How to become the company that people would love to work for
Work is a place where most people spend almost two thirds of their life. Sure it’s a means to an end, a way to earn money so that you can have a house, a car and support a family, or travel the world, but it doesn’t just end there. Many people find purpose in what they do, are stimulated by challenges and the need to find creative solutions to problems that arise. They genuinely enjoy what they do.
So when you as a business are looking to employ people it needs to be with this in mind. You may need them to fulfill a role, but if you want them to really add value to your business and contribute to its growth, then it needs to be about much more than schedules, policies, procedures and tasks. Work needs to be a place where they feel purposeful and valued. So how do you go about creating a workplace like that when your priority as a business owner is turnover and profits?
It’s not a trade off
You heard right, you don’t need to invest in people at the expense of your business. It’s not a trade off, in fact it’s the opposite. When people feel valued they put more into their work and the business grows as natural result of that. It’s been proven time and time again, that higher levels of employee engagement result in higher profits.
If you want to question this way of thinking simply look at who are the most sought after businesses to work for. While the list will vary somewhat depending on who you ask, the same companies consistently appear in the top 10 – Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple and Disney, to name a few. And who are the leading global brands based on market value? These same companies are on the list.
Now you may not be a global brand or be involved in the highly dynamic and innovative technology industry, that doesn’t mean you can’t top the list when it comes to being an industry employer. If you take a closer look at these top brands you’ll find they have more in common than being successful.
The Disney ethos is legendary, there are few brands that are as people centric and focused on people having fun and memorable experiences. Sure they’re in the entertainment industry, but they make it personal. Staff training has strong focus on genuinely engaging with customers and using their own initiatives to make sure that people are happy. There’s a story of an employee who was dressed up in the role of Snow White comforting an autistic boy who had been frightened by the Magic Castle fireworks display. She sat with him on the steps away from the crowd comforting him until he’d calmed down, allowing his parents and siblings to enjoy the fireworks display. That may not have been part of her job, but it was part of the company culture.
A positive and vibrant company culture is very attractive to potential employees. And it is possible to create this even in a manufacturing plant or administration office. It’s simply about turning the focus towards people and the value they bring. Encouraging people to share ideas that could improve systems or processes and allowing people to innovate and experiment without the fear of failure. Instead failures are simply viewed as learning experiences. Something positive, something to be encouraged by, not something to be embarrassed about.
People like to be part of a company that contributes to the community, the environment or other special projects. In company feedback Salesforce employees rate the company as one of the best, because it gives them time off to volunteer and supports them in their causes. Prioritising giving, even if it’s just one project a year communicates that you care about more than just profits.
If you want your company to attract great people, start working on your company culture, get to know employees and what’s important to them. Get involved in community events and projects and allow employees the freedom to add value to the business in creative ways. The profits will come, because great companies are not just about products or services, they’re about people.