BBB Business Tip: How to build a company culture that empowers (and keeps) its employees

So, your team is talented, but they aren’t meeting sales expectations. Maybe their hearts aren’t in it, maybe it’s the season, maybe you can’t figure out the reason. Still, the numbers are down, and something is missing.

As a knowledgeable manager, you might take a step back to consider your organization’s most important moving parts: your employees. Does your culture support their success?

Fostering a company culture that encourages employee empowerment could be critical for your small business. For starters, it could lift spirits all around (theirs and yours). But for your business, a positive culture could boost productivity, lower recruitment costs, and increase employee loyalty. What does that all amount to? Empowered employees and a business running at full speed. Here’s how to get started.

Build people to build business
Positive company culture is your passport to positive personnel development. Ongoing recruitment efforts are expensive and a drag on company resources. As such, if you’re looking for talented, loyal employees, instill a company culture that has applicants clamoring for a position with your team.

Over the course of the past 20 years, human resources departments have noted emerging trends in this area. Employers are noticing that new staff hires are unlikely to hold their positions for longer than a couple of years.

According to the United States Department of Labor, around 24% of American workers have held their current position for 12 months or less. This number drops sharply to between 5-6% for 2-3 year employees before picking up again for those staying in their position past the three-year mark.

Currently, because many are working remotely, employers are having to identify more productive ways of introducing new hires to their teams. For example, some are offering “trial periods” where candidates experience the position for 30 days before deciding if it’s a fit.

Build a culture that builds your team
Culture-building starts from day one. So, ask the question: “Does our culture show up in our onboarding program?”

Most employees know whether they’re willing to make a long-term commitment to a position within the first six months of employment. As such, a carefully planned onboarding program takes advantage of this time to connect with and develop new employees. The goal within that six-month timeframe is for the new employee will feel fully “on board” in terms of the company’s culture, goals and ambitions.

LinkedIn Talent Solutions data points to companies retaining 91% of new employees when formal onboarding programs are in place. When companies buy into these programs, they have employees who buy into the company.

Here are some of the advantages:

Reduced turnover
Accelerated performance
Established team trust
Shortened time to productivity
Onboarding is more than a tactical solution to stemming employee turnover; it’s a strategic decision to use the full range of an employee’s talents over the long term, and forward-thinking companies are quickly adopting it as a solution to a mobile and restive workforce.

Trust, push, and support your employees
For some reason, hiring managers can tend to steer their employees’ career paths to meet the firm’s needs. So, developing a cogent employee development plan often falls by the wayside as soon as employees’ W-2s and I-9s have been filed.

More importantly, it’s important to recognize that your development approach should (if possible) be tailored to your employees. According to a 2015 article in Harvard Business Review, “Highly-structured, one-size-fits-all learning programs don’t work anymore. Individuals must own, self-direct, and control their learning futures. Yet they can’t do it alone, nor do you want them to.” By the way, this kind of customization doesn’t need to be costly, there are several ways to implement an affordable professional development program.

But back to empowerment. It’s important to focus on the kind of learning that aligns for both the organization and the employee. When their goals and your needs are in sync, it’s a double win. They’re more likely to stick around, and for the company, they’re adding value. In other words, employee fulfillment leads to employee empowerment.

Empower your employees to get results
There’s a lot to love when a company’s culture, worker satisfaction, and staff development are jelling. The work you put in can pay off in countless ways, but here are just a few:

Building loyalty: When employees feel they have “skin in the game,” they understand that the company’s success begets their success. Building a company culture that encourages loyalty in your employees results in thriving employees. As such, devoting professional development resources to their success is an excellent way of building company loyalty.
The personal touch: People respond well when someone takes a genuine interest in their future and trusts their judgment. Extending this fact of human nature into the workplace is a great way to establish a mutual sense of loyalty and respect.
Employee retention: Talented people rarely like to rest on their laurels. They tend to pursue meaningful opportunities for career advancement when they arise. Employees likely to shine are attracted to companies with a strong sense of company culture that works on the premise that a rising tide raises all ships. Fostering a culture that ensures that all voices are heard in a way that benefits both the employee and the company is crucial to employee retention.
In short, empowering your employees begins by understanding their worth, respecting their expertise, and giving them the broadest possible field to develop their talents.





Find a Mover

Find the right mover for you by searching our database of qualified NJ movers.