As a business owner or manager, you probably have many goals. You want to attract and retain customers, increase output, and grow sales and revenue. But here's another objective it pays to focus on: establishing a positive company culture that keeps employees happy.
Company culture is so important these days that it's actually the No. 1 reason why millennials quit their jobs. And given the cost of onboarding and training, it often makes financial sense to encourage workers to stay where they are rather than continuously have to invest in new employees.
So what can you do, as a business owner or manager, to create a company culture that's appealing to candidates and keeps established workers on board? Here are a few key steps to take.
1. Be open to flexible work arrangements
These days, workers of all ages crave flexibility, whether it's the option to set their own hours, compress their workweeks, or telecommute. Not only can flexible work arrangements contribute to a positive company culture but they can also lead to an uptick in productivity. And when that happens, everyone wins.
Keep in mind that if you're used to your employees working a set schedule, you can ease into those flexible arrangements slowly. Start by giving your most established players a little leeway, and work your way up as you evaluate its impact. The key is to be open to the idea so that your employees feel valued and respected.
2. Foster teamwork and collaboration
Encouraging employees to work together is a great way to establish a positive company culture. Therefore, make a point of rewarding team efforts as opposed to focusing only on individual contributions. In other words, don't just give raises to your top performers, as this creates an atmosphere of competitiveness. Rather, incentivize employees to work together so they can benefit jointly.
3. Encourage workers to take vacation
It's an unfortunate statistic that 19% of workers today don't take vacation because their companies pressure them not to. Part of building a positive company culture is recognizing your employees' need to take time away from the office and making it possible for them to do just that. In fact, some companies go so far as to mandate that workers take all of their vacation time, which isn't a bad idea. If you're going to go that route, be sure to implement a backup system so that workers who take time off don't feel unduly stressed about it.
4. Be generous with public praise
Though any sort of acknowledgment for a job well done is something your workers will appreciate, a good way to establish a positive company culture is to dish out that praise publicly. This will encourage others to give out praise rather than withhold it, thus adding to the collaborative environment we talked about earlier.
5. Hold companywide town halls
If your business has a lot of distinct moving parts, it helps to get everyone synced up every so often. And that's where companywide meetings come in. These town halls give different players a chance to meet, interact, and see how their various efforts contribute to the success of the business. It's a great way to motivate employees to work together while helping them learn more about ways to develop their careers.
It's in your best interest to establish a company culture that draws employees in and encourages them to stay put. Not only will you increase your chances of retaining top talent, but you'll develop a solid reputation that works wonders for your business on multiple levels.
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