During what’s being called the Great Resignation, employers are looking for ways to retain their current employees and attract new ones. While there are different reasons why people are leaving their jobs, a major focus for some is company culture and the way employees are treated. As a small business owner, enhancing your culture could be vital to retaining your employees.
So what is company culture? A company’s culture is a combination of multiple factors including work environment, values, behaviors, attitudes, company mission, leadership styles, communication, expectations, goals, and ethics. Culture is important to employees because they are more likely to be happy and satisfied at work when their needs and values align with their employers.
Here are 7 tips for improving your workplace culture and overall employee satisfaction.
- Know where your business is going. If you’re a new business, define your mission (reason for existing), values, and vision (what you want your business to become). If you’re an established business, look back on these things to make sure they’re still relevant and determine if you need to make adjustments.
- Provide opportunities for employee development. Come up with some ways you can help your current employees develop in their role and talk to them about their potential to advance to new positions within the business. Some simple ways to encourage employee development are through webinars, conferences, trade shows, or LinkedIn Learning. Showing your employees that you care about their personal and career development gives them greater motivation.
- Find people who fit. When you’re searching for new hires, look for people who not only have the skills and experience for the position but also share your business’s values and vision. Give candidates a chance to understand and see your culture during the application process. You want them to know what they could be becoming a part of.
- Be the example. As a leader, you set the tone for your business’s culture and are an example to all employees. Your actions, values, and words need to reinforce the culture your business is building.
- Integrate company values into everything you do. Your values should come to life in everything you do as a business. Some ways you can integrate your values into every day are: teach your values and their significance to new employees, remind employees of the importance of your values in meetings and communications, and when creating external communication make sure the message reflects your company’s values.
- Show appreciation to your employees. A simple and sincere ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Take a few minutes to send an email or write a thank you note to share your appreciation of an employee’s hard work. Start meetings by acknowledging individual accomplishments from the week before. Make it a habit to regularly thank your employees and watch a culture of appreciation grow.
- Encourage employee suggestions and feedback. Who better to get feedback or new ideas from than your current employees? Your employees are directly interacting with your customers each day. They may see things that are getting overlooked or bring a fresh perspective to the table. One way to gather suggestions could be through a suggestion box or speaking to your employees directly to hear their thoughts on the company.
A small business’s employees are its most valuable asset. By taking the time to improve your culture, you can ensure you are keeping your employees happy.