How to Create a Company Where People Actually Want to Work

We’ve all had jobs that we loved going to, and we’ve all had jobs that filled us with dread. Sometimes the line separating the two isn’t that wide. In many cases, it comes down to one simple issue: Did you enjoy being there?

As you build, shape, and grow your own business, it’s helpful to think about the company through the lens of your employees. Do they actually enjoy working at your company? And if not, what changes can you make to ensure that they do?

Here are a few universal and time-tested strategies that seem to work:

1. Get the Company Culture Right

How’s your company culture? Are you capable of pinpointing exactly what your culture consists of? While every culture will be unique, yours needs to be supported by trust and respect.

“Staff members who feel like their contribution is valued and that they work in a respectful atmosphere are more likely to feel connected to your business values and be happy in the work environment you create,” entrepreneur Mike Walmsley explains. “Alternatively, employees that feel undervalued and their contribution not respected will look for new work opportunities, which creates an endless challenge for you in terms of employee retention.”

2. Be Someone You’d Want to Work For

Think of the best boss you ever had and what made him/her so enjoyable to work for. If you’ve never had a great boss, make a list of all of the positive attributes from each manager you’ve ever worked for. Now make it a point to embody as many of these qualities as possible. Become someone other people – including yourself – would want to work for.

3. Hire Magnetic People

You’re only one person. While you’ll interact with certain employees on a regular basis, your team members will spend far more time interacting with their coworkers. If you want your company to be an inviting place, hire magnetic people that are enjoyable to be around.

It takes a little bit of extra effort to hire good people. In addition to technical competency and experience, you also have to look at soft skills. However, any additional effort you put into hiring people who are a good fit for your company culture will benefit you multi-fold down the road.

4. Make Your Office Feel Like Home

Your office shouldn’t feel like a cold, corporate bullpen. If you want people to love their jobs and find enjoyment working for your company, the office should feel, and smell like home.

One way you make the office feel like home is by creating a positive culture with enjoyable people. But there’s also a very practical side to things. You can, quite literally, make it feel like home by installing fireplaces, using area rugs and home furnishings, and putting up pictures of your employees’ families. This isn’t your office – it’s every employee’s office.

5. Partner With Families

You aren’t just hiring an employee. You’re hiring someone’s mom, dad, spouse, or child. Rather than create a wall between your employees and their families, partner with them. Embrace family outings, give leniency to employees who want to attend a child’s extracurricular events, and don’t be a stickler for time off.

6. Take a Zero Tolerance Stance on Gossip

“In a recent survey done by SurePayroll, 70 percent of respondents said that a positive company culture is one of the most important things they look for during a job search. More than half, however, said workplace gossip is a problem,” entrepreneur Mike Boyette writes. “If your company allows a culture of blame and gossip, employees won’t feel comfortable in their roles. Don’t let this behavior persist and catch fire.”

You’ll feel like a Debbie Downer the first time you scold someone for gossiping, but it’ll make an impression. The quicker you weed out this kind of talk, the healthier your office will become.

Building the Ideal Company

When building a business, the biggest mistake you can make is thinking you’ve “arrived.” While there are certainly goals and objectives that you set and meet, no business owner ever reaches a point where he can sit back and relax.

Successful business owners actually find freedom in this fact. It allows them to try new things, mess up, succeed, pivot, and optimize. Will you let it push you forward, or hold you back?