According to Jobvite’s 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study, “Work environment and company mission are overwhelmingly powerful draws for job seekers today—and a potential reason for rejecting an offer.” 88 percent of respondents claim culture plays a role in their decision to apply to a company, with 46 percent rating it as a very important factor.

Given that it’s a candidate’s market, it’s important that any organization looking to attract new talent be mindful of internal culture and take steps to build a collaborative and supportive environment that will help distinguish it from similar companies. At the same time, a unique, engaging, and rewarding work environment is also critical for retaining existing employees. With that in mind, the following are some key considerations for cultivating a culture that inspires people to do their best work while simultaneously having fun.

  • Go to the source: If you want to build a stellar culture, why not start by engaging directly with those for whom you are creating it? Asking employees about what they value most, what changes they’d like to see made, and what types of programs or benefits would empower them can yield valuable insights.
  • Be empathetic: According to a recent Forbes opinion piece, “A culture built on empathy has real staying power.” To be successful, it’s important not only for leadership to demonstrate empathy but also to ensure it’s practiced by department heads, middle management, etc.
  • Encourage mentorship opportunities: Mentorship offers benefits at every level of the organization. New hires will get up to speed faster, existing employees can explore other areas of the business, and the company overall thrives by retaining key skills even as tenured employees retire or leave the organization.
  • Give back: Corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important to both employees and customers alike. Whether it’s taking a stand on social issues, demonstrating a commitment to cleaner supply chains, helping to improve local communities, or giving back in some other form, it can go a long way in humanizing the company and making it an appealing place to work.
  • Trust your people: The Forbes article states, “The strength and staying power of a company, and the culture it exports to the community and the world, depends a great deal on how willing that company is to trust employees at every level.” When an employee feels trusted and valued, they are inspired to do their best work and also much more likely to stick with the organization.
  • Celebrate early—and often: Productivity is important, but taking time out to recognize milestones or celebrate holidays, birthdays, or other events is critical. Finding unique, personal ways to celebrate individual employee performance or accomplishments can be particularly beneficial.

For more on these and other ways to cultivate an engaging company culture, head over to Forbes to read the article in its entirety, or check out this story on how the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as Nasa, changed its culture by sharing more data between employees.