If you want to be a competitive employer, you’ve got to prioritize company culture. Yes, everyone loves making good money, but if you don’t offer the benefits and environment employees are looking for or enforce a company culture that helps them thrive, that dollar amount can only take you so far.
The saying is true: Money can’t (always) buy happiness. The way you treat your employees matters more than what you pay them.
And the decreasing tenure of the average worker doesn’t help, either. Twenty years ago, staying at one company for 30-40 years was the norm, but people now stay at their jobs for an average of 4.6 years before moving on to the next opportunity. With turnover the new norm, you need to think of other ways to keep employees happy and engaged. Enter company culture and benefits.
If your company isn’t willing to consider the benefits and culture it’s offering to employees, it’s your loss. Chances are if you’re not providing the workplace they’re looking for, someone else is. Here are a few amazing perks I’ve seen companies offer to help foster the right company culture:
1. Reward employees by giving back.
Plenty of companies know the importance of giving back to the community, and they try to make that part of their mission or curriculum in some way.
Inspira, a client of ours, takes it a step further. After an employee has been with the company for five years, it rewards him or her with a trip called a “radical sabbatical.” These two-week company-funded trips must fulfill a personal passion and also involve giving back in some way.
Make a list of ways you can both reward your employees and give back to your community. It’s a wonderful way to tell your employees that you value them, their passions, and the services they can offer to the world.
2. Treat your employees like family.
Treating your employees like family isn’t the same as being nice or thoughtful. You should definitely be nice and thoughtful toward employees, but treating them like family means understanding all the duties that go along with being a family member.
Juggling a family and work life at the same time is never easy, and it’s even harder to do when you don’t approach your employees with the understanding that they’re also members of their own families. If an employee has to rush home and take care of a family emergency, he shouldn’t have to worry about his commitment to the company being questioned.
To show its employees it understands, one of the things Trustify (an Influence & Co. client) has done is instill an environment of support for its employees who are parents. The company offers nursing rooms and adoption credits for its employees looking to adopt.
Being part of a family is really about showing that you have each other’s backs. Show your employees you have theirs by encouraging time off when it’s doable and looking into additional benefits for new moms and dads. (Paternity leave isn’t such a radical idea anymore.)
3. Remember that trust empowers employees.
We’re big proponents of trust at Influence & Co. In fact, it’s part of our company’s core values. We’re proud to provide a work environment that allows employees to work remotely when they need to. We do this because we trust them, and the results prove that trust really does empower. Our employees are some of the hardest-working people I know because they take that trust seriously and want to honor it.
Another client of ours, Acceleration Partners, also empowers its employees with trust. It has a completely remote work environment, and its employees focus on getting the job done well, not necessarily putting in an impressive number of hours.
If you want to show your employees just how much you trust them, consider allowing them to work remotely more often. Test it out to see whether the move keeps them happy and engaged while keeping your company’s performance high.
4. Find ways to come together outside the office.
If your team gets along well inside the office, that’s great — but don’t stop there. Take it one step further by encouraging interaction outside the company’s walls. We’re three-dimensional people, and our interactions with each other shouldn’t be one-dimensional.
We’ve found that when team members have strong rapport outside the office, they are happier and work much better together inside the office.
To encourage this, our offices in St. Louis and Columbia host regular culture events that bring people together outside the office. They arrange group activities that allow them to bond and have a good time without focusing on work.
Rocksauce Studios, another Influence & Co. client, is a pro at this sort of thing. The company hosts show-and-tells on Fridays, along with a catered lunch, which brings a fun bonding element to the brand’s weeks. It also makes it a point to hold happy hours, lunches, or team breakfasts throughout the month to give team members plenty of chances to come together as friends.
If you’re struggling with company turnover (and, let’s be honest, every growing company does at one point or another), take a look at how you’re rewarding your employees. If you can’t reward their work with cold hard cash, take a look at the culture you’re creating to see how you can alter it to make sticking around more appealing. And survey your employees to gain more insight into the benefits they want. Don’t use culture as a last-ditch effort to retain employees; invest in it as a long-term improvement to the morale of your company.