Recruiting, hiring and employee retention are so much easier when you have a work environment that attracts good people. How can you build a workplace your employees enjoy so much that they talk about it with their friends and work to build a career within your company? A workplace where they "want" to come to work versus "have "to. A lot of speakers/writers on this subject tend to point to workplaces of mega- companies like Southwest, Apple or Zappos as models of the best workplaces. While these stories are entertaining and even inspiring, we find that many local companies have a hard time translating the experiences of these giant companies into their workplace.
Below are some characteristics of a great workplace that any company can implement regardless of size or budget. Let me know what you think in the comments below and please add your own tips to creating a great workplace!
When employees talk about how great their workplace is, they usually talk about their leadership. In fact Research indicates that the single most important factor to drive employee engagement and retention is the Immediate Manager Working Relationship. Therefore, in order to create an environment your employees will talk about and encourage others to join, make sure you have great leadership with a clear vision on corporate goals and a plan for getting there.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Some companies expect perfection from their employees and will settle for nothing less. This attitude automatically sets employees up for failure at some point along their career path. The pressure will inhibit even your most innovative employees from making suggestions or effecting change. This is not the kind of publicity you want spread across their network of friends.
Being transparent with corporate direction and the reasons behind company decisions is an excellent way to build trust between management and the workforce. Potential candidates will be drawn to an environment where they feel they are included and important to the process.
Encourage Creative Thinking
Empower your employees to bring their creative juices to work, make suggestions and implement innovative ideas without fear of “rocking the boat”. Employees like to work where they feel their thoughts and ideas are valued.
Provide the Necessary Tools
People cannot do their job if they do not have the right tools. It may be a computer with a strong graphics application or access to specialized training. Performing a task without everything you need to do a good job can be very frustrating. A competitor who has all the right tools will begin to look very attractive.
Create opportunities where co-workers can get together in social activities outside the workplace. When workers feel connected to their co-workers and value them as friends as well as peers, it can be more difficult to consider leaving for another job.
Asking your employees to give some serious thought to “turning things upside down” and keeping an open mind to their suggestions can be very worthwhile for retention purposes. Abandon outdated thinking and involve your workforce in helping you re-shape processes to better drive the company forward.
Define the Mission
Involve employees in the mission of the organization. Everyone likes to feel they are a part of something successful and they played an important role in the success of the company.
Whether it is the excellent work of an individual or a milestone in the corporate history, take the opportunity to celebrate and include the employees in the celebration. Workers enjoy public recognition for their efforts. Celebrations such as this will motivate everyone to give 110% going forward.
Create Growth Opportunities
Employees want to know there is a plan for their career growth and development and the company is committed to helping them along the way through training and mentoring. As employees move up the corporate ladder, it is more difficult for them to consider going elsewhere, knowing they can achieve their personal goals with their current employer.
A great workplace is, in fact, a great place to work. Employees who are happy in their work environment are more productive, more efficient and more successful. Employees who are happy in their work environment are less likely to leave in search of other opportunities and are more likely to encourage others in their network to apply for positions within the organization.
What are you doing to create a great workplace at your company? We'd love to hear from you. Post a comment below!