Your ideas and vision will drive your company from its infancy, but it's your employees who will have the most impact on the long-term performance of your business, especially as you move into a growth period.
In fact, our business has thrived because we've been able to recruit and retain talent who quickly adopt leadership roles. With their help, we've seen our sales multiply year-over-year. By developing a company culture our employees enjoy, empowering them to accomplish more at their jobs and incorporating social good into our business processes, we've established a brand our team members are proud to work for.
Below are three strategies you can use to make your company a place your top performers will never want to leave.
Build a dynamic company culture.
Strong company cultures that attract passionate and talented employees don't arise out of thin air. They have to be strategically created, built from the top down and nurtured over time. Otherwise, your organization's culture will be a disorganized combination of competing ideas with no guiding philosophy behind them. When you know in detail what your company culture is, then you can hire people who will be a good fit for it. This is vital since studies show culture fit is a crucial component of employee retention.
When you focus on building a value-added culture from the very beginning of the organization's existence, then the benefits of that culture make waves throughout the entire business. This includes being better positioned to retain high-impact employees for years to come.
Set clear expectations and empower employees to exceed them.
The first big responsibility you have to your employees is to establish ambitious, yet feasible expectations for them. Hardworking, talented employees want to work with their colleagues to achieve great things, but they're also wary of any company that doesn't have defined milestones. If, in an interview, and entrepreneur claims, "We're in a rapid growth phase, and things are changing too fast to have specific goals for your position," the applicant interprets this as, "I have no idea what they'll hold me accountable for."
Once you let your employees know exactly what will be expected of them, your second major task is to empower them to achieve those goals. Give them the tools they need to thrive in their role, whether it is technology, training or intra-office communication.
Highlight your company's social impact.
The impactful workers of today are looking for much more than just a paycheck when they agree to take a job. They want to work for an organization that has defined values and routinely makes a difference in society. In fact, 58 percent of millennials say they would take a lower salary in order to work for a company that has similar values to their own, according to Net Impact's 2012 Talent Report in partnership with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
These days, many companies still rely on a business model in which they produce quick, disposable products that are convenient for customers but are bad for the environment. I believe product-based brands have a responsibility to consumers, their staff and the world to reduce the waste they create. In the UK, low-quality and older mattresses are overwhelming recycling centers, according to reports by the British newspaper The Sun. Many are likely to be burnt or dumped in a landfill.
At Amerisleep, we view this as a problem created mainly by opportunistic manufacturers who produce cheap and replaceable products that aren't made-to-last. That's why we build our beds to last decades and take an eco-friendly approach to making our mattresses with plant-based materials, a zero-emissions manufacturing process and optimized shipping methods to minimize our carbon footprint. Businesses like ours increase their likelihood of retaining top talent when they support social causes their team members care about.