As the fight to hire talented employees gets fiercer and company loyalty is becoming a thing of the past, it is becoming even more important to build a company that your employees actually enjoy working for.
We no longer live in a world where employees join a company and expect to work their way up for five, ten or fifteen years. In fact, a recent trend report by LinkedIn showed that only 41% of employees see themselves working at their current workplace in two years from now.
So how do you retain and engage your top performers in the fast-paced workforce of 2019?
The key is building a company that makes people want to come into work ultimately comes down to culture.
Lesson One: Don’t mistake perks for culture
A lot of companies make the mistake of thinking that creating a thriving culture is all about the perks. Now, don’t get us wrong, perks can be important.
Free breakfast, ping pong tables and Friday drinks are a nice finishing touch, but alone they will never be enough to retain your best talent. And they definitely will not be enough to make your team happy if your culture if flawed in other areas.
When it comes to building a culture you need to go deeper, which brings us to our next four lessons…
Lesson Two: Start with why
A compelling purpose is the number one critical success factor for any company looking to build an engaged culture that makes its employees excited to come into work each day.
It is a leader’s role to create and communicate a compelling vision and set of values for an organisation, inspire others to buy into the vision and ultimately lead their team by example.
Defining your company purpose is about more than just creating a mission statement to hang on the wall. Your purpose should be so embedded within the organisation that your employees understand how their daily work contributes to the bigger picture.
Lesson Three: Empower your employees
Empowerment creates ownership. To a large degree, empowerment is about trust. Do you trust your employees to get on with what they are doing? Or are you constantly checking in, undermining or micromanaging them?
Employees who feel empowered will take a greater sense of ownership of their work, think for themselves and ultimately achieve better results than those who are simply going through the motions to please a manager.
Lesson Four: Build a high-performance mindset
The reality is nobody goes into work actively wanting to do a bad job or to feel disengaged. Most people want to perform and contribute.
The key to fostering this mindset is ensuring you create a culture of accountability and build a framework to set them up for success. Do your employees know what great work looks like? Do they know they will be recognised for high-performance?
These elements are crucial if you want your employees to feel engaged and inspired every day.
Lesson Five: Encourage cooperation—not competition
Competitive thinking directs energy, time and resources towards internal challenges rather than external threats, whereas within a culture of cooperation everyone has a shared sense of purpose.
Fostering a culture of cooperation requires every individual to have a ‘serve’ mentality. The question on everyone’s mind should be, “How can I contribute to the success of the company?” not “How can I make myself look good? How can I win?”
If you want your employees to feel positive about coming into work, focus on building a team environment of cooperation as opposed to a ruthless culture of competition.