How To Build A Company Culture That Retains The Best Employees
So you’ve finally hired an experienced, capable new staff member. Are you sure you can convince them to stick around long-term?
Are you having trouble retaining your staff? To be blunt, the problem is undoubtedly company culture.
The way your team feels at work every day, the way they’re managed and encouraged, and the people they work with directly influence their degree of satisfaction on the job.
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention compensation—it may surprise you to learn that money is not the key determining factor in a given company’s culture or your staff’s job satisfaction.
By developing the right social environment at your workplace, you can build real loyalty and engagement among your team members. I like to think our company has an effective culture, which we’re continuing to improve day by day.
Here are three key components to our process for doing so…
3 Building Blocks For A Winning Company Culture
Hire For Character Over Knowledge
A widespread effect of the pandemic is the mass retirement of older-generation professionals in the field. When faced with the prospect of pivoting to a fully virtual work environment, many of the experts that were only a few years from retirement decided to exit early.
This has left us with a bit of a vacuum in terms of skills and experience. As novice professionals graduate from college and enter the industry, they won’t be able to directly take on the role of those who left with decades of experience.
However, this isn’t as big of an issue as you might think. In fact, this is a great opportunity to think about the way you hire. Consider looking for new hires that have the right character, and match your culture. The rest can be managed through training and on-the-job experience.
Case in point: everyone knows you need smart people on your team to succeed, but it’s important to note that the intelligence trait is far more about EQ (emotional intelligence) than IQ (conventional intelligence), which is especially important in the IT industry, as well as every other field of work.
It’s so much easier to find someone with technical skills and education than it is to find someone that understands how to communicate effectively and empathize with others. That’s why we make such an effort when looking for a new hire to hold out for those that have just as high an EQ as they do IQ.
Make Sure Your Staff Is Motivated
Motivation is a vital part of a healthy workplace environment. Properly motivated people are healthier and happier across the board. They are more productive, and the work they get done is often of a higher quality than it would be otherwise.
On the other hand, a lack of motivation can be absolutely crushing. It makes it more likely that you’ll procrastinate, waste time, and turn in a poor product at the end of it all. Unmotivated work can quickly lead to depression and worse.
That’s why it’s so important to think critically about the role motivation plays in your work and the work done by your coworkers or employees. If you can figure out what motivates you, you can ensure it’s a regular part of your daily life, helping to increase your workplace satisfaction and workplace culture as a whole.
So, off the top of your head, what would you think is the number one workplace motivator? Social engagement? Business location? Money?
You might be surprised—TINYpulse recently anonymously surveyed 200,000 workers to find out what really motivates people in the modern workplace. The report, titled The 7 Key Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace, considered a number of different possible factors tied to and resulting from employee motivation, including employee engagement, retention, organizational culture, and more.
Interestingly enough, the top five polled motivators for employees were:
- Camaraderie and peer motivation (20%)
- Intrinsic desire to do a good job (17%)
- Feeling encouraged and recognized (13%)
- Having a real impact (10%)
- Growing professionally (8%)
It’s surprising, right? Expected motivators, like salary, or opportunity for promotion, didn’t even place in the top five. Instead, those polled showed that they are motivated primarily by the culture developed by themselves and their coworkers, as well as their innate desire to be good at what they do.
It’s an extremely encouraging reality, especially compared to what most would assume. Rather than the ruthless and self-serving motivations you may expect from the majority of those in the working world, you find out that people actually usually have more heartfelt motivations.
Don’t Be Afraid To Invest In Your Staff
One challenge many managers have with corporate culture is the possible end effect of offering professional development. That is, if you invest in your employees so that they can grow and improve, won’t they just move on to another job that pays more, and benefits from your investment?
It’s a possibility—however, in the time that you have the employee, they’re likely to do better work than they would if you weren’t investing in them. I believe—and have found—that the opposite is true.
The more you invest in your employees, the more valued they feel, and the more likely they’ll stay, as well as contribute to a high-quality service offering and an engaged workplace culture. That’s not to mention that I’m more afraid of not training my employees, and having them stick around.
I may have saved a buck by not getting them that specific certification, but it’s not likely they’ll be contributing much to my business anyway. That’s what this is all about after all—I invest time and money in my employees, so they, in turn, invest their effort and loyalty into our company. Lastly, if you have a compelling enough corporate culture, that’s all the more reason for the employee to choose to stay with your business.
Good Company Culture Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
The best part of this process is that your work recedes over time. Once you get the ball rolling, the culture improves itself every time you hire another contributing team member. When you add people to your team that appreciate and benefit from your positive work culture, they, in turn, contribute to it, which only helps it to grow.
This is opposed to hiring people who are just in it for the money, who won’t have anything positive to add to the workplace environment. With an enthusiastic and engaged staff, I then had the opportunity to get them involved with initiatives that would improve our culture.
Also, while I may not be able to directly assist with the development of your company culture, I wanted to let you know that I can help with your team’s on-the-job satisfaction, specifically when it comes to technology. If your team is fed up with apps and hardware that continually fail to meet their needs, it can slowly erode their sense of satisfaction at work, greatly affecting company culture.
My team and I can help—we’ll optimize the tools your staff uses every day to ensure they make their lives easier, not harder. Book a meeting with us to get started.
John Boden is a Managing Partner at QuestingHound, Inc., a Deerfield Beach IT support company that has been helping small businesses in South Florida stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business the past 18 years. He promotes a culture that is dedicated to the highest standard of ethics, hard work, and outstanding customer service. Connect with John on LinkedIn.