Do your employees love your company?
No I mean… really love it. Love it enough that they brag about your products, talk about you endlessly to their friends, and boast about your work on their Facebook profile? Love it so much that they proudly wear the company paraphernalia you dole out at Christmas and conference time? Do they love it this much?
There are companies that make their employees feel this way. Zappos, Toms Shoes, and Apple are just some of the brand names that spring to mind when we think of companies that employees love. Love isn’t just reserved for the Big Guys doing New Things, though. Every company has the potential to make employees feel this way. What is it that companies who are loved by their employees do differently?
Not everyone wants to work for a Google or Facebook. Don’t try to fit your company into some image you have of the “perfect organization.” Know what makes you a great company and what type of people that attracts. Aside from the fact that it makes you money, why are you passionate about what your company does? This will be the number one reason your team will love working for you & can’t be emphasized enough. Show your passion for what you do and seek out people with that same passion.
Show that you care about the advancement of your employees’ careers. If you’re a small company, you can give them exposure to a lot of opportunity and close interaction with “the boss.” If you’re a large company, you can provide a lot of opportunity for movement. If you’re a growing company, then let them know that you want them to grow with you. Don’t make “ambition” a dirty word. Career progression should be a straightforward and clear process.
The #1 reason most employees love their job isn’t even the job itself. What is it? Their co-workers. According to a survey by TINYPulse, who asked the open-ended question “What do you love about your job?” the vast majority of answers were categorized as “the people they work with.” In fact, this answer was three times more common than the next most popular answer.
This says volumes about hiring and managing your team. Introduce potential candidates to the people they’ll be working with, not just for. Build an open plan office that encourages conversations and socializing. Schedule in opportunities for casual conversations; Monday morning breakfasts, Friday afternoon drinks, etc. It may sound like “superficial perks” but you have to realize that it’s not the free breakfast or happy hour pints that are important, it’s the friendships that are developed.
Those people who love their jobs use words like autonomy, ability to work on ideas, and risk-taking. If your employee has a good idea of how to make something better, they should have enough freedom to give it a go. Let employees decide where your community funds should be donated. Give them the autonomy to move desks around or post to social media. Wherever possible, give freedom to your employees to make decisions about things that are important to them.
Companies that consistently rank highly on employee happiness indexes have a strong culture of transparency and trust. Some companies are transitioning to a completely transparent salary system; everyone knows what everyone else earns and how they too can work to earn the same amount. Transparency also relates to how the leaders of an organization communicate with the team. Stay open and honest. Particularly be transparent when dealing with non-performers. No employee wants to feel that they could “suddenly be next.”
Low happiness scores from employees are typically linked with words like “mundane, trite, and repetitive.” People enjoy a challenge and learning new things. What challenges are you providing to your team? Take some small steps to get out of your comfort zone. Organize a fundraiser. Aim to beat last year’s record month. Implement a new technology. The challenges don’t have to be intense – just new and a slight stretch.
Answerlab – a user experience firm – provides $400 for each employee to buy a new tech device to play with each year. While it’s a small amount, the fact that a job paid for the universal TV remote is a fun talking point with friends. Tie one or two perks to the mission of your company, like free products, trips away, and discounts. These aren’t the backbone of why people work for your organization but they’re a nice cherry-on-top and a great way to get your company talked about.
Implementing some of these 7 things might take some time. That’s okay – start with living your passion and creating opportunities for coworkers to be friends and enjoy working together. These are the two that will give you the most traction with current and future employees.
As you transform into a Totally Loveable company, make sure people know about it. Here’s how some of the Big Companies communicate their awesomeness:
“Love Coffee” by Ahmed Rabea is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
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