You’ve likely seen the type of company we’re talking about in a scripted series on HBO or have listened to a friend rave about their company as they’re decked head-to-toe in corporate-branded merch. These companies may seem youthful, exciting and so rich in culture they could easily afford the nap pods — but as we’ve discussed before — company culture and employee satisfaction is not measured by the pounds of swag doled out each week.
Sure, employees appreciate fancy Apple Watches, trips to the beach and corporate gas cards, but these aren’t the things that will keep your new-hire around for the long haul. If you’re stepping up your recruitment game and want to hire the best in the business (or at least those with the potential to become the best in the business) and you want them to stick around long enough to be worth the investment, you’re going to need to follow our top three steps. What’s more, these won’t affect a single line within your budget.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many business leaders tune out the conversations of those that work beneath them. Let’s face it, people — regardless of seniority — want and deserve to be heard. When gathering feedback, working with various teams or chatting one-on-one with associates, open your ears and fully listen to what they have to say. It may take a little time for team members to open up and speak freely, but if you provide the type of open-door environment where honest, yet respectful, feedback is appreciated and encouraged, you’re already on the way toward that boss of the year trophy.
To truly succeed, however, you’re going to have to get better at keeping one ear to the ground. It’s incredibly likely that there are employees within your organization that may not feel comfortable or safe to speak up and share their perspective or feedback. There are multiple ways to decipher subtle cues that reflect the general population’s engagement level in the office. Overall productivity, employee referrals and Glassdoor reviews are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to listening to indirect conversations — or the buzz behind closed doors.
When it comes to sharing company information, there are definitely two camps firmly planted with differing opinions.
On the one hand, executives feel that sharing a company’s financial standing, projections and areas of opportunity is disclosing too much information. These are the leaders that feel that this information is sensitive and should be on a need-to-know basis. On the other hand, business leaders feel that by opening up what’s normally kept heavily guarded evokes a sense of trust, pride and ownership in the organization.
While we can certainly argue pros and cons for the better half of the afternoon — consider adopting a policy that’s fitting of your business model. Perhaps rather than laying it all on the line, you disclose information that can still rally the troops, bringing that trust, pride and responsibility to the forefront.
Last, but certainly not least — follow the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated, or in other words, lead by example. Let’s take a moment to travel through time — think back to your first job out of college. Would you rather work for an executive that comes into the office late (if at all), evokes fear into underlings and easily slips into various fits of rage when tasks slip through the cracks, or the executive that attends meetings regularly, promotes a collaborative workspace and tries to consider other perspectives before reacting to a concern?
While the thought of the first leader may bring entertainment value to the workplace, you’ll likely choose to work with the latter. Fast forward to 2016 in your seat of power and choose the path in which your company fosters happy employees. It’s been studied that happy employees can actually make your company money. According to Aon Hewitt’s 2013 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Report, for every one percent in employee engagement, companies can expect a .6 percent growth in sales.
So there you have it, the three keys to success when it comes to laying the groundwork for a successful and engaged workforce. What’s next, you ask? Get out there and talk about these points with the other leaders of your organization. If you’re already employing some of these tactics, how can you improve them even more? If you’re not quite sold on the ties between employee engagement, productivity and revenue, check out an infographic we created earlier this year — it should definitely help!
[Image courtesy of Pexels]