Guest Post: What makes your company a great place to work?

This week’s guest post is from Natalie Hoffman and she discussing how to make your company somewhere top employees want to work:

Today’s workforce is looking for more than just a paycheck from their employer. The days have passed when a slightly better-paying job with insurance was enough to sway the American worker from one company to the next. Today, employees are seeking a company providing the right environment and culture that fits with their ideal career experience, and if a company doesn’t provide, employees will seek another venture. When you look at companies succeeding in providing the ideal workplace, they have several common characteristics.

Human resource professions have dedicated their time getting to know what today’s modern worker is looking for from their employer. Among the many topics the clients of outsourced HR professionals face, a desirable culture is one they strive to provide and those dedicated to improving their culture will engage with HR consultants to strategize and provide a better employee experience. Through these consultations, surveys, and employee feedback, HR professionals have found there are several common pillars of companies that fall under the category of a great place to work.

Flexible culture

Flexible culture can mean a lot of things to employees and employers. Flexibility can exist in the schedules employees are expected to hold, as well as in the location they are able to work. Many employers have embraced flex scheduling, allowing employees to set their own hours within the reasonable limits of the organization’s needs. Additionally, more and more employers are embracing the mobile world in which we live and are providing employees with the opportunity to work remotely. Furthermore, professional organizations are trending toward dress-for-your-day dress codes rather than strict business attire on a daily basis, freeing up their employees to feel more comfortable at work when they aren’t meeting with clients. Organizations looking to develop a more flexible culture will need to determine which incentives work best for their operation and can start by implementing one at a time. Other opportunities for establishing a flexible culture may exist unique to your organization. Don’t be afraid to explore them.

Collaborative atmosphere

Employers who embrace collaboration and dispel departmental silos are seeing greater long-term employee satisfaction in their organizations. A collaborative atmosphere allows employees to bring their strengths to the table and complement the abilities of others to provide a comprehensive and holistic atmosphere when brainstorming, problem-solving and decision-making. Employees feel more engaged and believe they are an integral part of the team knowing their contribution will make a difference for the project as a whole.

Empowering minds

When an employee feels empowered to speak their ideas freely among members of their team and to their supervisors and managers, they feel more engaged in their work and satisfied with their contributions. Employers who embrace the free exchange of ideas often see higher levels of productivity and can significantly benefit from the diverse and creative minds of all their employees, rather than limit themselves to a select group of decision-makers. Personal growth for each employee is essential to developing future leaders, and employers who provide the opportunity to express ideas are helping fuel that personal development in their team members.

Diverse viewpoints

Each individual brings a unique set of experiences and values to an organization, providing a diverse and well-rounded perspective to the table. Diversity in gender, generation, and ethnicities, to name a few, provide an organization with a 360-degree point-of-view helping to develop practices and make decisions that are less likely to be short-sighted or narrow-minded. Additionally, employees who engage in a collaborative atmosphere with others of varying backgrounds and experiences can expand their worldview and grow through the challenges and the commonalities they share with their team members. When team members are encouraged to consider alternative views, they develop critical skills for working with a variety of clients in the future who may think, believe or live differently from themselves, and they will need to adapt to that client’s expectations and needs.

Learning culture

Promoting the growth of your employees through continuing education and certification opportunities is highly valued in today’s workforce. Allowing employee’s time to pursue higher degrees or diversify their credentials is a highly-sought-after quality in today’s professional service career lines, especially. Offering learning opportunities at your company is also a valued perk and illustrates your commitment to helping employees better themselves in their fields and as members of the workforce. When you invest in your employees, they are likely to return their investment in their work through a greater understanding and knowledge and higher productivity levels.

Investment in innovation and technology

Companies that make innovation a priority are desirable employers by a workforce that is heavily-invested in modern technology and conveniences. Companies embracing technology and trends in innovation are showing they are forward-thinking, mature companies who understand the value change can provide to the workplace and their processes. By providing the best possible technology to employees, organizations can vastly improve productivity and employee satisfaction as employees can spend less time with insufficient programs and processes and more time serving the clients’ needs, developing new ideas and solving problems.

Growth/forward mindset

Companies afraid of change and don’t focus on growth are finding it difficult to compete for today’s top talent. An adaptive and growth-focused vision are essential for organizations looking to attract the best individuals available in their industry and region. Top candidates are looking for careers with companies that are moving forward, embracing change, fine-tuning their vision, and focused on sustainable growth. Companies with an uncertain path for the future will fail to appeal to today’s workforce who are especially leery of layoffs and restructuring due to recent economic shifts.

Developing an external image takes time, but the most efficient way is to start from the inside. Consider these pillars and how your organization currently operates. Ask yourself some tough questions. Distribute a confidential survey to your employees soliciting feedback, and encourage them to share their thoughts on the current culture and ideas for improvement. Eventually, through well-thought-out changes, companies can improve their image and attract better talent to their teams. As the workforce continues to change its values, employers will need to continue to evaluate the environment they provide if they want to remain competitive in today’s job market.

Natalie Hoffmann is the president of leading payroll service company HK Payroll Services, Inc. (HKP) and partner at Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C. (HK). With over 30 years of experience in her field, Natalie has written for several publications on the topics of business, accounting and payroll technologies.


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