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Wages are important; so is company culture

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*This article originally appeared in The Business News on February 3, 2020.

People entering the workforce today are looking for so much more than a good salary. While getting paid appropriately is still important, many in today’s workforce are looking for a place that has an inspiring company culture. According to Forbes, millennials would be willing to give up more than $5,000 of their salary every year to work at a job that provided a better environment. A workplace’s culture is comprised of values, traditions and rituals, attitudes, community and more. Immersing employees in an organization’s culture is key to retention, job satisfaction and job performance. Internal communication is a contributing factor in all three. Organizations need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to communication before an employee loses motivation, is unsatisfied and wants to find a new job.


With a high demand for workers, there is a big focus on retention. Retaining hard performing individuals can allow an organization to grow by bypassing the need to spend time on constantly recruiting and training new employees. An organization’s culture should be at the forefront of on-boarding. New employees need to know what they can expect from a workplace before the hiring process even starts. One way to do this is to make a prospective employee aware of company culture by communicating the organization’s values. It is important to have an established set of values and make sure employees are living those values within work they are doing. Communication should be a key value in all workplace culture. A supervisor needs to be able to clearly articulate an employee’s duties so they are able to perform the desired tasks. When an employee is performing the tasks a supervisor has requested successfully, it makes for a sound foundation and step forward in a positive culture. Another key to communication is listening, when an employee is able to share their ideas to management, the employee feels more invested and also contributes to a positive working environment.


According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2017, 51 percent of United States workers were satisfied with their jobs. With almost half of the United States workers unsatisfied with their job, it leaves room for efforts in creating an engaging and well-rounded company culture. When a company makes working as a team a priority and establishes traditions where a team feels more cohesive, it boosts the morale of employees and ensures that everyone is on the same page. This can be done by increasing the communication levels through weekly staff meetings to allow for status updates, sharing employee calendars, or even having fun holiday traditions like a Thanksgiving potluck. An organization that places an emphasis on communication helps employees feel valued. Being an organization that prioritizes employees’ happiness and job satisfaction can make a real difference on the product or service an organization delivers. When organizations have happy employees, this will trickle through the company and organizations will see the results in client satisfaction.


Not only does culture play an important part in retaining employees and creating higher job satisfaction, but it plays a role in how hard employees work. When people are working in a place that shares the same values or that finds meaning in similar areas, it can increase overall job satisfaction. For instance, if personal and professional development is an important part of a company’s culture, sending an employee to a conference once a year can reinvigorate their passion for work or self. Team handbooks are a great form of written communication that can help share those values and highlights of your culture. Another way to do this is being open and transparent on what is happening within the organization. The communication of the financial well-being or the status of an employee gives employees another way to be invested in the organization and the work that they are doing. When an organization is able to exhibit these types of activities that can increase motivation of an employee, it can increase the output and efforts that employees put forward.


The idea that how much employees are getting paid is all that matters has shifted, and is moving toward working for an organization that focuses on culture. Organizations don’t need pool tables and bean bag chairs to win over employees, it goes deeper into providing an atmosphere where culture steeped in communication is a thriving part of the organization. Communication should be a proactive emphasis, not a reactive stance when it comes to creating successful workplace cultures to retain employees, keep them satisfied and working hard.

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