How Workplace Culture Can Attract the Right Employees

March 17, 2016
How Workplace Culture Can Attract the Right Employees

Driving Culture! Determining Culture! Re-establishing Culture! On any given day I speak to a number of small business leaders and entrepreneurs who are concerned about their company’s culture. This is because they know that creating a company culture is key to attracting the right employees and, in turn, driving business growth.

Why you should care about company culture

The thing is, there is only so much businesses can offer employees in the way of pay, benefits and extra perks to stand out from the competition. And, if you’re a small business or startup, it becomes even harder to compete financially for the most coveted employees.

Culture is the key differentiator. Modern employees still want great financial compensation packages – but they also want things that money can’t buy, such as an office environment that makes them happy and comfortable – whether that office environment fosters creativity, is laid back and relaxed, or makes work fun.

Employees today have options of the type of business they work for. They also have access to more than enough data and online information about your company and your competitors to really drill down on where they want to work.

Creating a company culture from the top down

So, how do you effect change or drive culture initiatives? Believe it or not, it’s pretty simple. Your company culture is determined by how your leader’s lead, including:

  • how they run their business
  • how they reward performance
  • how they engage and communicate with employees
  • how competitive they are in the marketplace

A key factor in driving business growth is how employees feel about their employers. Does their manager or business owner believe in the company’s product? Do the company’s core values - such as how they treat their clients and employees, and how they behave toward competitors - match the employee’s own value system? Is the company’s leadership focused on providing compensation and rewards that are meaningful? When a situation turns sour, how does the leadership react and address issues?

Commitment through culture

The problem is clear - there are many companies that provide the same service or product and they all need the same great talent. So, here is the key question: How are you going to get the best and brightest candidates to work for you? The answer is “through your company culture.”

So, start by assessing your company culture and then strategically planning the work environment you need to create in order to attract the type of candidates who will take your business to the next level. Some characteristics of strong company cultures that attract strong employees:

  • A safe environment where employees are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes and then learn and improve without fear of community bashing by their colleagues.
  • A total compensation package (salary, benefits, time-off, perks, professional development, retirement investments, etc.) that is closely aligned to the company’s culture.
  • Flexibility in work hours and the ability to work from home when needed.
  • An interview process that allows candidates to meet with not only managers but their potential peers, and that offers a clear understanding of the role, the company and job expectations.
  • Performance feedback and coaching that is ongoing, respectful and clear, with no surprises.

Strong potential employees don’t really care about ping pong tables or free lunches when it comes to choosing their next career move. The employees you want are interested in a work environment that will enable them to grow their careers, provide greater satisfaction and give them the experiences that make work worthwhile. This type of culture is harder to find than 401K matching or free pizza in the breakroom. Culture creates the type of commitment you want from great employees. Culture is the key differentiator that sets you apart and ultimately forms the competitive landscape.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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