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In today’s competitive job market, it is more important than ever that your company culture is attractive. In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, culture is the most important conversion factor for 20% of job seekers when considering a new job. Unfortunately, that is usually easier said than done.
That’s why it’s imperative to step back, get feedback from all levels of your company and figure out how to make some fundamental changes. Not only will this result in a happier and more productive workforce, but it will also make your business stand out from the crowd.
So, where do you start? Well, after years of advising, coaching and working with companies of all sizes, here are my top five groundbreaking tips for creating a company that attracts the highest caliber job seekers:
Encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking
You’ve heard it say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Now that’s good advice in most cases, but if you want to attract top talent, you may need to loosen the reins a bit.
Think about it: top-level job seekers want to use their skills, help shape your business, and make a lasting impact. They don’t just want to pose for the holiday photo. After all, this is why you want to lure them to your business. Right?
Well, if you want to start. Here are some ways you can foster a culture of creativity:
- Organize annual hackathons to challenge employees to come up with innovative ideas.
- Create a culture of continuous improvement by rewarding failure as much as success.
- Give your team permission to challenge your ideas and offer different perspectives.
You see, creating corporate culture doesn’t happen by accident. It is a goal-oriented pursuit. And it can only happen if you’re willing to nurture a workplace where it’s safe to experiment, fail, and succeed.
After all, it is like the great leadership expert, Patrick Lencioni said, “If good people stay with an organization and bring in other people, it’s a very good sign that the company is healthy.” And a healthy company starts with stimulating creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Related: Steve Jobs systematically cultivated his creativity. You can too.
1. Treat your employees like people, not resources
Your employees are your most valuable asset. In fact, your entire business is built on their knowledge and skills. This is why if your company culture doesn’t prioritize their well-being, you lose more than just their loyalty – you lose their trust. And it’s hard to win that back. Something Elon Musk knows all too well.
He once emailed all of Twitter’s employees demanding that they commit “long hours at high intensityor leave –– it wasn’t long before most of the employees packed their bags and walked out.
Productivity is essential, but not at the expense of your employees. It doesn’t matter if you are a start-up or a Fortune 500 company. If your employees don’t feel like it appreciated, they are going to leave. And then your main concern isn’t finding new talent to fill their shoes – it will be whether or not you have any talent left.
Now there are plenty of ways to show your employees that you appreciate them, but here are three specific steps that have really made a difference to my past clients:
- Schedule monthly coffee chats to check in with each employee and ask how you can better support them.
- Celebrate your team’s successes publicly, whether in your company’s newsletter or on social media.
- Offer competitive advantages and fun perks that make employees feel valued (think: flexible hours, gym memberships, gluten-free snacks, etc.).
The main takeaway here is that your team should never feel like a number. They are people –– they have lives, families and dreams –– and they want to feel valued when they come into the office every day.
Related: How employee appreciation is related to high-growth companies
2. Promote a healthy work-life balance
In today’s 24/7 world it is more important than ever that your employees have a healthy work life balance. Otherwise they will burn out.
And who wants to work for a company where everyone is always stressed and exhausted? Let’s say not many younger job seekers.
In reality, 78% of millennials say they are more loyal to an employer if they had flexible work options. And most Gen Zs want jobs accommodate their life outside of work. For both generations, work-life balance is at the top of their list.
So, what can you do to meet their expectations? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Encourage employees to take their vacation days.
- Don’t expect employees to answer emails after hours or on weekends.
- Make sure employees have the flexibility to create their schedules.
And above all: set a good example yourself.
If you are always working 24/7, your employees will feel they have to do the same. But if you encourage a healthy work-life balance, they’ll be more likely to follow suit.
Related: 5 secrets to achieving and maintaining work-life balance
3. Encourage employees to give back
Having a company culture that revolves around making money is not enough.
I understand – it is essential to increase your profits. And more importantly, to hire the right talent to help you do that. But job seekers are looking for more than just a salary. They also try to make a difference.
One of the best ways to do that is to encourage your employees to give back. This can be done in various ways, such as:
- Enabling employees to take paid time off to volunteer.
- Matching employee donations to charities.
- Organization of company-wide days of maintenance.
And the list goes on and on.
There are endless possibilities. It’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for your business and what resonates with your employees.
Related: 10 ways small businesses can give back without breaking the bank
4. Make hybrid and telecommuting options available
“Working 9 to 5” may have topped the charts in the ’80s, but it doesn’t have the same appeal today.
Nobody wants to eat, sleep and breathe anymore. And they shouldn’t. The idea of being glued to your desk for 40 hours a week is enough to send anyone running for the hills. But that doesn’t mean people don’t want to work. In any case, they want to work more than ever.
They just don’t see the point of being inefficient and unproductive when given the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. After all, technology has come a long way. So why not follow our way of working?
Remember that productivity comes from getting things done, not putting in the time.
If some of your team members work better away from home, why not leave?
- It saves you money on office space.
- You get access to a larger pool of top talent.
So there you have it. To create a corporate culture that attracts top-tier job seekers, emphasize work-life balance, giving back, and hybrid and remote work options. And above all: don’t forget to set a good example.