5 Ideas for building a workplace people love

More than ever before, companies are focused on retention strategies to keep from losing good talent. All the incentives and perks in the world won't retain someone if the workplace culture isn't good. Employees want to work for an organization that invests in them, challenges them, and motivates them. Here are 5 ways leaders can do that by creating a workplace people love.

Be transparent

Transparency is one of the key pillars of a strong company culture. Employees want to be kept in the loop. They want to get honest feedback. They want leaders who are authentic and open up to their mistakes. A culture of transparency leads to more honest conversations and builds trust among teams and across an organization. However, it starts at the top. Talk about company wins and losses, provide honest information to staff, be truthful about your shortcomings as a leader.

Invest in employees

Provide them training and development. Give them autonomy to take on a new project, to try something new. Employees want to know their manager supports them and believes in them. It doesn't require a big budget, either. It could be an employee cross-training with another team or spearheading a new company initiative. It's about providing the opportunities to grow, develop and learn.

Don't hold onto bad hires

Letting someone go is never easy, but one bad hire can quickly spread and be detrimental to an organization's culture and success. It sends the wrong message to employees and demotivates the good ones when managers hold on to a poor performer. Motivated producers want to work with those with similar drive, and when they see their manager holding onto someone not pulling their weight or negatively impacting a team's culture, it can quickly become discouraging.

Have fun

Work should be fun. People should laugh with their colleagues, with their boss. Injecting a little fun into the workday helps build relationships and can lead to higher productivity and employee engagement in the long run. Connection to team and leadership is crucial to a positive company culture. Laughing alongside a manager, or participating in a fun activity as a team helps create those connections. It builds culture. A saying that we say often is you can take your job seriously, but that doesn't mean you have to take yourself seriously.

Listen to employees

Ask for feedback and encourage employees to voice their opinions. It doesn't have to be through a formal survey process, either. It could simply be a conversation with employees, or a place they can anonymously submit thoughts. However, if leadership asks for feedback and does nothing with it, they can expect employees to be less willing to share if they see nothing being implemented or changed.

• Tom Gimbel is founder and CEO of the LaSalle Network

Every company culture is different, but the building blocks to creating a positive environment are consistent. Employees want to feel supported, challenged and connected.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.