If you want to attract and keep quality employees, you need to provide them with a company they love to work for. Whether you’re just starting out with a small business, or you run a large corporation that seems to be living in the ‘90s, now is a great time to be establishing and improving your corporate culture so that your employees feel valued, and want to keep working for you. How can you do that? The following five tips should assist: Tip 1: Rewards For Good Work If someone has done a great job on a recent project, don’t just let it go by without saying thank you. According to stats, 79% of employees work harder if they get recognition for their efforts, and 86% are happier at work. As we established earlier, happy employees are more productive. For the record, it’s not so much the type of gift you give either, whether it is bonuses or a gift hamper; if you do it publicly, you’ll have staff that are more motivated and are less likely to leave their jobs. You’ll also encourage other members of the team to do well. Example rewards include: Movie tickets Dinner vouchers Corporate Hampers Parking onsite Their own PA for a week Free lunch for the team Sporting event tickets A new office chair Tip 2: Establish A Company Culture, And Stick To It First, you need to define what your company does, the company values and where the company is headed. Where do you see your business in five or ten years? Next, take a look at where the company stands today. If you’re new, you probably won’t have many notes here, which means you have a blank slate. Hooray! But if you’re an established business, think about the people who are currently on your team. What type of personality do they have? Is it working? What would work better? Consider who you want to hire next. Do you need someone who will stand up in front of a crowd and speak openly? Or would you prefer a quiet achiever? Every company needs to have a “people person” – someone who is social and who might bring the rest of the company together. Do you know who yours is? If not, it might be time to assess future candidates based on this. And when it comes to hiring, make sure you bring in the right people. Consider your own personality, the personality of the people in the company already – and what you want the business to achieve in general. Will the new applicant fit in? Will they help you to achieve the goals you have set? Tip 3: Open The Lines Of Communication The people who work for you aren’t there simply because they need to pay the bills (though it helps). If they don’t feel as though they belong, and don’t feel as though they are appreciated or noticed, they’ll move on to another company. According to research, happy employees are more productive. There are plenty of other business owners out there who are more than willing to treat their employees as “part of the family”, keeping them informed of inhouse changes and working with them – not on top of them. One of the best ways you can create this type of company culture is by keeping the chains of communication open. Whether you are working in-house or remotely, you can make this process easier by applications such as Zoom or Workplace, which allow you to keep in touch with team members via chat or video calls, whenever necessary. Tip 4: Be Flexible This is particularly relevant in today’s economy given how business operations have changed so much already in 2020. Where there used to be hundreds of employees all huddled into little cells in a massive CBD building – today, there are around 30% of these people now working from home. And unfortunately, many of the businesses that couldn’t provide that option had trouble staying afloat. And it’s not just working from home. According to research, companies that offer flexible working practices that also include choosing their own work hours, sick days and part-time roles, sabbaticals and so on, have more productivity than those that do not. Not only that, but 80% of women and 52% of men want more flexibility in their job roles. Tip 5: Listen One of the biggest complaints from employees is that they don’t feel as though they are being heard in the workplace. In fact, according to consulting firm DDI, 57% of employees leave because of their boss, not the work itself. Something which could be prevented if the people in charge did a straightforward thing – listen. Listening to your employees has many benefits. To start with, they feel more valued and engaged. And if a staff member feels as though they are wanted, they are more likely to stay in the role. Second, they could actually have something amazing to say! Many of the best business ideas don’t come from the company owners themselves, but rather from their employees. And, your staff will respect you more if you take the time to talk to them (and listen to what they have to say). Respect goes a long way in the business world. By listening, you can also get to know your staff better and understand what makes them tick. And finally, it can help to prevent problems in the workplace. If you know your employees are stressed or having troubles with a particular part of their job, you can help them. Take the time to have regular employee reviews, where you sit down with your employees and talk to them about their role, how it’s going, and any concerns they might have. If this seems obsolete, or you “don’t have time to sit around the lunchroom”, there are other ways you can listen. Pulse surveys can be filled out quickly online, and they are anonymous, which could help staff feel more comfortable. Feedback or Suggestion Boxes could also be added in reception and staff can simply fill out the form and place it in the box. Final Thoughts More than ever, today’s employees need reassurance that they are appreciated and respected. If they don’t get this from you, the majority won’t hesitate to change jobs. If you value your employees, encourage them to work hard, stay motivated and teach them to love their job. Stick to your culture, offer flexibility, talk to your employees and listen to them, and finally, show them how much you appreciate them.