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Be a Better Employer

Author: Michael Scaletti

In a world where workers have more leverage than ever, attracting the best candidates means being a great employer, and that means creating an environment where employees are valued, comfortable, and compensated appropriately. Don't worry, it's easier than you might think, and at the end of the day it will provide you with a workforce that is committed to the success of your business!

Here in the Bay Area we've seen a lot of the perks that tech companies have tried to use to lure the best candidates, but the truth is that people care much more about the culture and environment that they work in then they do about ping pong tables and free lunches.

Adequate compensation and benefits are certainly a good start to being a good employer, but there's more to it than just that. Here are six ways to be a better employer.

Be An Honest Communicator

The best employers are open and honest with their employees. They let them know what the goals of the business are, long term and short, as well as what the overall mission is. They check in regularly with their employees to inform them of the current state of the business, without trying to hide or gloss over issues, and must importantly, when employees have issues they listen, without getting defensive, and attempt to correct those issues.

Be Flexible

It's important to be clear about rules and expectations with your employees, but being a stickler over them without expectations is not a good way to breed loyalty and satisfaction. Understand that it is important to be flexible, now more than ever.

Many employees do not want to move back to working exclusively in the office, and the best employers are willing to be flexible. Remember that for many positions, the hours and locations at which work gets done is far less important to the success of your business than whether or not the work gets done in a timely and effective fashion. To attract and retain the best employees you need to be open to alternative working arrangements such as remote or hybrid working environments. Trust your employees to get their work done, even when you're not watching them, and most often you will be rewarded for your trust.

Focus On Team Building

As an employer, you should care about your company and its goals, and you should be able to inspire that same care in your employees. One of the best ways to do this is to notice and acknowledge, publicly, the work and achievements that your employees contribute towards this mission. This will engender a sense of community and collective satisfaction when you achieve your goals, and will create an environment where you and all your employees thrive together.

Provide Regular Feedback

Your employees won't know how to improve their performance if you don't tell them how. Remember that most people want to grow and improve within their careers. The best employers praise their employees publicly, while privately providing ways in which they can improve whenever those become apparent.

One of the worst things you can do as an employer is not give your employees clear information on how they can improve their performance and then reprimand them when that performance falls short.

Be A Good Listener

It is very easy as an employer to get stuck in a routine, or to do things a certain way simply because that's the way you've always done them. If you are creating an environment where you are attracting and retaining good employees, it is likely that those employees will have ideas about how to improve your company. Listen to them! Allow them to present their ideas, offer thoughtful and genuine feedback, and then, if it makes sense to do so, provide them with the resources necessary to implement those ideas.

Pay Attention to the Employee Experience

You don't need to create a private cafe for your employees or cater 5 star meals on a regular basis, but providing your employees with the environment and tools necessary to be comfortable and achieve their goals can be key to creating a great employee experience. This can be anything from ergonomic desk chairs and a coffee maker in the office, to educational and mentorship opportunities, to sending out an occasional door dash gift card to your remote employees on days when you provide lunch in the office. Figure out what it is your employees value, and then do your best to accommodate them!

Remember, being a great employee isn't just something that happens. You have to work at it. The rewards, though, are invaluable. Your reputation as a great employer will spread, and you will end up with a talented and dedicated team invested in your company and ready to take it to the next level.

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