How to be an Employer of Choice

Is there a magical way to become an employer of choice and attract top talent? Nope. But there are a couple of quick and easy tricks to recruiting and retaining great employees.

  1. Find out what they care about.
  2. Provide it.

Just what do employees care about?

Lots of things! That said, every employee is different, and what appeals to one person may not appeal to another. Employee motivations are wide-ranging and can change over time. The more diverse your group is, the more diversity you’ll want to build into your employee benefits. This doesn’t mean your company has to start offering everything under the sun. It just means you‘ll want to think about the kinds of people you want on your team and the kinds of perks and benefits that will be most attractive to them.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s a very simple idea: Ask your current employees what they love most about working for you. If the answer is “The Paycheck!” this could mean that your employees care most about financial security. It could also mean they aren’t super excited about your culture— or anything else you’re currently offering.

If you want a more well-rounded answer, follow up by asking your employees for one thing they wish they could change. This will provide additional insight into what motivates them and what they feel is missing from the current environment. If the top answer here is “More vacation days!” it could mean they need more time to rest and recharge. Reading between the lines, it could also mean they value flexibility, or that workloads have gotten out of control, and it’s time to hire additional team members.

As an employer, you have the power to dig as deep as you want on these topics. There is one caveat here: If you love your current business model, aren’t ready to make major changes, or don’t want to stir up a bunch of negative feedback, a survey may not be your best course of action. If this is the case, you can simply look to the research that’s already out there to get an idea of what employees want and how you can deliver on those things.

Top employee desires

While it’s true that each person, company, and work group is different, it’s also true that the majority of employees are looking for a few key things. Today’s employees want to work for organizations that provide the following:

Financial security

While many things matter to employees, money is still the top deciding factor for the majority of job seekers when taking or leaving positions. Employees aren’t just looking for financial stability, they also want the hope of a secure future.

Things employees value: competitive compensation, tuition assistance, student loan repayment programs, retirement plans

Health benefits

Having great healthcare doesn’t just keep employees well physically. It also helps with financial  and mental health. Many employees can’t afford healthcare on their own, and they value the security and wellness this benefit brings to their lives. (According to one survey, 88% of respondents said they would give this benefit “some consideration” or “heavy consideration” when choosing a job.)

Things employees value: low cost medical, dental and vision plans, HSAs, telemedicine

Work/Life balance

All work and no play makes for an unhappy team. Both work and life can get incredibly complex and busy, and employees are looking for ways to artfully manage it all. At the end of the day, even the “Rise and grind” types want to be able to work when, where, and how they want to. The good news here is that flexible hours and remote work often cost nothing for employers to provide. These things can actually make employees happy AND save companies money at the same time.

Things employees value: flexible schedules, remote work options, unlimited vacation policies, paid time off, parental leave

A sense of belonging and purpose

The lines between work and personal lives are blurring. More and more employees want to feel like they can bring their whole selves to work. They want to be accepted as individuals and they want to feel like they are making a difference in the world. For today’s workers and job seekers, culture has become nearly as important as compensation.

Things employees value: company culture, workplace diversity, paid volunteer time, defined career paths, professional development

The bottom line

Talented employees have options. They aren’t afraid to leave bad bosses or bad companies. More importantly, they will be inspired to seek out organizations who have solid values, do great work, and treat employees well. Investing in your people and your benefits program is a great way to increase employee retention and make sure you stay on the nice list.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
 
Photo by
 

lightfieldstudios
 
 

Spending Too Much on Coffee? There’s a Business Lesson Here.

Did you start your day with a stop at your favorite coffee shop?

Let’s stop for a moment and think about the experience— and the reasoning behind it.

It’s about more than coffee

You could have made your coffee at home, saving time and money in the process. So what made you go to down to that coffee shop instead? There are likely several reasons:

  • The coffee is better than what you make at home.
  • You know what you’re getting. It’s the same every time.
  • The staff is friendly. Maybe they even know your name. Or your drink.
  • The overall experience makes you feel happy and satisfied.

Yes, you paid a premium for your morning beverage of choice. And let’s be honest. You’ll probably go back tomorrow and do it again. Because the value you get from going there is worth the time, money, and effort it takes to make it happen.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if your favorite coffee shop decided not to invest in the quality of their product and their employees?

What if every time you went there, you got a different experience, a different employee, and a different tasting drink?

Suddenly, the value you once perceived is gone. Now it’s a crap shoot. Maybe you’ll get a good cup of coffee, maybe you won’t. Instead of investing in a positive way to start your day, you’re merely gambling.

And odds are you’re not going to be willing to take that risk for long.

What your customers want

To keep clients from heading out the door and down the street, your business needs to provide both quality and consistency.

In other words, your team needs to have the tools and training to be able to deliver on the promises your marketing makes.

This requires investing in your processes and your employees.

It’s not rocket science. We’re talking about the basics here:

  • Hire good people.
  • Train them well and often.
  • Compensate them appropriately.
  • Put processes in place that ensure quality and consistency.
  • Build a culture that places high value on customer and employee experiences.
  • Hold everyone accountable to the standards you have set.
  • Let go of people and processes that aren’t serving you or your clients well.

Yes, this list may sound simplistic, but it’s uncanny how many businesses skimp on these things to make an extra buck or two.

The problem is that skimping on quality and consistency will cost you way more in the long run than you will ever save in the short term. 

What does your team need?

Depending on what kind of company you’re running, there could be a variety of things. But here are some key items worth investing in.

  • A meaningful purpose
  • A defined sales process
  • A clear vision of what the customer experience looks like
  • Happy, engaged employees to deliver on that experience
  • Strong leadership that isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions
  • An organizational culture that attracts and retains top tier talent

None of these things will happen overnight. But investing in them can have a huge impact on the long-term success of your business.

If you don’t know how to make these things happen on your own, invest in the necessary professional development, coaching, and training get you there.

It can’t just be talk

If the sign in your window says you offer the best cup of coffee in the world, you’d better not be serving up the instant crystals.

Talking about quality is one thing but producing and maintaining it is another. It takes work. And time. And yes, even money. But if you make quality, consistency, and an amazing customer experience integral parts of your brand, your customers will keep coming back for more. And telling everyone else about it.

Because the only thing better than the best cup of coffee in the world is sharing it with a friend. 

 

Photo by Somsak Sudthangtum 

Spending Too Much on Coffee? There’s a Business Lesson Here.

Did you start your day with a stop at your favorite coffee shop?

Let’s stop for a moment and think about the experience— and the reasoning behind it.

It’s about more than coffee

You could have made your coffee at home, saving time and money in the process. So what made you go to down to that coffee shop instead? There are likely several reasons:

  • The coffee is better than what you make at home.
  • You know what you’re getting. It’s the same every time.
  • The staff is friendly. Maybe they even know your name. Or your drink.
  • The overall experience makes you feel happy and satisfied.

Yes, you paid a premium for your morning beverage of choice. And let’s be honest. You’ll probably go back tomorrow and do it again. Because the value you get from going there is worth the time, money, and effort it takes to make it happen.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if your favorite coffee shop decided not to invest in the quality of their product and their employees?

What if every time you went there, you got a different experience, a different employee, and a different tasting drink?

Suddenly, the value you once perceived is gone. Now it’s a crap shoot. Maybe you’ll get a good cup of coffee, maybe you won’t. Instead of investing in a positive way to start your day, you’re merely gambling.

And odds are you’re not going to be willing to take that risk for long.

What your customers want

To keep clients from heading out the door and down the street, your business needs to provide both quality and consistency.

In other words, your team needs to have the tools and training to be able to deliver on the promises your marketing makes.

This requires investing in your processes and your employees.

It’s not rocket science. We’re talking about the basics here:

  • Hire good people.
  • Train them well and often.
  • Compensate them appropriately.
  • Put processes in place that ensure quality and consistency.
  • Build a culture that places high value on customer and employee experiences.
  • Hold everyone accountable to the standards you have set.
  • Let go of people and processes that aren’t serving you or your clients well.

Yes, this list may sound simplistic, but it’s uncanny how many businesses skimp on these things to make an extra buck or two.

The problem is that skimping on quality and consistency will cost you way more in the long run than you will ever save in the short term. 

What does your team need?

Depending on what kind of company you’re running, there could be a variety of things. But here are some key items worth investing in.

  • A meaningful purpose
  • A defined sales process
  • A clear vision of what the customer experience looks like
  • Happy, engaged employees to deliver on that experience
  • Strong leadership that isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions
  • An organizational culture that attracts and retains top tier talent

None of these things will happen overnight. But investing in them can have a huge impact on the long-term success of your business.

If you don’t know how to make these things happen on your own, invest in the necessary professional development, coaching, and training get you there.

It can’t just be talk

If the sign in your window says you offer the best cup of coffee in the world, you’d better not be serving up the instant crystals.

Talking about quality is one thing but producing and maintaining it is another. It takes work. And time. And yes, even money. But if you make quality, consistency, and an amazing customer experience integral parts of your brand, your customers will keep coming back for more. And telling everyone else about it.

Because the only thing better than the best cup of coffee in the world is sharing it with a friend. 

 

Photo by Somsak Sudthangtum