Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Why Great Company Culture Isn’t Costly

Happy employees make the best employees. When employees love their jobs they work harder. It’s not rocket science. They are more productive and they want to stick around. One huge way to make an impact and ensure your employees love their jobs is by transforming your office into a great work space. Most think they can’t afford it, however creating a great company culture does not have to be costly!

In an informal Facebook poll, respondents cited three main reasons they love their jobs: Interestingly enough no one who responded to the survey mentioned salary or benefits as reasons why they love their workplace. Instead they listed:

  • Flexibility
  • Relationships with coworkers
  • A boss who gets the need for work/life balance and gives them recognition

Loving your job is important when you realize that working adults spend about 75 percent of their day doing work related activities including getting ready for work, commuting, working, and decompressing after work. In this tough economy many businesses are looking for ways to create a positive culture without breaking the bank. One popular philosophy that is catching on all over, even in school systems, is the FISH! Philosophy.

The FISH! Philosophy includes four simple, interconnected practices:

1. Be There is being emotionally present for people. It’s a powerful message of respect that improves communication and strengthens relationships.

2. Play taps into people’s natural way of being creative, enthusiastic and having fun. Play is the spirit that drives the curious mind, as in “Let’s play with that idea!” It’s a mindset you can bring to everything you do.

3. Make Their Day is finding simple ways to serve or delight people in a meaningful, memorable way. It’s about contributing to someone else’s life, not because you want something out of it, but because that’s the person you want to be.

4. Choose Your Attitude means taking responsibility for how you respond to what life throws at you. Once you are aware that your choice impacts everyone around you, you can ask yourself, “Is my attitude helping my team or my customers? Is it helping me to be the person I want to be?”

There are lots of ways you can keep employees happy. Consider soliciting input from your employees. Everyone wants to know their opinions are valued and that they are considered part of the team.

More Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy and Improve Culture:

Flexibility was mentioned overwhelming by employees as being something that makes them love their jobs. Consider letting employees telecommute or jobshare. Be understanding when employees need to take time to care for health issues – their own or their family members. By respecting their needs you’ll inspire loyalty that will make them want to do their best when they are at work.

Relationships with their coworkers also contributed to people’s job satisfaction. Nurture these relationships. Try little things like organizing company functions such as happy hours, holiday parties, and once a month pot luck breakfasts. Encourage things like after work walking clubs or book groups. These relationships have value in two important ways. When you care about your coworkers and enjoy their company, it is more fun to go to work and you want to do a good job for them.

Recognize your employees for a job well done. This can be done very easily with something when you think they deserve  recognition. At some businesses “employees of the month” get their picture hung up or get a special parking spot. Even a little thing like sending an email to everyone in the group about the person’s success can make a big difference.

Embrace diversity. By employing people from all walks of life you’ll create an environment where all kinds of different ideas are represented. This makes things more interesting and stimulating for everyone.

Finally, make sure your workers are not overworking. According to SmallBusinessMonthly several studies show that employees who take vacations are less stressed, lead a healthier lifestyle, and are even at lower risk of having heart disease. And these employees are less likely to suffer burnout which can harm productivity levels.

Keeping employees happy and engaged is a smart way to create a successful business. Turnover costs for an unhappy employee who decides to leave are staggering! Seventy-five percent of the demand for a new employee is due to turnover (an employee leaving). The average cost for that new employee is $57,968 (not including training), although for a small company with less than 64 employees it is around $8,000.

This is why it can be so crucial to hire the right person in the first place. You can ensure you’re doing so by utilizing programs such as video profiles and interviews where you can see a candidate’s personality and determine how they fit into your company culture. Identifying the right fit for your position will be mutually beneficial. These employees will be creative, productive, and motivated. And isn’t that the kind of culture you want for your company?

What innovative and inexpensive ideas do you have for creating a dynamic and rewarding company culture?


 IMAGE: Courtesy of Inc.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writers career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Connect with Heather and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.