I recently read a fascinating article from the Harvard Business Review on managing people that firmly established the importance of the workplace in forming one’s feelings of self-respect and self-worth. It stated that our choice of work is a major source of dignity in our lives, but also acknowledges that few managers receive any formal guidance on how to uphold dignity in the workplace on a daily basis. With more than 3.5 million Americans quitting their jobs every month—the highest rate since 2001 as reported by CNBC—it’s never been more important for employers to double down on strong tactics that help boost company morale and support better employee retention.
According to Forbes.com, more than 50 percent of executives agree that corporate culture can influence productivity, creativity, profitability, value and growth rates. Quite simply, where you work and what your company stands for matters. Let’s dive into the steps you can take as a business owner to ensure the future success of your company.
RECOGNIZE YOUR TEAM
From national awards to statewide competitions, submitting your company and its employees for public recognition is a powerful way to communicate to your workforce that you are proud of the work they do as an employee of your company and member of your community. By publicly showing that pride, you’ll help to foster pride within your employees as well, engendering a stronger sense of comradery.
There are many national awards opportunities that focus on everything from company culture to revenue growth. Some heavy hitters include Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work, Inc. 5000, Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and many more. There are also regional awards which highlight fast growing companies, best places to work, and recognize philanthropic works or sustainability efforts and senior leadership. A good place to find these opportunities is with local newspapers and business journals.
From an internal employee recognition standpoint, individual awards are also extremely powerful, as Forbes.com notes 86 percent of businesses have some kind of employee recognition or awards program in place, underscoring the fact that people tend to work where they know their talents will be both valued and recognized. Consider implementing a merit-based program with a monetary bonus for outstanding performance, or establishing a set day each quarter for the team to come together for an activity outside of work, such as a golf outing, lunch or happy hour.
Whether the praise is given on a national, local or internal company stage, any recognition you do receive or give should be shared on your website, social media pages and in sales and marketing collateral. The more time and attention you invest in promoting your workforce, the more pride they will inherently feel for themselves and their work product. And, the more accolades your company can acquire or bestow, the more you’ll be seen as a desirable place to work within your community.
ESTABLISH CORE VALUES
According to FastCompany.com, people are no longer willing to work for just a paycheck but are looking for a reason to work, contribute to something worthwhile, and make a meaningful difference. They are actively seeking organizations whose guiding principles match well with their own.
To ensure your workforce stays committed to the success of your company, it’s important to determine what that success looks like, and establishing company core values is key.
LinkedIn stresses that core values are what support the vision, shape the culture and reflect what a company values—they are the essence of a company’s identity. Inc.com suggests core values are the bedrock on which business decisions are made and successful relationships are formed, and, once defined, should be visible in every aspect of company operations: from sales and marketing to internal reviews and employee check-ins. Once established, your company’s core values will outline the framework for every decision you make moving forward.
To turn your company culture into a tangible barometer and reference point for decisions large and small, Forbes.com recommends asking yourself, if your company’s culture were a person, how would you describe it? While it may seem odd to personify your business, by putting yourself in this mindset, certain traits will start to rise to the top. If your company is quickly growing and has ambitious sales goals to meet, one core value might be “drive,” whereby all employees, both current and future, would embody this characteristic to some degree. By establishing a set of core values for your company and implementing them throughout every aspect of your business, you’ll help create a team of like-minded professionals all working towards a common goal, and feeling professionally fulfilled while doing so.
ENHANCE YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
Another way to instill confidence and boost morale amongst employees is to raise the caliber of new hires your organization brings on. All recruitment efforts, from job listings, career fairs and word-of-mouth, however, lead back to one place—your company’s website. LinkedIn warns that if your careers page isn’t engaging enough when a prospective candidate visits, it doesn’t matter how great any of your employee benefits are, they’ll lose interest. Not only does your careers page need to be current and informative, but it needs to be memorable and creative as well.
First and foremost, make sure your site is optimized for mobile, as a Glassdoor survey found that 58 percent of job seekers are using their phones to search for open positions. This means ensuring your web page utilizes a responsive design that can detect the size of the screen your website is being viewed on and adjust accordingly, in real time.
To create a more personal experience for prospective employees, offer them a sneak peek inside your company so they can start to imagine what it would be like to be a member of your team. Feature photos and bios of current employees so that visitors can get an idea of who they would be working with on a daily basis. This is also a great way to showcase the various achievements of your staff, helping to raise company morale and individual pride amongst employees for their achievements.
With 90 percent of young adults ages 18-29 using social media—and many calling it their preferred form of contact with potential employers—having interesting content about your workplace on various social platforms is also key to not only showing respect for your workforce, but attracting qualified prospective employees as well. Because video content posted on Facebook gets three times as much engagement as any other kind of content according to Buffer.com, it’s a great resource to secure some extra visibility on your posts.
To tap into this potential, consider featuring an employee each month in a video spotlight and have them discuss what they like most about their job, as well as some personal interests that make them unique. By creating content that not only attracts high-caliber, personable prospects, but also fosters a sense of pride and individuality among your current employees, you’ll not only enhance your digital footprint, but your company’s overall image and reputation as well.
As a business owner, your responsibilities extend well beyond territory growth and service calls, and into the realm of relationship building and culture cultivation. As such, your role in keeping morale high is crucial, as this ensures you have the right team around you to get the job done. By pursuing awards opportunities to showcase your team’s achievements, establishing core values to serve as guiding principles in all business decisions, and enhancing your digital footprint to not only attract but retain top talent, you’ll ensure the future health and success of your business—and the happiness of your employees—for years to come.
Cindy Mannes is the executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance. Visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma for more information on how you can become involved.