Posted by Paladin on September 10, 2019
Over the past few years, company culture — which, when boiled down, is really your company’s personality — has rocketed to the top of business priority lists. A culture built on your mission, ethics, and goals that appeals to your executives and staff is, after all, crucial to keeping you competitive when it comes to securing and retaining quality talent.
But as CNN Business points out, having a mission statement isn’t enough to keep your employees happy, and “offering a surplus of fun perks and benefits, like free food and ping pong, won’t do the trick either.” Rather, organizations must drill down to the core of what employees really want: to be challenged, recognized, and taken care of by the companies to which they devote their working lives.
Give Them Room to Grow
Professionals, and creatives in particular, are forever looking for ways to improve their skill set. In an industry like marketing, technology and strategies are always evolving. So employees seek cultures that encourage growth and allow them to spread their wings.
One way to give this to them is by inviting your staff to live a day in the life of a coworker. By implementing a “shadow day” program, in which employees learn about a different role by following a coworker for a day, companies are able to gift their staff with an inside look at a job they may someday wish to take on. There are advantages for your organization too, like increased motivation and better inter-departmental communication.
Allow your employees to request which role they’d like to try. Embolden those doing the leading to engage and challenge their shadow so they get a true sense of the work. This way they’ll have a clear picture of where they’d ultimately like to go within your company. And what it will take to get there.
Recognize Good Work — and the People Who Do It
Based on the idea of a tip jar, compliment jars have been around for a long time. And with good reason: they give employees a chance to praise their peers and receive praise in return. This kind of mutual appreciation doesn’t just increase productivity and urge workers to take more pride in their work, but it also creates a culture of support and respect.
Most companies already encourage collaboration, but what about kindness? Is your marketing team doling out criticism, or constructive feedback? What about your executive team? Is it recognizing and rewarding workers for their innovative ideas, ability to stay on task, and overall contribution to the company? These are questions worth asking, because studies have shown 40% of all American employees feel underappreciated in their jobs.
There are countless ways to reward a good effort in the workplace. Send a personalized note acknowledging an employee’s performance, or applaud their work on social media. Observe Employee Appreciation Day (March 1st) and holidays like National Working Parents Day (September 16). Reward your team for a pitch well done by taking them out to lunch or organizing a bonding activity like an escape room. Demonstrating that you notice and value their hard work is an important part of employee retention.
Showing your staff they’re appreciated doesn’t just improve retention and morale; it can actually increase their wellbeing.
Like wellness, wellbeing encompasses physical health. But it also extends to other factors like a sense of fulfillment, optimism about the future, and general satisfaction. Research shows that employees who feel appreciated have wellbeing scores 13% higher than those who don’t feel their work is being recognized.
“The more often employees feel recognized and appreciated, the stronger the positive effects on their overall wellbeing,” writes The O.C. Tanner Institute, which conducted the aforementioned study. “That means the stronger your culture of recognition, the more your employees’ wellbeing improves.”
To improve the wellbeing of your staff, The O.C. Tanner Institute recommends combining traditional benefits like a competitive salary, paid vacation time, and maternity or paternity leave with “environmental benefits” like collaborative workspaces and employee recognition programs (regular team-building breakfasts, company outings, birthday celebrations, and work anniversary parties can help, too). Together, these kinds of perks can create a stronger and more rewarding company culture.
For more tips on building a better culture for your marketing team so they don’t jump ship, check out our latest report.