How to Build a Culture of Caring

A happy workforce is typically a thriving one. Employees who rate their overall job satisfaction as “high,” perform better, are more loyal to their company and produce higher quality work. A Columbia University study showed that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with rich company environment was 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures stood at 48.4 percent.

Often times, businesses credit their strong corporate culture to having an engaged workforce. Their employees are highly involved in the workplace and appreciate the vision of the company. Everyone works together to make the company stronger. There is time in the work day for both serious business and a little bit of play. These factors contribute a great deal to company's environment, but  a recent study at the Wharton School of Business found that keeping employees happy involves more than a few teamwork games and free snacks in the breakroom.

Employees who felt they worked in a caring culture reported higher levels of satisfaction and teamwork according to the study. They show up for work more often and their attitude has a positive impact on their relationships with clients. The study goes on to show that managers who focus on building an emotional culture cultivate working environments that make employees feel cared for and even loved.

You already know that making employees feel valued is an important part of building company environment. Your employees want to know they matter to your organization. Recognize and celebrate employees’ hard work. It can be as simple and cost-efficient as throwing a party for a recent team that has hit their goals. Another way to show appreciation is by taking a step back and looking at how the company as a whole can be improved: what updates could you make to your office building, employee benefits, or communication channels? These extra efforts say, “We care about you, the environment we work in and what you get out of this job.

Make health a priority. Your employees spend more time in the workplace than they do at home. Promoting healthy habits and allowing employees time to take care of themselves and their families should be important to your business. Encourage people to take time out when they are not feeling well during flu season. Allow them the time they need to get better without the threat of punishment. A lot of employees refuse to take off work when they are sick for fear they will lose wages or even be fired for missing more than a few days. This causes a spread of germs and more employees fall ill. Productivity is dramatically affected and employees who are battling illness quickly lose motivation. Create a culture of caring by nurturing your employee’s needs during these times. Allow for more flexible schedules and give employees time to heal.

Creating culture for your employees can also be about their health long-term. Offer a discount on a local gym membership. Consider workplace yoga or meditation programs, offered free of charge. You can even lead the way on emotional health by creating work life balance in your own life. Actively model your work-life commitment to health when you interact with employees and encourage their participation.

Pay attention to personal lives. Fun events, such as company picnics or baseball game outings, can keep encourage employee engagement in a corporation, but their loyalty to their job will be strengthened on a more personal level. How your company reacts to the birth of a new baby, the death of a loved one, or other major life decisions can make or break how your employee feels when they return to the workplace. Life is full of stressors and emotional events. A company with a strong, caring environment is proactive in helping employees navigate these tough times. Offering extra vacation days when an employee goes through a major life event, sending flowers when there is a death, or texting employees on their birthdays can make a difference. Little things go a long way when it comes to showing employees that you care.

Get to know your employees. Start inviting employees to play golf, attend theater events, or go out for cocktails after work. Use those times to get to know your employees, their interests, their goals, and life changes. Knowing this information will make you better equipped to respond when something happens.

Support Open Communication.  In the dizzying speed of business these days, it can be difficult to speak and listen so that all participants feel heard or understood. Keep an open door policy that allows employees access to meeting with you when they need to discuss important topics. Remind employees that you care about what they are going through in the workplace and at home. When an employee does come to you for help, make sure you’re asking open-ended questions, allowing for silence, honing in on key statements and requesting that employees ”say more” about critical ideas and concerns. Cultural health depends on uncovering important issues as they arise through close attention, openness and measured patience.

Creating a caring environment can be difficult at first. It requires CEOs and managers to embrace what it means to offer work-life balance. A culture of caring is one that allows employees feel comfortable discussing issues with their managers and are not ashamed to ask for help when help is needed.

Start building a caring environment in your workplace. Contact us about starting an employee recognition program that can help provide incentives and motivators your employees will love!

Retaining Hospitality Employees