How a Positive Company Culture Can Keep Your Employees Satisfied
There’s a reason why large corporations such as Walmart, Google, Facebook, and others spend millions of dollars dedicated to figuring out how to make their employees happy: happy employees lead to more profitable companies. The good news is you don’t necessarily need to break the bank revamping your company break room or adding expensive perks like on-site fitness centers and free lunches to keep employees feeling satisfied. The truth is, these trendy perks won’t do much good if you have a toxic company culture resulting from under-appreciated, overworked employees. That’s why you need to make sure your company’s culture is healthy before you try to bandage it with expensive and superficial changes.
A healthy company culture creates happy employees, which impacts your bottom line in two key ways: by leading to higher employee productivity and increased employee retention rates.
Happy workers take 70% fewer days off work due to sickness than non-engaged workers. And when they’re at work, they’re less likely to goof off and more likely to achieve a state of productive flow.
Happy employees are also less likely to seek new jobs, saving you from an expensive and time-consuming search to fill vacant positions. According to research by the US firm Gallup, engaged employees are 59% less likely to look for a new job within a 12-month period than non-engaged employees–and every hiring manager knows just how costly and time-consuming the interviewing and hiring process for replacement employees can be.
So how do we make sure our employees feel engaged at work?
It doesn’t always come down to the money (although it definitely helps to pay competitive salaries!). In my career, I’ve seen people pass up the opportunity to seek better-paying jobs because they had strong social bonds they didn’t want to lose. If your employees like the people they work with, you’ll have a better shot at keeping them. Ditch the cut-throat, dog-eat-dog attitudes, where employees are only looking after themselves, because this breeds resentment and negativity. Instead, foster an environment at work that rewards teamwork and prioritizes striving together for the same goal.
I like to encourage my direct reports to take regular 15-minute walking breaks as a group: this promotes health, encourages group bonding, and provides a mental break so my employees return to their work feeling refreshed afterwards.
Similarly, workers value transparency and a sense of purpose. Employees, especially those who identify as millennials, are far more likely to feel satisfied at work if they feel a sense of purpose in their jobs. So how do you make repetitive work, such as data entry or stocking shelves, feel fulfilling and important?
This is where transparency comes in. Monthly team meetings, quarterly one-on-ones, and regular check-ins are all important drivers of trust and communication. During these meetings, make sure you connect how each worker, from the summer intern to the loyal veteran, is necessary to help the company succeed–in other words, let them see how they play into the greater plan for the company’s success. This will make them feel confident that what they do actually matters.