If you want to build the best, most successful company, you need to hire the best, most successful people.
But competition for talent can be fierce—and if you want to attract top talent, you need to do everything you can to make your workplace as attractive as possible.
But how, exactly, do you do that?
We asked Joshua Evans, an organizational culture expert who has worked with hundreds of companies (including American Express, HP, and ReMax) on improving culture and driving employee engagement, for his insights on how organizations can create a workplace that attracts the best talent in their industry—and set their business up for success in the process.
Create a purpose-driven culture
One of the defining characteristics of top talent is that they’re driven, committed, and engaged with their work. And the driving factor behind those characteristics? A sense of purpose.
“Purpose drives people,” says Evans. “Individuals with purpose and meaning behind their efforts will feel more fulfilled and always work harder.”
So, if you want to attract top talent to your organization? You need to build a culture that gives your employees that sense of purpose.
“Organizations that attract the best talent are ones that give their employees a deeper purpose behind their work,” says Evans.
So how, exactly, do you make that happen? Stop focusing on the what—and, instead, focus on the why.
“Move past what someone’s role is and what someone with that role does,” says Evans. “We need to be focusing on letting our top talent know what [their] doing a great job means to our organizations, our customers, and our communities.”
For example, during your interview process, don’t focus strictly on the day-to-day responsibilities associated with the role. Instead, give candidates a “big picture” overview of your organization’s mission and values—and how the role they’re interviewing plays into that big picture.
The more you can build a purpose-driven culture, the more you’ll be able to create an attractive workplace that top talents are drawn to (and, just as important, a workplace where they want to stay).
“Everyone wants to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves,” says Evans. “If you can bring this sense of fulfillment to your team they are more likely to build loyalty and never want to leave.”
“Flexibility has become one of the leading factors for attracting talent,” says Evans—and if you want to attract the best talent in your industry, it’s important to embrace flexibility within your organization.
Arguably the most important type of flexibility to offer your employees? Flexible work options. According to the Reimagining Human Experience study from JLL, 70 percent of employees favor a hybrid work model, which allows them the flexibility to work both remotely and in the office. By adopting a hybrid work model, you’re giving employees the flexibility they want—which will help you make your workplace more attractive to top talent.
Giving your employees flexibility over where they work is important. But it’s just as important to give them flexibility in how they work.
Top performers don’t like to be micromanaged. If you build a workplace culture where employees feel like every aspect of their workflow is controlled, managed, and monitored, you’re going to have a hard time attracting (and retaining) talent.
Instead, give your team their work—and let them know that, as long as they hit their deadlines, they’re free to do that work in whatever way works best for them.
“Set clear expectations and deadlines for your talent; then, let them deliver in the best way they deem possible,” says Evans. “The best talent will know their needs and limits. Give them the objectives and then give them room to run.”
Also read: Hybrid Work: Management Best Practices
Giving your team the time and space to do things their way will show your employees that you trust them and their abilities—which is the kind of work environment that attracts top talent.
Celebrate your team
According to research outlined in TechCrunch, 69 percent of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized—and a study from employee experience solutions company O.C. Tanner found that 79 percent of employees who leave their job cite “lack of appreciation” as a key reason for their departure.
In other words, being recognized and appreciated for their contributions is a big deal to employees. So, if you want to make your workplace more attractive to top talent? Make sure you’re celebrating your team—and making those celebrations a visible part of your culture.
For example, kick off your weekly all-hands meeting by highlighting an employee that went above and beyond to do stellar work. Then have your marketing team write up a description of the employee and their accomplishment to feature on your website. That way, top talent can see that you’re the kind of organization that recognizes, celebrates, and appreciates their employees—and will want to work for you as a result.
The point is, “organizations that continually recognize the contributions of their team will always attract the best talent,” says Evans. So make sure you’re celebrating your team and their contributions on a regular basis.
Work wellness into your culture and workplace design
Employee wellness is a hot topic right now. According to a recent survey from Aetna International, the vast majority of employees say their mental health (84 percent) and physical health (89 percent) is more important to them today than it was a year ago. And according to the JLL study, three out of four employees expect their employer to support their health, well-being, and nutrition.
And because wellness is so important to today’s workforce, if you want to attract top talent, you need to work wellness into your culture and workplace design.
Make work-life balance a non-negotiable for your team (for example, by giving your employees the right to disconnect outside of work hours). Host regular in-office wellness events, like company yoga classes or a pop-up with a local juicery. And don’t forget to recreate that experience for your remote employees—for example, by livestreaming the yoga classes or sending them a package of juices to enjoy at home. Make sure your benefits package gives employees access to all the care they need to be their happiest, healthiest selves (including mental health care).
The more you invest in your team’s wellness, the more your team will be invested in your organization–and the better you’ll be able to attract top talent.
Also read: Deloitte Predicts 5 Key HR Trends for 2021
And, as an added bonus? Not only will working wellness into your workplace attract top talent—it will also empower that talent to do their best work. “A well rested and healthy employee will always be more productive than someone that is stuck in a rigid environment,” says Evans.
If you want to build a thriving business, attracting top talent is a must. And now that you know how to make your workplace more attractive, you have everything you need to bring the best people into your organization—and position yourself for major success in the process.
If you’re also looking to improve the engagement and productivity of your top talents, we invite you to read our article on “How To Use Workplace Design To Increase Employee Productivity And Engagement”:
Author: Deanna deBara