One of the biggest challenges businesses face today is employee engagement and retention. Workers are bouncing between jobs at a rate twice as high as they were a decade ago and company culture is often the reason given for leaving, or taking, a job.
In a Harvard Business Review study, recent college grads cited “people and culture fit” as the number one thing they look for in a potential employer. Given these trends, you cannot ignore the importance of offering a positive and attractive company culture. Here is my list of top five trends that will shape company culture in 2017.
1) Providing leadership opportunities at every level
Having a sense of ownership engages employees in a way that traditional focus on task completion just does not. Consider giving your employees the tools and autonomy to solve their own problems rather than having them report to their manager every time. When employees feel they have more control and are trusted by peers and leaders, they deliver better work.
2) Emphasizing real-time feedback over annual reviews
The traditional model of annual performance reviews is increasingly becoming outdated and employees find them an awkward way to receive feedback. Instead, employees are seeking natural, constructive feedback in the moment, not just a formal analysis of forced goals once a year.
The new feedback model is also expanding to include the whole team, not just managers. Shout-outs can be given to anyone, by anyone, anytime something good is happening. This promotes harmony between departments, a diversity of voices and strengthens an employee’s support system. Celebrating project milestones, or employees meeting their quarterly goals, can become company-wide recognition events that solidify the workforce and build confidence in employees’ ability to meet new challenges.
3) Engaging employees in continuing learning and training opportunities
Today’s workers want more than a paycheck, and many seek employment that allows them to learn new skills and increase their knowledge. Lay the foundation for a culture of learning by providing high-quality employee onboarding. Doing this communicates the importance of employee development and learning in your organization.
Then, back that up by giving your employees the opportunity to enroll in courses or attend seminars that can improve their skill set. This will not only fulfill a need for personal growth but also benefit your business as they perform better in the long-run. Also, consider offering cross training to your employees. Teaching them the skills needed to perform job functions outside their own will add flexibility and efficiency to your workforce. Learning different skill sets and aspects of the business keeps employees interested, fosters team spirit and increases loyalty.
4) Providing the right technology and tools for collaboration
The office cubicle is not always the full-time residence of employees on the job any more. Work flexibility is high on the wish list of the modern worker. Workers are increasingly attracted to jobs that don’t require relocation and offer work from home options. Tools for fast, reliable communication and group collaboration can play a big role in helping you attract top talent.
5) Allowing balance
The line between work and home life is increasingly being blurred by expectations that employees will put in longer hours and be available after-hours. By acknowledging that every employee has unique needs and preferences, you can help employees find their own balance between work and home life – within the constraints of the demands of their role. For example, you may have an employee who likes to have an early dinner with their family followed by a workout, and catches up with work later at night, or one who is happy to work all year but wants four weeks off to hike in the Himalayas.
Whether it is through yoga breaks, free food, campus fitness centers or unlimited vacation, companies who cater to employees’ personal needs stand out as more attractive to those seeking balance.
Nurturing a strong sense of company culture is essential to attracting, and keeping, the top talent in any industry. Use the tips provided above to give your business the edge in this competitive market and combat rising employee bounce rates. Here’s to maintaining high employee morale and retention in 2017!
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