Today’s top candidates demand more from their employers than a generous salary and benefits package. They want to be part of a great company culture that cultivates the sense that their work is much more than just a job.
When you consider the fact that the average person spends 90,000 hours—or a third of their life—at work, it makes sense that employees want to love not just their work, but the company they work for.
As such, if you want to attract qualified talent—and keep it—you can’t skimp when it comes to creating your company culture. Consider the five steps below that’ll help you build a company culture that will attract and retain the top talent in your industry.
Step #1: Build a Foundation
The driving force behind any company culture is its people. But although they’re the ones who are living your culture day-in and day-out, it’s up to you to develop the clear vision, mission, and set of values that’ll set the tone of the company culture your employees will then build on.
Consider the following questions:
- Why does your organization exist?
- What does it want to achieve?
- What are your company’s core values?
- How do you want your employees to feel while they’re at work?
- What standards will you and your employees hold each other to?
The answers to these questions will help you determine the shared ideologies that your team can rally around, and that will subsequently form the basis of your company culture.
As Dann Albright, Staff Writer at Recruitment explains, “Some people say that company culture is the “personality” of your organization. That it is sort of like your internal company brand. It might be called the core of your company, your company’s soul, the glue that holds employees together, and all sorts of other things. In the end, you have to define it for yourself—because it’s absolutely crucial for recruiting and retaining great talent.”
Many companies make the mistake of letting their company culture develop entirely organically. This can work, but it’s risky—especially as your company grows and changes. A solid foundation helps maintain a positive company culture during periods of significant change (or more difficult times).
Step #2: Include Everyone
Tribal mentality is a common problem faced by growing organizations. As teams expand, friendship groups naturally form. While this isn’t inherently a problem, if you’re not careful, this mindset can lead to a toxic environment in which one or more team members feel excluded.
This, in turn, increases staff turnover and can create a negative atmosphere that’s detectable by potential new talent. To prevent this from happening, take steps to ensure everyone feels equally valued, regardless of their alliances within the team.
Make sure the culture you’re creating includes everyone. Consider holding regular events internally to engage employees and make them feel more connected to the company and each other.
Step #3: Collect Regular Feedback
Many businesses neglect to collect regular feedback from their employees, despite it being a crucial component in maintaining a happy and motivated team. Collecting feedback also helps you to define areas of the company—and its culture—that need improvement.
While many paid tools can assist you with collecting feedback, it’s just as easy to create your own feedback forms using a free option like Google Forms.
But what should you ask on feedback forms? The specific questions you pose will depend on the current needs of your organization, but it’s generally worth considering the following:
- Do you feel like you can grow in our organization?
- Does the company provide you with the tools that you need to complete your work effectively?
- What can our company do to improve your work life?
- Do you have the flexibility you need at work?
To offer genuine value, feedback needs to be collected as part of a continual cycle, and it needs to be acted upon. Don’t wait for quarterly or yearly reviews to ask employees for insights. At that point, it might be too late for you to fix the issues your employees are struggling with.
Most importantly, when you receive feedback, make sure you address it. Employees will quickly lose trust if they continually give feedback and things never change.
Step #4: Offer Fresh Challenges
Top talent needs constant challenge and regular opportunities for growth. If members of your team feel like they’re stuck in a rut, they’re likely to consider moving to a more progression-focused organization. Offering fresh challenges plays a vital role in both keeping your current talent and attracting new talent.
Continuous learning is more important now than it’s ever been. Ensure that professional development is an integral part of your company culture, as stagnation can lead to higher turnover rates.
Step #5: Remain Positive
No matter what happens in the workplace, the culture must remain positive—a positive culture is often a healthy one. Positivity starts at the top and works its way through an organization.
Even when times are bad, a company needs to hold its head high and look forward. It may sound trite, but a positive mental attitude can work wonders for company culture and employee satisfaction.
If you can keep your current team happy and motivated, these and other steps will go a long way towards creating the kind of company culture that’s prepared to welco