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How to Create a Great Place to Work

Do you have a great place for people to work? If you hesitate when answering that question, it may be time to give it some thought. Having a high turnover rate means that there are problems with the company culture. The last thing you want to do is spend your time recruiting, hiring, and training, only to see those people walk right out the door.

The Final Whistle

So why is it, exactly, that an employee leaves a company? Some of the top reasons that employees report for leaving a company are:

1. They don’t have any friends at their office. This is a big one, because nobody wants to spend 40-plus hours per week at a place where they are surrounded by people that don’t think like them or that they don’t like. Talk about having anxiety on the way to work!

2. They don’t like the boss for whom they work. Sorry, I know that may bruise some egos, but it is the truth.

3. And if you want to know what the distant third reason is, it is because the pay just isn’t good enough. This is an issue that may or may not be something you can address, but it can impact the company culture if people feel woefully underpaid or find out the pay of those around them (and feel it is unfair).

Creating Comfort

It goes without saying that if you want to have a great place to work, you need to build a common culture in your company. What this means is that people need to share similar values, energy, and attitude. By doing so, this will automatically engender friendships. Plus, you need to be a great boss – someone who is loyal, trusting and fair to all employees.

But there is more that you can do to create a comfortable company culture that makes people want to stay, rather than clock out for good. Find what works best for your company, but consider the following things you can do to help:

  • Help people feel proud and valued, and that their opinions and suggestions matter.
  • Provide proper training, as needed.
  • Welcome those things that are different about people, and embrace diversity.
  • Reward the team when things go right, rather than just one person.
  • Respect everyone, regardless of their title.
  • Skip the corny team-building sessions and ask employees what they would like to do together, on occasion.
  • Try to promote from within, whenever possible. This will give employees hope that someday it could be them that moves up.
  • Give your employees credit for the company success. After all, you really can’t be successful without them.
  • Pitch in and help whenever possible, showing that nothing is beneath you.

Positive Place

Creating a positive work environment is an effective way to retain your employees. But if you are thinking that an old foosball table will change the work environment, it won’t. In fact, if it is not genuine, it will be seen as a gimmick. The key is to allow the culture to develop naturally, with some guidance along the way. And if it is a foosball table that comes about, well, then it will be an even bigger hit.

Written by American Express Open Forum