According to a recent study from the ManpowerGroup, last year marked a 10 year high in talent shortage. 45% of global employers that participated in the study experienced challenges filling jobs. What this means for employers of all sizes is that it’s more important than ever to retain the highly skilled employees that you do have.
Rather than relying on costly recruiting efforts among a dwindling talent pool, companies should focus on transforming their workplace into haven for top talent.
How to Transform Your Business into a Best Place to Work
It doesn’t happen overnight, but with a genuine commitment to improving workplace culture, companies can turn “thankless jobs” into fulfilling careers for their employees. What this requires is a survey of the current state of employee satisfaction and acting upon those findings to better cater your workplace to your employees’ unique needs. Here are 4 of the most universally recognized tips employers can take to improve employee satisfaction:
1. Walk the Walk
Whether an employee intends to stay with your company for decades or is determined to climb every rung of your corporate later, she will eventually familiarize herself with your company culture and the role that your leadership team plays in how your organization functions. The correlation between company culture and that company’s higher ups is often very transparent to employees that have been around for more than a few weeks.
If you want to foster a working environment that supports both driven and loyal employees, you’ll need to ensure that your leadership has an active role in integrating AND demonstrating your company values.
2. Know How to Grow Yourself and Your Employees
There are few things more frustrating than unrealized potential. Feeling as though you or the company you work for is stagnating is a surefire way to develop the itch to move on to something greater.
Don’t lose the confidence of your highly talented team members and new hires. Demonstrate the structure and strategy needed to support stable business growth by reinvesting into your business. Once you do grow, remember what got you there. Employees know when they’re asked to do more because of recent company growth, but aren’t compensated (either through a bonus, raise or promotion) accordingly.
Employees also know when they aren’t fulfilling their own potential. Offer your employees a comprehensive and customizable continued learning program that fosters their personal and professional growth. From highly technical workshops to programs focused on developing soft skills, there’s a lot that employers can offer their team to make them better workers and people.
3. Offer Provably Desired Benefits
While stepping into a stunning high-rise office suite with a fully-stocked bar and a luxurious lounge area sounds nice in theory, is it really what’s going to offer the greatest ROI for your benefits budget? It’s important to distinguish the notion that what looks good for your company image in a trade magazine or on social media, won’t always translate into something that’s truly beneficial to your employees.
Don’t assume that what’s trendy OR what’s tried and true is what your employees want until you’ve actually asked them. You may find that some employees would love a more social and vibrant working environment. You may also find that some employees would prefer to work-from-home. Find the right balance that suits your unique situation.
4. Give Employees Regular Recognition
For founders and executives, recognition and company success go hand in hand. However, the same can’t always be said for entry and mid-level employees. If your business regularly holds employees accountable for their mistakes, then it’s crucial to at least spend equal time celebrating their achievements.
It’s innate to want to feel recognized for your hard work. After all, your full-time employees spend at least a third of their weekdays working for your company. Dedicating this amount of time to one place with little to no recognition can quickly have employees feeling replaceable, which is the antithesis of a positive working environment.
Something as simple as a quick 5 minute conversation or a personalized email from a manager or executive can ensure your employees feel seen AND appreciated. You can also infuse employee recognition into your company culture by celebrating wins in company-wide, inter-department and department meetings. Your company is nothing without its employees and expressing gratitude is free, so make regular employee recognition part of your culture if you want to be one of the “Best Places to Work” in your industry.
Leverage Your Amazing Culture
If you’ve done the work to make your organization a truly employee-friendly workplace, you can leverage your culture to attract top applicants and media outlets. Not only will your company benefit from happier employees (which in turn can translate to improved productivity and reduced turnover), but your positive working environment can be a PR gold mine. If your employees are genuinely happy, asking them to fill out a positive review on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or provide a video testimonial that can be displayed on your careers page, should be easy.
This will solidify your company as a great place to work for prospective applicants and draw in highly talented professionals within your industry that are itching for something greater.
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