Is Your Company Searching for Experienced Talent? Your Company Culture Really Does Matter

As the owner of a small business, you may already have encountered difficulty attracting top talent and retaining them at your company. You may feel like you lack the resources to compete with larger businesses that can offer more money and better benefits. While there may be at least a grain of truth to these assumptions, research has shown that more money is not the deciding factor in capturing the best talent.

According to a poll conducted by Lexington Law, more than 60% of all Americans say that they would accept a job they love over a job they hate, even if the job they love paid half the salary of the other one. Think about that. Three of every five people in this country would work for substantially less money if the job itself stimulated them and gave them satisfaction. So how can you provide a work atmosphere which stimulates and satisfies? Read on as we explore this fascinating subject.

Do you really know what your company’s culture is all about?

Spend some time and consider the company culture you’ve created. What kind of atmosphere have you provided for your employees? As leader of the company, have you entrusted capable people with important responsibilities, rather than asking them to work like robots on mindless tasks? How do you treat employees – with respect and trust, or with disdain and micromanagement? How do your employees feel about coming to work – are they glad to be there each day, or are they just putting their time in, and trying to speed up the clock every day?

What kind of feedback and what kind of vibe do you feel from employees about working at your company? If you aren’t sure about any of these questions, you haven’t been paying attention, and it’s critical you do that before anything else. It’s essential that you have an understanding about how employees rate your company’s culture, otherwise you won’t know which good points to emphasize, and which weak ones need shoring up.

Aligning skills with company needs

One of the aspects of company culture which appeals most to employees is whether they enjoy doing the actual work and whether they feel fulfilled by it. If you’ve created a mismatch between the skill levels of people you’ve hired and those skills actually needed to accomplish the work, you’ll be setting everyone up to fail, and you’ll have a lot of disgruntled employees to boot. You may have hired a whole slew of entry-level people and given them inadequate training to do their jobs, or you may have hired more skilled people and asked them to do unchallenging jobs. Both these scenarios are doomed to failure, and you’ll probably have a high turnover rate because of it.

It is crucial that you offer challenging work to all your employees, and that you provide them with the training they need to do that work. You should also provide opportunities for self-growth and development among your workers. A survey carried out by Udemy identified opportunities for learning and development as the #1 benefit of working at any company, with 52% of all polled employees choosing that over the runner-up, which was health insurance. When a person feels like they are working toward a better career, and becoming more proficient and knowledgeable, they feel much better about the work they’re doing. By investing in training and education for your workers, you’re sending them a message that you value them, and that you care about their futures.

Some strategies for improving company culture

The single biggest perk a company can offer an employee is job flexibility, and this is repeated by just about everyone when asked about the subject – they would much rather work from home, and have the option of doing the same work from the comfortable atmosphere of their own home. This solves some issues with childcare, and it also provides a much greater work-life balance for most people, rather than forcing them to spend the majority of every workday chained to their desks.

A related strategy is to offer more time off to your employees. As long as work gets completed, it shouldn’t matter whether your employees have just five days off each year, or 25. Having those extra days at home will be a huge appeal for your workers, and it can give them time to make sure their personal households are kept in good order, as well as having more time for personal matters. This has proven to lessen stress and increase productivity on the job.

There are literally hundreds of ways you can improve your company culture and offer employees more of what they want, while still completing company goals and objectives. If you’re not afraid of what you might find out, be bold and just come right out and ask your employees what they want their work experience to be like. How do they want to be challenged, and what do they want to learn on the job? How do they want to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions? Take what you learn from this survey, and incorporate the do-able elements into your company culture.

What will your company culture be?

What do you really want your company culture to be like, and what do you want your company to stand for? These are serious questions, and the answers may have an enormous impact on how your employees view the company, and whether or not they want to be part of it. Maybe you want your company to be recognized as one which appreciates the whole employee and attempts to engage every worker fully, providing multiple avenues for personal growth and enrichment.

You might want to use openness and communication as the pillars of your company, keeping employees well informed about the company vision, and how every step you take aligns with that company vision. Letting employees know how they fit into your grand design, and what an important piece they are in that overall picture, can be very appealing. This also demonstrates trust and appreciation for every worker at your company and can make each individual feel like their part of something larger.

Of course, if you can also offer challenging work to each of your employees, and compensate them fairly, that will also go a long way toward retaining skilled people at your company. Just keep in mind that paying large salaries is not even in the top three factors for things that attract a candidate to your company. That doesn’t mean you should ignore it, but you should definitely consider other aspects of workplace appeal ahead of it. You should consider your company culture.

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