by Lisa Pustelak, Employee Development Specialist, NWIRC

If you are like most companies, finding good people and keeping them is a struggle in today’s environment. Have you asked yourself lately if the culture of your business is helping or hurting you? Do you know if your employees would recommend your company to their family and friends for employment?

The culture of your business is often something that’s taken for granted. The “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality is keeping many small businesses from attracting the best talent and they don’t even realize it. There are several factors that help those looking for a job decide on where they will go. Let’s face it, they have choices right now and they are in the driver’s seat. While pay is generally a deciding factor, research shows wages are no longer always the number one decision driving force. In a recent Gallup poll, “87% of millennials said development is important in a job. When employees, particularly millennials, are satisfied with the programs for career development that are available to them, they are more likely to remain with an employer.” For the younger generations, being able to see a clear career path and having an opportunity for advancement is a big deciding factor.

Does your culture provide an opportunity for growth and advancement?

Here’s a few additional questions to ask yourself to determine if your culture is helping or hurting you:

1. Does your team enjoy working for you?

2. Do your people have the opportunity to grow and advance in their career?

3. How often are your team members recognized when they do a good job?

Shifting a culture to a place where everyone wants to come to work isn’t necessarily easy and it won’t happen overnight. However, it can be done one step at a time. The key is to make positive changes and stick to them even if they push some (maybe even yourself) out of the comfort zone.

Here are 3 ideas to get you started:

1. Listen to your people – Ask for ideas for improvement. Ask what they like and dislike about their work. Ask them about their goals, personally and professionally. LISTEN and ACT on what you learn.

2. Share information – Be transparent about what’s happening in the company. Share your successes and challenges. Engage the team to help overcome challenges and recognize them when they are part of the success.

3. Be consistent – If you say your going to do something, do it. If you roll out a new program, stick to it even if it’s hard and uncomfortable at first. Make sure everyone has the same rules and are held accountable.

Creating a culture that helps you attract the talented people out there will also give you the opportunity to develop those people and keep them on board for a long time.

Side Note: An MFG Day Industry Forum is scheduled for October 15 from 9:00am-2:00pm at the Park Inn by Radisson in West Middlesex, PA. The focus of the forum is attracting, developing, and retaining employees.
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