Company culture can best be summed up as the values held and demonstrated by both the company leadership and its employees. What a company places value in communicates to its employees how they should feel about the work they do and what their work expectations are. Company culture is becoming increasingly important both for those entering the workforce and those with experience, as the precedent is set by companies across fields on ways companies can help employees thrive in the workplace. If you’re wondering how to improve your employee retention rates, here are a few key things employees are looking for that can help turn your job into a career.
Set New Hires Up for Success
Employees who are given a solid footing at the very beginning of their time with the company are more able to thrive in the first few months, and are in turn less likely to become dissatisfied or feel burnt out. Setting up new hires for success starts before you even offer candidates the position. Providing all of the necessary tools for a candidate to rock their interview demonstrates that your company is well put together and can assist as well as lead. These tools include a description of the interviewing round process, or a list of any documents your recruiters need to see on the day of the interview. Providing all the necessary materials and detailed training early on gives new hires the tools to succeed and the motivation to prove themselves over time.
Open Communication on All Levels
Communicating expectations, needs, and any issues is a vital part of employee retention at any point in their career. A lack of guidance leaves employees feeling forgotten or unsure of their duties—and a lack of feedback can do the same. While not knowing what you are expected to do can be disheartening at work, not knowing why what you do matters to the company can be even worse. Open up communication channels between your employees and their leads as much as possible and schedule regular check-ins or performance reviews that communicate both the employee’s successes and their areas of opportunity.
Compensate Employees Fairly
If employees went to work solely motivated by a love for what they do, they would be out volunteering. Understanding that your employees have needs beyond affording food and rent and reflecting that understanding in their pay gives employees faith that the company is as invested in their well-being. Benefits packages and employee perks should play a role in employee compensation, but these should be considered added motivation to stay with the company. Benefits are a great consideration, on top of a competitive pay package that reflects their academic background and product knowledge, work history, duties, and commitment.
Though considered somewhat of a taboo in US culture, being open with employees about what their peers are paid can improve an employee’s perception of the company. In this regard, transparency allows an employee to feel secure about their pay and feel they are being compensated fairly. No matter the topic, the more openly a company approaches it, the more trust an employee will be willing to place in the company.
Maintain a Reasonable Work-Life Balance
The responsibility to strike a good work-life balance lands on both the employee and the employer. By encouraging employees to take care of themselves, invest in their communities, and spend time with family and friends, an employer can increase employee motivation at work and dedication to the company. Employees need time set aside to focus on themselves that can come in the form of holidays, company-run non-work events (yoga sessions, extended lunches, company excursions), or additional paid time off (PTO).
Different types of work will demand different kinds of work-life balances, but one of the biggest things a company can do to care for employees is to be respectful of their time itself. Having a large enough or organized staff that keeps emergency call-ins and mandatory overtime as infrequent as possible tells employees that you understand they have responsibilities beyond your company.
Offer Clear Paths for Growth
Employees who feel they have stagnated within a department or company are more inclined to begin looking for more fulfilling work elsewhere. To combat this, make paths for growth clear and accessible. Lay out early what the procedure is for employees who are looking to advance their careers and when they do reach out, provide them with a list of actionable items that once met, would leave that employee in the best possible standing for promotion or transfer. Even when no such paths exist, provide opportunities for personal growth, such as further training or education that the employee can take advantage of.
Give Recognition and Show Appreciation
Finally, simply recognizing the accomplishments of your employees is a great way to make them feel valued in the workplace. When leadership notes good work or correct actions in a private space, such as through reviews, employees see that higher-ups are paying attention to the effort they put in. In more public spaces, such as in meetings or during company events, acknowledgment of an employee’s success can be a big way to let them know they are important to the entire team and to the company itself.
On top of fair pay and benefits, incentivizing great work ethic and following through on those incentives can be a way to show employees that they are appreciated. Giving clearly defined goals that lead to rewards when met allows employees to set their own personal goal markers to strive towards and when those rewards are earned, celebrating that accomplishment adds to its importance and motivates them to do it again next time. For longer-term accomplishments or daily contributions to the company, acknowledging employees with an award or trophy gives them a tangible answer to all of their efforts that they can display with pride. Thank you plaques are a tasteful and professional way to show an employee just how much you appreciate their work.
As conversations about positive work environments and the value of labor in today’s market continue, it’s vital that companies ask themselves how to improve employee retention rates and what the company’s role is in ensuring that employees feel that the company is a good fit. Show your employees how much you appreciate the effort and time they put into your organization to incentivize not only higher productivity, but also their further investment in the company.