Beyond Compensation And Benefits: Why Company Culture Is Key
Beyond Compensation And Benefits: Why Company Culture Is Key
Written by: Niki Jorgensen, Forbes Councils Member
Niki is director, service operations with Insperity. She specializes in employee onboarding, human capital management and HR infrastructure.
One of the most interesting outcomes of the past two years is the renewed focus on company culture and the prioritization of work-life balance above compensation and benefits. A Glassdoor survey found that 77% of respondents consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and 56% said company culture is more important than salary as it relates to job satisfaction. And that was before the pandemic. In 2021, Glassdoor found that toxic work culture was one of the biggest factors in people quitting.
With company culture key to attracting and retaining top talent, savvy business leaders should take the necessary steps to heed the call of workers by creating, boosting or transforming their culture for continued success. Five areas for business leaders to consider include:
Creating A Welcoming Environment
Based on the common knowledge that employees spend the majority of their time working, it only makes sense to create an environment that is welcoming for everyone. Laying a foundation that is centered around core values and acceptable behaviors sets the tone for positive interactions and a great culture.
For example, leaders should display a positive attitude, practice active listening, treat everyone with respect and build relationships, which will have a trickle-down effect and serve as an example for others. When employees experience these behaviors from managers and colleagues, they look forward to going to work—in the office or virtually—because the atmosphere is one in which they can flourish.
Making And Maintaining Connections
Company culture does not exist without people, so it is critical for leaders to make connections with employees and encourage relationships among workers to drive the culture. When leaders form strong connections with employees it not only helps them feel valued but also gives employees a sense of being part of a family that cares for them and supports their success.
Some ways for leaders to stay connected to employees, especially in remote situations, include daily check-ins via group emails and/or individual texts, weekly touch-base team meetings with a virtual option, and bi-weekly individual face-to-face chats via Zoom or in person. When employees feel connected to something greater, rather than isolated on an island, they are more engaged and ingrained in the culture.
Generating Team-Building Activities
Generating team-building activities for employees helps to build stronger bonds and create long-lasting relationships that support daily tasks and prove to be invaluable during high-stress situations. When employees know they can count on their leader and co-workers for guidance, emotional support, project assistance and additional expertise, it leads to increased employee morale and engagement—critical elements of company culture.
Leaders can effectively extend the culture to remote teams by planning virtual activities such as daily coffee talks, Wordle challenges, company trivia games, elevator speech competitions, current events quizzes and more. Volunteering as a group is also a great team-building activity, especially if it requires specific procedures such as building at Habitat for Humanity, preparing meals at the local food bank or assembling care packages for veterans. These activities help employees get to know one another in a relaxed format that builds trust and camaraderie.
Supporting Work-Life Balance
An integral part of all great company cultures is a robust work-life balance program that displays care and compassion for its employees. While generous amounts of PTO, paid volunteer hours and flexible schedules are standard components of most programs, the mental health and well-being of employees have surged to the forefront, as many employers provide resources and implement programs to serve these needs. Meditation apps, virtual therapy services, EAPs, mental health days, access to virtual fitness programs and mindfulness training are becoming more common elements of work-life balance programs.
Leaders play a critical role in supporting work-life balance programs by displaying empathy in their interactions with employees; encouraging workers to take allotted time off; and serving as examples by using PTO, volunteering in the community and participating in company-sponsored well-being programs. Companies that support robust work-life balance programs will have more well-rounded employees who are recharged to focus on achieving goals.
Offering Professional Development Opportunities
Professional development opportunities are one of the most important aspects of company culture, especially for Millennials. Companies that offer professional development programs are solidifying their culture by giving employees a chance to expand their skill sets and advance their careers within the company. They also help to facilitate succession planning, which is vital for maintaining the culture when employees leave or retire.
For example, formal mentoring programs, online courses, industry certifications, on-site training sessions, virtual/in-person trade conferences and tuition reimbursement are ways employers demonstrate their support for the educational needs of employees. This can further aid the desire to build/grow the company from within its ranks, as well as attract top-notch candidates. Companies that establish professional development programs are signaling a forward-looking approach to their talent management functions by having properly trained employees in the right roles.
As the workforce places a greater emphasis on company culture ahead of compensation, business leaders should take proactive steps to boost their culture, meet the needs of a growing trend and make a valuable investment in the future of their companies.
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April 14, 2022 at 05:09AM