3 ways you can improve your company culture for retention

We all want high staff retention rates in our business, don’t we? This month we asked the experts at BrightHR for their top tips on company culture.

When an employee leaves, their skills and their knowledge and their personality all leave with them. We want to keep our skilled workers, and not have to worry about replacing them and then training the replacements. High retention can save your business time and money.

High retention can also demonstrate to prospective candidates that your business is a great place to work. This might be because you’re offering your staff structured progression paths. It might be that the reward schemes are lucrative.

Or, it could be your company culture.

Vibrant and positive company culture creates a working environment that people are excited to turn up and work in. Here are 3 ways you can bolster your company culture to retain employees and even make your company more appealing to the talented candidates out there.

Encourage flexible working

No, this doesn’t mean urge your staff to practise yoga while they’re on the phone to customers. Flexible working is a chance for you to treat your staff like adults and show them that you trust their time-management and decision-making skills.

You might agree to new shift patterns (e.g. 10am-6pm) for the employee who works better later in the day. You could create a system where an employee can book two hours off during the afternoon for their hospital appointment, and allow them to make the time back during the rest of the week. You could even consider allowing staff to work from home.

If you embrace 21st-century technology and agree with your staff that they must be reachable via Skype, or Google Hangouts, or any other collaborative software, then you won’t need to worry that your from-home workers are treating your flexibility like a day off.

Flexibility can also include a more casual dress code. You might choose to develop this more casual workplace image into one of your core values. You’ll find your employees show more loyalty to you if they know you can empathise with their world outside the office.

Recognise success

Friday is becoming Celebration Day in many modern workplaces. It’s a chance for team leaders to share with the rest of the office what their unit has achieved—and to ensure that the people working hard are getting the acclaim they deserve. Following a CareerBuilder survey, 50% of almost 4000 workers acknowledged that recognition for their performance increased their morale and job satisfaction.

Guess what? Employees who have high job satisfaction don’t leave.

Positivity and motivation are infectious, so don’t miss any opportunity to make your employees feel good about themselves and their co-workers when they’ve earned it. You could even give out rewards.

You don’t need to create a large budget for recognition. What about a bottle of wine for the outstanding performer of the week; and a spa day for the Employee of the Month?

And of course, feel free to think big for awards at your end of year event.

Invite feedback

The best way to strengthen your business is by offering your staff the chance to weigh in on the way the company operates. Options for feedback include:

  • Surveys that ask about management, workload, workflow structure, company culture, employee satisfaction.
  • A suggestions box for people to anonymously note an idea for improving an element of the business.
  • Exit interviews—these are often overlooked; but, when an employee is leaving, the exit interview gives you a chance to ask them why they are leaving, and what they think you could be doing better.

Feedback is part of a process of investigating what works well inside your business, and identifying areas that you and your colleagues could work to improve. You won’t be able to implement every suggestion—some of them might contradict one another—but the key action here is that you’re offering your staff the chance to express their opinions; You’re showing your workforce that you value their insight.

Assess your business regularly to see how you can improve your company culture. Remember, you hired your staff for a reason—if they proved during their probation that they were worth keeping, then you now need to prove to them that you’re worth keeping.

About the author:

Alastair Brown is Chief Technological Officer at BrightHR. Alastair is responsible for driving forward BrightHR’s expansion plans and the management of the businesses technological needs.

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