In the business world of yesteryear, Company Culture was more of an unspoken and often unintended bi-product of management and operations styles. Having a pleasant, productive culture was certainly nice to have, but certainly not a must-have, due to companies having been much more operationally focused than people focused. Today, the people come first. And they should. Having a meaningful and attractive culture goes a long way in finding and retaining top talent in a tight labor market.
What do employees (millennials and non-millennials) value in a job and their career? Historically, people valued job security; longevity within a company was key with many aspiring to receive that gold watch for 25 years of service. But job security isn’t a motivator like it was in the old days, with millennials and others taking a fickler approach to their careers.
So what are the keys to being an employee-focused business with a strong Company Culture?
Doing something meaningful. Millennials in particular want to be engaged in doing something that they truly believe in and that will make a difference in the in which they live. What might attract these people to your company may not be the product or service you offer, but rather the efforts you make in giving back to the community and the opportunities you give your staff to be involved in the world around them.
Flexibility. This is a big one. With the technology available today people want to work when and where they want. Give them the opportunity to work at home so that they can attend their kids after school activities or maybe just a day to work at home to get stuff done without interruptions. You can often find fabulous employees in other geographies – you don’t have to move them to you. Set them up to work remotely. There is an abundance of technology that allows this to be highly successful and job flexibility is often more important than compensation.
Employee Development. Today’s workforce wants to learn, grow and better themselves. Put an employee development program in place that allows for job advancement within your company. Employee development programs take many forms, but the key is to make sure your employees are involved. Find out how they want to grow and develop. Take advantage of online courses. Bring trainers in to personalize the process for you and perhaps develop a mentor program.
Be Socially Responsible. Employees care about the reputation of the company for whom they work. It is your brand, of course, but how is that brand reflected from a social perspective? What do you do from an environmental sustainability perspective? How do you volunteer as an organization? What do you do in regard to corporate giving? All these things are part of your culture and thus you will attract people who value your efforts (and a significant percentage of the labor market today values social and environmental consciousness.
Hire for Company Culture. Live by that Company Culture. Make sure critical decisions are aligned with your Culture.
Your company culture is more important than ever. Make sure it is the culture you want.
By Blair Koch