As economic uncertainty still looms, creating a company culture where people want to work can help with retention in lean times. This is particularly important as AI and automation continue to build and grow among American companies.
We’ll discuss four ways you can focus on company culture to save on labor costs in a tight labor market where hiring the right talent continues to be challenging. More than just employee benefits, you should move towards building relationships as you create a work environment that edifies everyone.
Transparency from the top fosters trust among all employees. Multiple studies show that transparency improves overall employee happiness, lends to better collaboration and idea generation between teams, and creates a flatter company hierarchy through improved information sharing.
Forbes states that transparency makes goal-setting more realistic, which reduces stress among employees. Your team will work better together and enjoy their work. This shift filters down to customers at some point, and customers would rather partner with a company filled with happy employees who smile with every interaction. Building relationships and trust inside leads to building trusting relationships outside.
Happy employees are also more productive, which multiple studies have shown. AI and automation also come into play here. It’s easier to make your current employees’ jobs simpler through automated tools, which makes them better at higher-level aspects of their jobs. Happy employees also stay with your business longer, obviating the need for more hiring.
Reinforce the Company’s Mission and Values
Employees report a greater sense of belonging when their goals are aligned with the employer’s. Whether the goal is to create cutting-edge software solutions, manufacture the best self-sealing stem bolts in the world, or have a fun yet professional work environment when delivering world-class products or services, reinforce these notions with your employees. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a meeting about company culture. But certainly, take action to further the company’s overall mission and goals.
For example, many younger employees want a place to belong and where they are passionate about your company’s mission. Reinforce this notion to create healthy and equitable work environments where people feel like they are contributing to the end game. Celebrate successes, professional and personal. Get to know everyone’s name, welcome any newcomers, and celebrate everyone’s unique talents. Employees who feel they belong here enjoy greater focus, higher productivity, and better engagement.
Foster personal growth to help employees achieve their professional goals, such as creating tuition and training incentives alongside spending time on professional certifications and attending conferences or trade shows.
Focus on Greater Collaboration and Cross-Department Training
When employees cross-train in other departments, it makes them more valuable to the company, and it reduces the need to hire a new worker. It also fosters professional development. Cross-training could also alleviate boredom and allow staff to increase their skill set. Training employees in other departments leads to better cross-collaboration on vital projects.
It’s easy to start cross-department collaboration, no matter what kind of company you run. For example, sales and marketing have very similar mindsets, although the results are slightly different. But the goal is the same: higher revenue. Consider training your sales staff on marketing principles and vice-versa. Both teams benefit from seeing funnels from the alternative perspective. And it broadens their horizons on how both departments work toward the same goal.
If you’re a manufacturer, train employees on new equipment, new lines, and new processes. For customer service-oriented companies, consider training customer service reps to upsell and train sales staff to handle customer complaints or basic customer service ahead of any signed contracts.
Move Towards Relationship-Oriented Productivity and Leadership
Everyone loves to see deliverables, whether you’re a manufacturer, contractor, customer service company, marketing agency, or doctor’s office. Delivering outstanding results leads to happy clients and customers.
However, you should focus on relationship-oriented productivity and leadership to help your employees develop a sense of belonging and better engagement. Relationship-oriented leadership focuses on providing support mechanisms that motivate employees to produce high-quality deliverables. Prioritize team cohesion, employee engagement and satisfaction, healthy workplace environments, and positive relationships.
The end game? When you design an inclusive workplace that harbors team and individual success, your workers realize you go above and beyond for them so they reciprocate. No one wants to work hard for a place they don’t enjoy. When you help your employees, they will help you.
Offer Benefits Your Employees Really Want
Finally, you should offer benefits that employees actually want and will utilize during their time there. Be intentional and purposeful with what workers want from their benefits package.
Multiple studies show that companies with higher employee engagement scores offer the following benefits:
- Equitable salaries
- Competitive benefits
- Flexible work options
- Robust and liberal educational and parental leave
- Employee resource groups (ERGs)
- Wellness programs
- Emotional and mental health programs
- More technological tools to make their jobs easier
Providing benefits people actually want can lower your costs in the long run because happy employees are more productive when they know you care about them and their needs at the office and at home. They’ll feel like they belong with your company.
Implementing Company Culture Improvements
It all starts with listening and research. What are your competitors offering? What do your employees want? Ask your current staff what they value most from their benefits. Their answers may surprise you yet give you a starting point for improving your company culture and bottom line.
The advisors at The Whitlock Co. can help your company assess your employee benefits with an audit that will help you decide the best way forward as you optimize your most important assets: your human ones. We bring decades of experience to the table.