3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T- put simply it comes down to treating employees how you would want to be treated yourself. If they do a great job, let them know. If they make a mistake, let them know that they are human and figure out how to prevent it from happening again.
4. Advocate professional development- providing developmental support, such as training opportunities and career mentoring, to employees is a proven method of keeping and retaining staff. It is critical for businesses to have regular career planning discussions with their employees. As part of training and development, make sure employees are aware of the different types of career paths or job opportunities throughout the company.
5. Provide flexibility- Sometimes someone has a situation where for example they can continue working for your company but not fulltime, perhaps they feel they need to spend time with family or to take over while someone is sick. Rather than lose their goodwill, morale and productivity, or worse still losing them altogether, why not allow that flexibility? As long as they can continue to contribute, there’s no reason to penalise them.
6. Make work -life balance a genuine priority- top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organisation and have a positive work experience that is part of a rich and fulfilling life. Don’t just use lip service for this topic, have initiatives that will address it and get input from your staff on how to actually make it work for your organisation.
7. Recognise and reward employees- achievement and recognition are high motivators for employees. Recognising staff can be done in numerous and cost effective ways. Try introducing a reward and recognition program into your business if you haven’t already done so and make sure you communicate what it involves.
8. Help employees be healthier-employers are increasingly realising the importance that health and productivity programs can play in their efforts to control absenteeism and maintaining a productive workforce. By introducing health and wellness initiatives such as gym membership discounts, reimbursing gym attendance, having fruit available in the office etc. can all contribute to the critical health and wellbeing of your employees.
9. Make employees part of the big picture- one of the paramount benefits you can provide to your employees is the opportunity to make a difference through their work and help guide the course of the company. Providing clear and frequent communication on what’s happening in the business, individual and department direction, and big-picture company direction make all the difference for employee happiness and engagement.
10. Track and measure -you can try using online surveying of the workforce to gauge satisfaction levels and areas needing improvement and use this as a bench mark to help enhance your company culture and increase your employee engagement and happiness levels in the future.
Richard Branson hits the nail on the head with his quote ‘clients do not come first, employees come first- if you take care of your employees they will take care of the clients’. Successful companies are adopting this mentality and their employees and customers are thanking them for it.
For professional support in marketing your business and enhancing your company culture and internal communications, please contact Reality Marketing, find out more at www.realitymarketing.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org