We have all listened with envy to the features and benefits of some of today’s most famous and coveted workplaces. From nap pods and gourmet food on the Google Campus, to small start-ups with trendy digs, beanbag chairs, and video games, it can be hard for traditional workplaces to attract and retain top talent. However, recently the more “old-school” organizations are nabbing the spots on the lists of top workplaces and proving that it is corporate culture, not commodities, that cultivates a first-class work environment.
Even non-profits, a group often plagued with high turnover and low engagement, have begun establishing themselves as top workplaces through concentrated and strategic efforts to attract and engage today’s workforce. Below are four steps for aspiring organizations to become an employer of choice for today’s workforce.
- Build a Culture That’s Respectful and Fair
Trust is critical in the relationship between management and employees. Managers need to have credibility, respect, and be perceived as fair. When organizations focus on building trust and respect in their internal relationships, they create an open environment that provides employees with support and guidance when faced with challenges at work.
- Model Behavior from the Top Down
The executive team should consistently express gratitude for hard work in both small and large ways. For example, a small thank you card, or recognition at an All-Staff meeting can go a long way. Executive teams also need to be inclusive and collaborate with employees on decisions at all levels. In doing so, employees will feel more respected and invested in projects, rather than simply carrying out orders.
- Practice Open Communication
Executives understand that every perspective matters. Honest and open communication should be encouraged when delivered in a respectful and polite way. Use an “open door” policy so that staff members feel comfortable approaching peers and managers. Also, regular staff surveys conducted in a confidential manner will enable employees to feel comfortable providing honest feedback with guaranteed anonymity.
- Encourage Innovation and Support Staff in a Changing Environment
With rapid technological advances, organizational processes are constantly evolving. Recognize that the processes you used two years ago are not enough in today’s changing environment. Innovation at your organization cannot be viewed as a one-time event; it should always be an ongoing initiative. To stay at the front of the pack, adopt processes for continuous improvement at your workplace. Use working committees to review and analyze possible improvements to your systems. Make sure to engage end users in technology decisions so that when systems are improved they directly align with critical needs across departments.
With turnover rates approaching 20% or higher within the Health and Human Services industry, it is critical that executives begin a conscious effort to improve company culture. A positive employee experience not only helps retain current employees but also creates positive word of mouth, reviews, and other feedback that drives recruitment efforts. Today’s job market undoubtedly favors the job seeker and taking strategic steps today to establish your organization as an employer of choice will ensure that you can find the talent you need to continue providing high quality care to your clients.