It’s readily accepted that having a positive company culture provides advantages in the marketplace. If developing a company culture that attracts and retains employees is the goal, then how does a company go about making that happen? It all starts with appreciating the value a company’s employees bring to the organization.
According to a recent article from blogger Nick Kasik, he states, “Loyalty is a two-way street. When your employees feel that they are a part of the process, the building of the culture, and the business as a whole, they will feel they are a part of the success… As they should. Because they are. As simplistic as that sounds, it is a radical departure of the cultures of past.”
Kasik cites three components that are integral to building a solid company culture. And, it’s hard to disagree with his assessment.
Be relevant and meaningful
Employees want their employer to understand them as human beings, having a firm grasp of what is important to them. They want a relationship where they feel as if they are a part of something meaningful, playing an important part within the organization. Treating all employees the same simply doesn’t work because different employees value different things.
Regardless if an employee values money, time, recognition, or otherwise, there is something that makes every employee tick. Think of how you feel if you take part in an event and win, and then come to find that everyone who participated got a trophy. It makes winning kind of pointless, right? The same thing holds true at work.
As Kasik said in his blog, “If everyone gets the same bonus, pay, or treatment for different outcomes, then it’s not personal. And if it is not personal, it’s not meaningful. Companies should instead explore ways to create flexibility in their rewards programs that allows employees to apply them in ways that are personally fulfilling.”
Looking at it from a personal perspective, nothing is more valuable to me than time. Sure, I value money highly, but I understand that time is the most valuable asset in the universe. Once time runs out, the money really doesn’t mean much, does it?
For me, the way a company can appeal to me personally is by understanding how much I value time and reward me for a job well done with time off. Some people may prefer a bonus check while others may prefer to be publicly recognized in front of their peers. We are all different. I couldn’t care less if someone gets up in front of the room to tell me I did a good job, but I would be ecstatic if I could earn an extra day off here and there because I applied myself and produced quality work. That’s what is relevant to me. Companies need to think in these terms to truly make a long-lasting connection with their employees.
Appeal to the individual
I am unique. So is every other employee. Companies would be wise to get to know their employees on a personal level and find out what is truly important to each and every one of them. Then, create a unique plan for each person that helps the employee achieve what he or she strives to achieve.
Maybe one employee desires a four-day work week, while another one wants to make more money. The third employee may crave professional development in hopes of a better job title. Why can’t each employee have their own pay scale, work hours, ability to work from where they work best and under conditions that are ideal for maximum production?
Companies need to reimagine how they attract - and retain - employees by giving them what they desire, resulting in keeping them happier and more engaged.
Invest in fun
I’ve met a lot of people in my life and almost all of them have jobs. The funny thing is, I never met anyone who works because they want to; they work because they need to. While working may be a necessary way of life for those not born into a fortune or gifted with the ability to regularly hit a baseball 400 feet, employees will eventually lose interest if their interests don’t align with the company’s way of operating. Eventually, without alignment, employees will lose interest and look elsewhere for employment opportunities. Who wants to work at a place where they are miserable most of the time?
Kasik made another notable point when he said, “Any culture that integrates having fun as equally important as getting things done, is set up for a culture of employee productivity, engagement, and loyalty. Who would ever do anything to leave a job that they absolutely love coming to every day? Don’t just make time for fun, but invest in having fun. Make it a priority.”
When work is fun, it really doesn’t feel like work at all, and that’s the difference between creating a culture that attracts versus having a culture that repels.