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Become a “Best Place to Work”

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

What do companies that earn “best to work for” titles do that yours doesn’t? While some assume greater pay is what keeps employees happy, don’t rule out the importance of company culture. Creating an environment where individuals feel valued, supported and energized to pull together for common goals can be the ticket to greater productivity and satisfaction among staff and better overall results for the business.

Consider Google, which has topped Fortune magazine’s list four times. Its 7-acre fitness complex and 100,000 hours of subsidized massages each year leave little doubt that the company values health and well-being. Or, take a look at Wegmans Food Markets, which encourages camaraderie and accomplishment by letting employees reward one another with gift cards for good service.

Although budgeting money for morale-boosting activities may seem frivolous in a tight economy, the investment often is recouped many times over with lower turnover, fewer sick days and harder-working employees. Likewise, some of the best ideas for enhancing culture involve thoughtfulness more than cash. The vice chairman at the data storage company NetApp asks managers to notify him when they “catch someone doing something right” and then personally calls the employee to offer thanks.

Interested in developing activities to enhance culture at your company? Chad Griffin, CEO of Adeptio, a company focused on team performance management products and services, offers these suggestions:

Infuse your culture with activities that align with your overall cultural vision. If the activity doesn’t fit with the vision, it’s not going to be the building block you are looking for.

Choose activities that inject fun into your company culture. This will help boost morale and relieve the level of stress felt by your employees.

Give staff a voice. Open the lines of communication by promoting a culture that encourages collaboration, teamwork and relationship building.

Lastly, lead by example. Walk the walk, and don’t expect your employees to do anything that you are not prepared to do.

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