Many companies want to become a “Best Place to Work.” It is a coveted label that can be an asset for attracting and retaining top talent. However, the focus shouldn’t be on attracting and retaining employees. It should be about engaging them.
Too often, retention solely focuses on keeping employees on the payroll as long as possible without considering whether those employees are actually engaged and inspired.
Inspired and engaged employees are the key to creating a thriving company culture and becoming a renowned “Best Place to Work.”
11 Tips to Become a Best Place to Work
1. Lead by the Company’s Mission and Purpose
Companies should have a central mission and purpose that they use as a guiding post. When in doubt, leaders and employees can look towards the mission and purpose to quickly assess whether they’re on track. This type of clarity is a mainstay for some of the best places to work.
If the mission is clear, it’s much easier to engage employees and create a thriving culture built around a shared purpose.
2. Ask for Employee Feedback (And Use It)
One thing all the best places to work have in common is the ability to ask for — and act on — employee feedback. Getting employee feedback can be tough sometimes. It can be challenging to hear the reasons why employees aren’t happy. However, the best companies ask for feedback, truly listen and make changes.
Anonymous surveys are often the best way to get the most honest feedback. However, companies should develop a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing feedback with their leaders in person and in real-time for the most efficient improvements in employee satisfaction.
3. Embrace and Promote Diversity
Diversity is an essential component to rich company cultures and fresh new perspectives. Promoting diversity is a tried-and-true way to foster inclusivity and community within a company. Diversity can come in various forms, including:
Ethnicity and Race
Companies should also be conscious enough to develop training programs about diversity in order to eliminate unconscious prejudices and biases within the workplace.
4. Listen and Hear the Employees
Listening to employees doesn’t just mean listening to feedback. It also includes listening to what they have to say about their lives outside of work, allowing supervisors the opportunity to respond appropriately. For instance, if a supervisor learns that an employee’s mother is in the hospital, they can show the employee they hear them and value them by giving them some time off without the employee having to ask for it.
Alternatively, they might hear about an employee’s hobbies outside of work and find ways to support their hobby. Listening extends to new ideas and innovation, too. If companies want to promote innovation, listening is the first and best way to encourage it.
5. Nurture Collaboration
Companies need to eliminate the competitive, cut-throat, Wall Street culture that was popularized in the 1980s. Instead, companies should promote collaboration and place people where they shine. Supervisors should nurture teamwork and encourage employees to support each other.
The reality is that collaboration begins from the top: The best companies have supervisors working with employees and executives. If supervisors are eager to collaborate, it becomes part of the culture.
6. Operate Transparently
Transparency and honesty are different. Honesty is about telling the truth when asked; transparency is about offering up the truth voluntarily and regularly. The best companies communicate goals, successes and failures transparently with their employees.
Transparency helps build trust and foster an involved team. If employees understand and feel included in the “why,” navigating change and day-to-day operations is much smoother for everyone.
7. Make Trust Non-negotiable
Similar to transparency is trust. Operating transparently will help employees feel like they can trust their leadership to move the company in a positive direction. However, trust goes both ways.
Supervisors need to trust their employees to do their job without micromanaging. This should extend to remote work, too. Companies need to show their employees they trust them, and employees need to ensure that the trust is warranted.
8. Create and Maintain a Recognition Program
Employees are happier and more engaged when they’re being recognized for their hard work. Employee recognition has been proven to positively impact company culture, customer experience, productivity and more.
It’s crucial to have an employee recognition program in place and utilize it. Many well-meaning companies have recognition programs but don’t use them. For recognition to work, companies have to make the effort for their employees to trust they will be recognized.
9. Cultivate a Culture of Ownership
There’s no need to reorganize the company in order to create a culture of ownership. However, diminishing as much hierarchy and bureaucracy as possible is a good start. When people feel like they can contribute to company growth in a meaningful way, their commitment and engagement increase substantially.
Companies should give employees access to leaders and decision-makers, and they should consider regular one-on-one meetings and group power sessions. The best companies know that if they want employees to be invested, they have to be allowed to contribute and care as much as the owners do.
10. Invest in Employees
Companies have to invest in their most important asset: their people. Employee investment can look like many things. It can be having regular conversations about career goals and growth. It can be providing training, education or tools to improve the employee’s workflow.
It can also be investing in the employees’ well-being by providing paid time off, ensuring an excellent work-life balance and providing well-being-centric benefits. Ultimately, the best places to work are passionate about treating their employees like the assets that they are.
11. Provide Comprehensive and Meaningful Benefits
In addition to investing in its employees, companies should take care of their employees — financially, physically and mentally. The best way to do that is to provide comprehensive and meaningful benefits.
The best places to work always offer impressive conventional benefits like health care, retirement and paid time off. They also usually offer plenty of lifestyle benefits as well. Lifestyle benefits are meaningful to the employee, and usually improve their lives in some way, like gym memberships, mental health services, child or pet care, travel and more.
Focus on Culture and Engagement
To become a “Best Place to Work,” a company must commit to improving company culture and increasing employee engagement. It often requires some paradigm-shifting, in-depth strategies and trial-and-error. It can take some time to get it right.
However, committing to improving employee happiness and overall well-being will result in improved morale and productivity, and undoubtedly, better leadership. Working to become a “Best Place to Work” is a winning scenario for everyone.
Fringe’s customized lifestyle benefits platform is a great tool to help companies provide meaningful benefits and recognition for their employees. It’s an indispensable platform for any company working on becoming a better place to work.