In today's world, most people don't retire from their first job. Or their second. Instead, people change jobs, and careers, hoping to find the perfect fit. But they're not looking for the perfect position; they're searching for the right company.
It's no secret that company culture plays a key role in how people feel about their employers. According to one study, 87 percent of businesses say building a strong company culture is one of their top challenges, yet as little as 13 percent of people actually feel engaged at work or tied to its culture.
Then there's the small few that work at some of the world's best companies. At Google, Zappos, LinkedIn, and even Wegmans Food Markets, people (for the most part) love to come to work. They show up every day, do their best, have fun, and when they go home at night, they look forward to coming back to work the next day.
So where's the breakdown? How do some companies get things so right, while 87 percent of businesses continue to struggle?
It comes down to this: What does your company focus on? Instead of worrying primarily about productivity and sales reports, focus on hiring the right people, building camaraderie, and giving great workers the freedom and inspiration they need to do great things.
With an increase in employee satisfaction typically comes an increase in employee retention. Revenue will often follow suit.
Do these three things to make that happen:
1. Shake up your hiring process.
If you want an intelligent and creative team to inspire, it starts with hiring the right people. From building transparency to offering a fair salary and benefits, you want to be straightforward with job candidates about what it's like to work for your company and what you're looking for in an employee.
To find someone who fits in with your company culture, expose potential new hires to your current employees through collaborative hiring. Let them meet and see how they engage with one another. If the candidate becomes a new hire, they've already started to build those necessary relationships with coworkers, making engagement happen even quicker than before.
When you hire right and combine great employees with a great culture, you create an environment where amazing things can happen.
2. Build camaraderie.
When you're working 40-plus hours a week, the office becomes a much happier place when coworkers cross the line from "the person in the cubicle next to me" to "my friend from work."
According to a 2017 survey, when asked "What do you love about your job?" the majority of people answered "the people I work with." This wasn't just the number one answer; it was three times more popular than the second most common response.
That's why some of the most employee-centric companies focus on building camaraderie. They don't just leave things to chance. They design their physical spaces to encourage collaboration and mingling. LinkedIn offers free yoga classes. Yext throws parties for just about any reason. Apple offers employee shuttle service. These companies want their employees to spend time together, get to know one another, and become friends.
Free lunch alone won't drive employee satisfaction (although free lunches never hurt).
3. Inspire them.
Even when certain job positions may involve tedious or monotonous work, give your employees the freedom to explore innovative ideas or new improvements. Inspire them by running creative contests, like Comcast's "The Idea," which is based on the television show, The Voice, and encourages employees to come up with cutting-edge ideas.
Be passionate about your business. If you're passionate about it, it becomes contagious, and your employees become passionate about the company, too. Encourage employees to share their ideas and when they have a great one, acknowledge them.
Remember, when people are happy at work, they perform better, which improves your bottom line. What's more, employees who are excited to come to work and passionate about what they do become a walking, talking billboard for your company and your brand.