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Finding – and securing – the perfect candidate can be a challenge. When competing for the best talent it is essential for employers to stand out to potential employees; they need to offer opportunities that will steer them away from the competition, make them feel valued, and ensure they stay for the long haul.
So, what can employers offer that will drive employee loyalty and make workers never want to leave?
Every year, job review websites such as Glassdoor compile a list of best companies to work for, focused entirely on employee feedback. By ranking the top employers, these lists give in-depth insight into how the best companies in the country are attracting and retaining talent.
Unsurprisingly, there are several leading traits.
It’s not surprising that a lot of companies look first for candidates with the right values, sometimes even above experience; candidates who share the same overall goal will be bought-in from the outset.
Companies that are values or mission led have a common understanding of who they are and what they are striving for. When employers make their values clear and promote them - not just through what they say but also what they do - employees are more likely to buy into them from day one. A company with values at the core of everything it does makes employees feel they are part of something great, also promoting a vision that every person in the company can invest into and get behind.
We all know that good talent isn’t always easy to find, so it’s counterproductive for employers to stop putting in the effort after candidates have started the job. Employers should invest as much effort into the onboarding process as the recruitment one.
Investment in people needs to be part of the fabric of an organisation; employers that focus on employee engagement and empowerment - and reward them suitably for hard work - demonstrate that they care about their employees’ development and job satisfaction and show them that they are valued.
That means empowering employees to develop professionally through a range of learning and development opportunities, training and new responsibilities. It also means allowing them to have a say in how the company is run - through regular communication a focus on feedback and involvement in decision making.
The best employers also demonstrate their appreciation through incentives and benefits, including social benefits, financial incentives and a physical workplace that is a fun and engaging environment.
The best places to work are managed by exceptional leaders. Having quality leaders at every level in an organisation is paramount to making an organisation attractive to work for; employees often cite poor management as a reason for leaving a company.
The best places to work are driven by leaders who empower their people, lead by example and value their employees’ contributions. Many leaders therefore show themselves as approachable by physically placing themselves amongst their staff; there’s evidence that employees feel more comfortable asking questions to leaders when they are not hidden away in separate offices. Moreover, when leaders involve their employees in decision making and are frank about any issues that involve them as a workforce, they are far more likely to earn their respect and trust.
All of the above points relate to a wider company culture; ultimately, the best places to work are those where employees feel valued, work with good people and enjoy their work. Building a company culture that works around the needs of every single employee is a challenge, but where companies get it right, employees stay. Candidates often ask about the culture of the company before accepting a job because so much of your time is spent at work, you need to know that where you work delivers more than just professional growth but is also the sort of place you fit into and are proud to be part of.
No workplace will get everything right, but there’s a lot to be learnt from companies that consistently rank high in employee reviews. Employee satisfaction is dependent on a number of distinct factors and, whilst trying to tick every box may not work, there are definitely key areas that should be prioritised when making your company more attractive for your staff. It’s also clear that, whatever way you choose to do it, working to meet the wants and needs of your employees will pay dividends in the long term.