Companies with highly-engaged employees grow revenue 2.5x as much as those who don't, and engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organization. Creating and building a company culture of engagement is vital to a healthy company and business growth.
If you're constantly losing employees, check out these fifteen reasons your employees stay and compare your company's culture and practices to this list. If you're not constantly losing employees, let's see why they might be staying.
Check out this infographic, and keep reading to explore more on each item in the list.
1. Growth and Development
Employees are always learning – what they learn is up to you! Providing non-stop training and learning opportunities for employees demonstrates to them that they are a priority. It also increases skill development, which gives the company a stronger edge in the marketplace. A win-win! Beyond hands-on training, consider ways to encourage professional development by offering a Professional Development stipend, forming a mentorship program, providing time-off related to learning and development, having an on-site library of books selected by employees and leaders, and reimbursing employees for tuition costs.
2. Good Pay and Benefits
While money certainly matters to most employees, when you have a strong culture of engagement, the value of what you can offer an employee goes well beyond a paycheck and benefits. In fact, it's not uncommon to hear candidates say they ultimately chose one employer over another because of their culture, not pay. So, when you are ready to make an offer, be sure to include any of the cultural advantages you have. For example, if you allow employees to take a paid day off to volunteer at their favorite charity for a day, add that to your offer.
When a business has a clearly-defined code of ethics, their employees understand what is right and what is wrong, how we do things here, and how we don’t do things here. This solid framework for doing business is proven to attract and retain customers as well as talented employees. Employee perks like flexible work arrangements and increased autonomy tend to evolve when trust and integrity are consistently high within an organization as well, which have a strong correlation to improved morale.
4. Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance used to mean the ability to “turn off” work at 5:00 and “turn on” life. Lifestyle changes and advancements in technology over the last decade have redefined what work-life balance means to many people. This kind of balance now implies more job flexibility, allowing people to drop off and pick up their kids from school, work from any location, and schedule their work as they wish. Don’t confuse the desire for work-life balance with a desire to work less. In many cases, you will find that employees with greater flexibility work more! When employees have autonomy over their schedules and lives, they also feel a greater commitment to your company and culture.
5. Recognition and Appreciation
Humans are hard-wired neurologically to crave rewards. Meaningful recognition activates the limbic system, causes a rush of dopamine, and compels us to repeat rewarding behaviors. Just as gifted game designers understand how to drive gamers to crave the next level of a game, companies can create reward and recognition programs at work that drive employees to continue their successful behaviors. This leads to reduced regrettable turnover and increased employee engagement.
6. Believe in Company Mission and Future Vision
In general, people want to know they are on a journey and headed toward a meaningful destination. At work, that means serving a company that has a clear mission and a vibrant vision for the future. When employees are all on the same page as far as their “reason for being,” they are more energized, better able to make good decisions, and well-equipped for strong future planning.
7. Trusted by Leaders
Giving employees autonomy over tasks means ensuring that they have control over some aspects of the work that they do. This gives them a feeling of ownership and accountability and leads them to devote more of themselves to making sure it’s successful. When managers place trust in their people to get it done right, employees have a strong sense of pride and want to live up to the expectation. To do this right, managers must understand where to draw the line between guidance and micromanagement. Getting too involved in what an employee is working on will stifle their sense of engagement. It’s also important to let people make mistakes. They will learn from them and grow as a result.
8. Work that Feels Satisfying
People are comprised of a complex combination of strengths and weaknesses that are as unique to each individual as their own fingerprints. Because no two people are exactly alike, it is imperative that each individual find the job that is the very best match for how they are innately wired. When companies do their due diligence during the selection process, holding out for talent and only hiring those that are the right fit for the position, both the person hired, and the company as a whole, will benefit. Trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole makes both the employee and the company miserable. When a person is hired to do what they do best every day, they are successful, they grow, and they feel immensely satisfied.
9. Asked for Input and Ideas
One of the best compliments you can give someone is to value their opinions and seek their input, especially in their areas of strength. The best managers regularly ask their employees for their feedback and ideas and take their thinking into consideration. They also create an environment in which people know they are invited to voice their opinions even when they are not asked – without fear of negative consequences. When this is done consistently over time, coworkers begin to work together in the same way, asking advice and giving unsolicited, but valuable, input.
10. Strong Sense of Purpose
Highly engaged employees tend to report that they feel they have a stake in the game and a strong sense of purpose. They know what they are playing for and what they will win, and they are willing to give everything they’ve got to achieve that success. With a sense of purpose, hard work is still hard. But it is also rewarding because people feel connected to the organization’s success. Help your people identify their purpose and value beyond “making the numbers” or “selling our solutions.” For example, if they are selling to the medical industry, help them consider how their business solutions may “bring people together to excel,” or “bridge the healthcare gap.”
11. Talented Coworkers
Talented people want to work with other talented people. It’s sometimes said that a 10 wants to be surrounded by other 10s because it challenges them and allows them to grow. It is also said that 7s and 8s want to be surrounded by 5s and 6s because it makes them feel superior. When an organization holds out for top talent, they create momentum. When you surround a talented person with a team of other smart and talented people, the organization thrives, people learn and grow, and everyone enjoys an environment of excellence.
Transparency is often considered the foundation of creating a culture of engagement. Without it, it's hard to imagine being able to build sincere trust amongst the employees, teams, or departments. It can be a tricky switch to flip for a leader who often feels as though increasing transparency will open a can of worms. Over time with regular practice and sharing of information, it easily becomes the norm, and trust rises dramatically. A great way to start off is by hosting a regular Town Hall meeting with an “ask me anything” atmosphere.
13. Fairness and Consistency
Ask around, and you will find that most people agree – it is better to work for a “bad” boss than an inconsistent one. People need to know what to expect each day at work. When the rules to the game are always changing, or the manager’s behavior is erratic and unpredictable, suddenly their paycheck is not enough to keep them there. Hire strong managers who can lead a team with confidence, encourage them to reward strong behavior and not reward behaviors that do not meet expectations, always align those expectations with the company’s core values, and ensure that all leaders agree on the company mission and how it will be achieved.
14. Involvement and Belonging
From the beginning of time, science has shown that human beings are tribalistic in nature. We band together as a group for a sense of safety and belonging. The modern-day tribe is the company, and it is critical that employees feel as though they are safe, and they belong. When employees feel this way, performance increases by more than 300%. Companies create a sense of belonging by scheduling team activities that are of interest, asking for employee referrals, and creating buddy programs.
15. Good Relationship with Manager
People don’t grow in a vacuum. They only grow in relation to another human being – typically their manager. And you’ve probably heard this before, but people join a company, and they leave a boss. For a manager, having good relationships with their people is paramount! They need to understand what motivates them, where they see themselves in 3-5 years, and how they would like their manager to interact with them. Creating both Growth Guides and User Guides is a great way to strengthen relationships with employees.
How does your company culture compare to this list? Is it time to up your culture by improving on this list? Learn more about how improving your company's culture could significantly improve your company's performance, revenue, and success.