The employee-employer relationship just reached an important milestone. For the first time in decades, workers are reporting high levels of job satisfaction. According to a report by The Conference Board, 62.3% of professionals were satisfied with their jobs in 2022. This is a 2.1 percentage point increase from 2021. Now, the big question for companies is how to maintain — or even increase — this number. And the answer could be keeping workplace cultures strong, modern, and relevant.
In the past few years since COVID-19, corporate culture has changed dramatically. People have discovered that culture isn’t just something that can happen when people work side by side physically. It’s something much bigger that transcends physical boundaries. This is why even fully remote companies can enjoy robust, unique cultures. Businesses that are able to produce cultures that attract and hold onto talented workers will no doubt thrive in the coming years as the job market starts to cool off.
What does this mean for your company? Even if you feel like your culture is on a good level, you might want to make some tweaks to gain more traction and engagement. That way, you’ll be more likely to foster satisfaction, positivity, and loyalty among your employees. Consider these opportunities for starters.
1. Provide workspace flexibility.
Zippia reports that 74% of companies already use or plan to use a permanent hybrid work model. However, allowing your workers to work from anywhere doesn’t necessarily strengthen your culture or their commitment. You have to take other measures to make sure their hybrid experience is world-class. For instance, some companies in metropolitan marketplaces are investing in co-working spaces. These are high-tech touchdown locations that bring together remote workers from a variety of corporations.
Adrian Simpson, director of operations at The Yard, explains why co-working atmospheres produce benefits for employers. “Companies can reduce their overhead costs by eliminating the amount spent on traditional leased space and providing access for their employees to co-working spaces on an as-needed basis,” he says. “This cost-effective approach appeals to businesses looking to optimize their resources while still attracting top talent. By accommodating various work patterns, including part-time, remote, or project-based work, co-working spaces attract a diverse pool of talent seeking flexible employment arrangements.”
You can also promote flexibility by giving your workers recommendations on how to make the most of their time when working outside the office. Even after working remotely for a couple of years, many people will appreciate ideas on how to move past some of the challenges of working virtually, such as dealing with isolation and managing distractions. Your helpful tips and guidance could sharpen their skills and keep your culture intact.
2. Let employees flex their schedules.
Flexibility shouldn’t be limited to where people work. It’s just as important to allow workers to determine when they work. Unless your operations need to be strictly within specific time parameters, consider enabling employees to work flexible schedules. An employee may prefer to log four hours in the morning and four hours at night instead of working a traditional 9-to-5 job.
As writer Bassam Kaado notes in Business News Daily, giving workers the ability to arrange their schedules can speak volumes. Plus, it can be cost-effective for companies operating on tight budgets. “Flexible schedule options are a creative way for businesses to show employees they’re valued, even if they can’t provide a salary increase,” Kaado says. “Company cultures that accept various work schedules are more likely to appeal to new candidates.”
Making the move to flexible schedules isn’t necessarily an intuitive process, though. You’ll want to put measures in place to avoid roadblocks, including technological systems that make asynchronous work practical and efficient. Project management software and accessible centralized scheduling systems are must-haves to fuel visibility. Be sure to make changes as necessary to keep up with your culture’s evolving needs.
3. Incentivize cultural integrity and support.
Your managers and employees will be the ones who keep your corporate culture going. However, you have a role as a leader to be a broad-brush visionary. “To keep the culture intact in any company is to create the vision from the top,” says Jennifer Carrasco, EOS implementer. “You should be speaking your core values in every meeting and rewarding your employees constantly for keeping the culture and core values aligned.”
To encourage the development of your preferred culture, think about techniques to incentivize your people. The specific incentives that work for your company will depend on the culture you want to create. Everything should be on the brainstorming table, including giving out branded swag and handing out culture-related bonuses.
By concentrating on enriching and increasing your culture, you can keep employees feeling great about the pivotal part they play in your company — and keep them from wanting to explore greener pastures.