A historically tight labor market means employees have arguably more power than ever before, and workers are putting well-being at the top of their priority list. Companies with a strong, familial culture already in place have an upper hand in today’s labor landscape, and that focus on culture means that everyone wins. Emphasis on employee well-being is going to look different at every organization. That said, there are four key elements that help lay the foundation of a strong culture with heart.
Flexibility & Understanding
Not that long ago, the definition of when and where work could happen was set in stone. However, today’s employees are challenging the notion of a 9-to-5 workday. Leaders who promote understanding and flexibility are empowering their employees to finish work tasks and achieve business goals in ways that also fit their lives. For example, when an employee comes to you saying they want to coach their son or daughter’s little league team and needs to leave the office at 4:00 pm, bringing understanding and flexibility to that situation shows employees you are committed to your company’s core values. It also promotes a larger culture of caring within your organization.
A Focus on Development
When it comes to professional development, businesses should be asking themselves a simple question: What can we do to help our employees? One way you can do this is by always taking a bottom-up approach to quarterly and yearly meetings. When you allow your employees to give honest feedback without fear of retribution, it can help you as a leader shape development opportunities that teams want. When employees feel appreciated for their contributions and are given the opportunities and tools necessary to develop within the organization, they are more committed to the company’s clients and overall success.
Employee Appreciation & Affirmation
To have a strong workplace culture, you must show your employees you appreciate them and their work. Leaders should proactively look for reasons to celebrate their employees’ achievements, but a leader’s role is also to encourage peer-level appreciation between coworkers. This fosters an environment of recognition at all levels and encourages cross-collaboration of different teams or even geographic groups. At DAHL, we recently introduced a technology platform called Nectar that is an easy way for employees to share congratulations, give praise or highlight each other’s wins both personally and professionally. These little things make your team stronger from all levels because it allows a 360 degree approach to acknowledging success. Employees who feel appreciated within an organization and are regularly celebrated by their manager and coworkers are more committed to delivering great work for customers and the company.
Doing The Right Thing
Another good reason for leaders to have bottom-up conversations with employees is so they can express if they feel the company is not living up to its core values or if a client is misaligned with the company’s solution offering or ideal customer profile. Your values can’t simply be documented in your employee manual, they must be lived by everyone who interacts with your organization. Sometimes that means difficult decisions have to be made. However, if you show you care about your employees and maintain your shared values, it can lead to healthier client relationships and raised partnership expectations.
The Effects of Strong Culture
DAHL lives by these core principles and the effects are clear.
In a time of record job turnover, DAHL is celebrating numerous employees who have been with us for 10, 15, 20 and even 35 years. People who want to work for your company deliver industry-leading customer service, and they refer other people to work there as well. This is what creates a strong workplace culture and a reputation that reaches far beyond your work hours and office environment. It’s not a coincidence employees at DAHL voted us a best place to work at the same time our clients voted us among the best in staffing. These culture accolades go hand in hand. If your employees are happy and appreciated, they will do their best to make your clients happy and returning; it’s that simple.
Securing employee buy-in through a strong, familial culture can have profoundly positive effects, helping companies retain employees, maintain client partnerships, and attract business and quality talent. If you want to be part of DAHL’s company family, as an employee, a client, or a candidate, head over to www.dahlconsulting.com to learn more about our opportunities.