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Building a Great Workplace: A Practical Guide to Recruitment and Retention

January 22, 2011

By Denise Gredler, President, BestCompaniesAZ

In the past, sweaty palms during a job interview typically existed only on one side of the table – with the job seeker. In today’s competitive marketplace, however, job interviews are a two way street with equal emphasis being placed on the company’s people practices, including staff morale, benefits packages and the company’s overall corporate culture.  Companies that excel in these areas not only attract the best and the brightest workers, they also help boost the company’s bottom line, saving time and money by increasing employee retention rates.

Research shows a positive correlation between progressive people practices and a company’s financial performance. The same correlation can be found among regional companies. BestCompaniesAZ looked at a sample of 15 publicly-held companies from the Metro Phoenix area compared their performance to the S&P 500. These Phoenix companies showed a return of almost double the S&P 12 month-return.

Companies that are considered among the best places to work also realize that increased employee retention rates and higher morale. The benefits of a people-oriented workplace are clear, but how does the average company make the transformation from good to great? Research conducted by BestCompaniesAZ over the past five years, which was inclusive of both local and national “best places to work” list winners and “employer of choice” companies shows that the companies possess all the following attributes.

The benefits of a people-oriented workplace are clear, but how does the average company make the transformation from good to great? The best way is to start by establishing a solid foundation. We offer these five key steps:

  • Develop Dynamic Leaders: Great leaders train, motivate and empower their employees and this leads to increased productivity, employee satisfaction and overall financial performance.
  • Define Your Corporate Culture: Work with your employees to establish a clear set of corporate values and a shared vision. Doing so creates a positive corporate culture that drives the direction of your company and creates a feeling of ownership among employees.
  • Build Progressive Human Resource Programs: Progressive HR programs and comprehensive benefits packages attract and retain employees and assist them in achieving their professional and personal goals.
  • Support Community Involvement: Give back to the community and offer employees time off for volunteer work or to sponsor charitable events. It’s a great way to share your company’s success.
  • Communicate With Your Employees Openly and Often: Fostering frequent two-way communication between management and support staff is the sign of a great company. This keeps everyone connected and moving in the same direction, striving toward the same goals.

Implementing these steps could lead to a more productive workforce and enhance employee retention rates.

Originally published in BusinessWeekMagazine.

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