From Google to Zappos to The Container Store, some organizations are just known for their ability to cultivate a “Best Place to Work” culture and build an engaged, passionate workforce. They also happen to be some of the most profitable and successful companies out there.
These businesses all started with just a handful of employees and no brand reputation, perhaps similar to how your workplace got its start. So what do they do differently and how do their best practices lead to a more engaged workforce?
Below, About Talent explores why culture matters to your workforce and organization’s business success, and outlines the many benefits of establishing and maintaining a positive workplace culture. Additionally, we provide action items that you and your management team can begin tackling today in order to get your organization on track toward becoming a Top Workplace.
Culture: The Nitty Gritty
The truth is that competitors may be able to copy your strategies or replicate your technologies, but your people and their passion for your brand can’t be duplicated. Those two elements are the keys to success for your team or organization, and the road to achieving the following benefits of a strong workplace culture.
Reduced Employee Turnover
According to the Great Place to Work Institute, which determines and analyzes the annual list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, voluntary turnover is much lower in top businesses that make it into the list than average companies across various industries … up to a whopping 65% lower, their survey found.
A Stronger Brand and More Loyal Following
When employees are proud of their workplace and the role they play in achieving their organization’s mission and purpose, they become brand ambassadors who can accomplish more than your marketing budget. The Social Workplace Trust Study completed by Human1.0 and the Great Place to Work Institute determined that coworkers in “high trust” organizations are three times more likely to spread word about their companies on social media than average employees.
Heftier Profits and Organizational Growth
According to Quantum Workplace’s Employee Engagement Trends Report, which compiled survey findings from more than 400,000 employees at approximately 5,000 companies, engagement tends to positively impact sales and profits. Employers whose employees responded more favorably regarding engagement levels were more likely to report profit escalations throughout the three-year period analyzed by Quantum Workplace.
How to Realize These Benefits in Your Workplace
Hire for Culture Fit and Potential
Focus on pre-screening for required traits like:
- Drive: find creative ways for an applicant to demonstrate their passion for certain work
- Aligned values: uncover the individual’s ethos, looking particularly for honesty, “perfectionism,” and ownership of work
- Bounce back: can the person take criticism? What do they do with feedback?
- Critical thinking: use situational interviewing techniques to determine if the applicant has the ability to apply logic and thought to arrive at the right conclusions and take appropriate action
Source Direct Feedback from Employees
Reach out to employees individually (or have managers lead the charge within their teams) to ask:
- Why do you love working for our organization?
- What do you enjoy the most?
- What makes our business special and unique?
- How can we improve your experience here?
Copy Top Workplace Practices
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then don’t hesitate to flatter those organizations known as Top Workplaces and imitate some of their best practices! For example, of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For:
- The average number of hours devoted to training and developing a salaried employee: 73
- 88 of the top 100 Best Companies offer tuition reimbursement to employees
- The average annual tuition reimbursement amount available to a coworker: $7,375
Top workplaces also cultivate a spirit of giving amongst their employees by supporting volunteerism and workplace giving programs. The Great Place to Work Institute reports that of the 100 Best Companies to Work For 63 offer donation matching programs and 48 offer their employees paid time off to volunteer.
Of course, the best course of action is to adapt some of these best practices and tailor them specifically for your workforce and their needs and desires.
Develop an MVVPP/How-To Guide
A quick perusal of workplaces considered the best of the best within their industries would reveal that many of them share one important element: a clear mission or purpose statement.
“Our Mission, Vision, Values, Purpose, and Promise—known internally as our MVVPP—guide everything we do,” explains Ryan Baca, Vice President of About Talent. “These core philosophies are an integral part of our organization and every coworker can articulate them from the heart. But it’s not just about being able to regurgitate a few phrases; each coworker truly believes in our MVVPP and understands his or her role in fulfilling them for clients, supplier and channel partners, and the talent we place.”
If your workplace does not yet have a clearly stated mission or purpose statement, consider boiling down employee feedback (explained in the “Source Direct Feedback from Employees” section above) into a concise and actionable statement. That’s exactly how we developed our Company’s Purpose, “To make life better for the people we serve.”®
Sources: Curt Coffman and The Coffman Organization, Quantum Workplace, Great Place to Work® Institute, Human 1.0, FORTUNE, Dimensional Research, Zendesk, Tribal Leadership, Delivering Happine