How to Become the “Best Company To Work For”
You want your clients to consider you the best company they can come to in your area of expertise. Achieving this status is based on several things. One of these things is by becoming the best company to work for in your field. This method gets overlooked often, yet when you think about it, happy employees are more productive. They are also better with clients.
1. Appreciate Your Employees
One way to have happy employees is to give them a chance to grow in their positions. An employee who feels they are appreciated will go the extra mile to make both themselves and you look good. Don't hesitate to let your employees know how important they are to the success of your business.
Invest In Their Development
Investing in your employees' development can be as simple as offering periodic training seminars. It could also go as far as helping cover college classes that will advance their skills. What is important is that you provide a chance for them to grow that they might not otherwise have.
Consider someone who shows exceptional leadership potential but is raising a family and can't possibly afford to take classes toward a degree. By offering partial or full payment, you can enable that employee to grow. Aside from this, it would benefit everyone to provide periodic seminars or maybe a yearly conference to help them keep skills up to par.
Acknowledge Their Milestones
Acknowledging milestones allows the employee to feel noticed and appreciated. These milestones can be professional, such as the anniversary of hiring or promotion. Milestones can also be personal, like wedding anniversaries, a child's graduation, and birthdays.
Recognize Their Efforts
Not every attempt will be successful. By letting your employees know that you see how hard they are trying, it helps them stay encouraged. An employee who feels his effort is recognized, regardless of success, will continue to put forth their best effort.
2. Equality & Diversity
You must show your staff your willingness to embrace diversity. Diversity willingness takes many forms. Variety in your team shows that you are open-minded and willing to work for the best of all. This embracing of diversity needs to be combined with a willingness to make sure you treat all employees equally. This combination of acceptance and equality is your greatest gift to each of your employees.
3. Be Ethical
Ethics is essential in any business. This ethical treatment must extend to both employees and customers. Your staff needs to know they can count on you, to be honest, fair, and forthcoming. They need to know you will settle any disputes in an appropriate, unbiased manner. Providing training on business ethics is something you should consider for your staff. Too often, you may find that employees have learned habits that place their behavior in the grey area. This most likely happened because previous places of employment encouraged this behavior. Let your employees know what you expect from them and that they can expect the same type of treatment from you.
Create An Open Door Policy That Swings Both Ways
Talking to employees to find out what is on their minds creates an atmosphere of acceptance. Talking also lets them feel more comfortable if they need to come to you with questions, ideas, or problems. Let your office door swing both ways, and you will see higher morale among your employees.
4. Be Supportive and Cultivate a Conducive Culture
Each company has its own culture. This culture helps encourage teamwork. It allows each employee to know where they stand in the scheme of things. It also lets everyone know what their role is in this "family" and how that role adds to the environment. Think of your workplace as one large family. Each member has a particular position, yet each role is no more important than the next. When one piece of this goes awry, the whole structure fails. Make sure each member of your work family gets the support and encouragement they need.
Build Up Employee Engagement
Find ways that help include your employees in the workings of the company. Let them know that this isn't just your company but is also their company. You can do this in a couple of ways:
Create a mentorship program. Mentorship programs allow those who strive to grow and move up in the company to get an inside view. Having someone they can get answers from will help them know their questions are important. A willing mentor will encourage more asking, which leads to more excellent knowledge.
Competition is good when handled properly, but teamwork goes a lot further in making the workplace an enjoyable place to work. Utilizing different knowledge sets adds depth to all projects. Consider offering workshops on cooperation.
Setup Flexible Working Schedules
Life gets hectic. Most families in the workforce today are raising kids, going to school, taking care of elderly parents, or some combination of these. No longer does a 9-5 job fit neatly into everybody's schedule. By offering a flexible work schedule whenever possible, you allow your employees the ability to put aside the stress of wondering how they are going to manage everything and still do a good job.
For example, one employee may need to drop their children off at daycare or school at 9:00. It is difficult to make it to work on time if they can't see that their children are in safe hands until that time. Allowing the shift to run from 10-6 would help ease that stress. Someone else may be caring for a sick, elderly parent. If you can enable that employee to do some of their work at home and come into the office a few times per week, you will allow them to manage both duties more productively. You may not be able to accommodate everyone's wishes or needs, but the more flexibility you offer, the more productive you will find your employees.
5. Competitive Salary & Benefits
Even if your employees love their job, if they can't support their families and take care of needs, they will leave. It is up to you as the business owner to make sure your employees are earning enough to meet basic needs. Compare what you pay them to comparable businesses in your area and don't try to skimp on salaries. Benefits must also compare favorably. Things like medical coverage and a retirement plan that can help ease worry about the future are essential in today's workplace. This is more true today than it has ever been. Other significant benefits to consider are holidays and sick leave, family leave for births and illness, and the knowledge that if there is some type of injury at work, the employee won't suffer without a job or compensation.
Create A Reward System
People like to know that if they put out extra effort, they will gain something. Creating a reward system of some type will help increase the incentive for working harder and giving it their all. It also helps foster a healthy sense of competition. People love competition. You don't want it to be the kind that pits one employee against the other, however. Instead, think along the lines of a team reward. Make it so the team has to work well together to succeed.
Inspire Work-Life Balance
You've heard the expression about all work and no play. This expression is true. People get burned out quickly when all they do is work. Encourage employees to not only divide their time between work, home, and social life but do so by setting an example. Many employees will model their behavior after that of their boss. If you never seem to leave the office, they may feel guilty for taking a weekend off to attend a family event or retreat at their scheduled time. Show your employees that work is essential, but so is family and fun time.
Offer Paid Leave Benefits
Many organizations offer paid leave benefits. The paid leave can be for a variety of reasons. Allowing so many paid vacation days per a certain number of worked hours is terrific. Another way to be helpful and support your employees is to enable them to accumulate paid personal and sick days. Accumulating hours gives them a chance to make possible things like doctor's appointments or to take a much-needed mental health day without worrying about losing money toward bills or getting in trouble at work. Consider paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child or to deal with grief over a loved one's death. All of this goes back to letting your employees know you care about them as humans and not just workers.
6. Say ‘Thank You’
Never underestimate the power of a simple "thank you." Employees are just like every other human. They like for their efforts to be recognized. It is important to acknowledge things like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Still, none of that creates as much goodwill as your supervisor noticing when you put in a little extra effort or went above and beyond to get a project finished on time. Don't feel that too much praise will spoil your employees. Every effort you make to show appreciation for their energy will multiply in output.
Be the Best Employer to Foster Growth
Being the best employer to work for in your industry will help you create a reputation that leads to greater hiring success and business growth. You will find that you are never short of a pool of top talent from which to choose. Your employees will be happy and productive. Happy employees will make clients happy. All it takes are some small, simple gestures that encourage and care for your employees within a culture of putting people first.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.