Building a culture of passionate and loyal employees is the best thing you can do for your small business. If you don’t believe me consider the cost of employee turnover. The cost to replace an employee that makes less than $30,000 per year is approximately $4,800 according to CBS news. That’s 16 percent of his or her salary. For employees who make more, expect to pay significantly higher percentages to find a reasonable replacement. It’s clear that high turnover represents a major expense to any business.
Your employees are not cogs in a machine. They are human beings with feelings, goals, and dreams. If you treat them like machines, you’ll forever struggle with your operations. However, if you treat your employees, as you would want to be treated you’ll find happier, loyal employees in the end. For example, if you believe that you’d deserve a raise if you were doing the same work, then give your employees a raise. Likewise, if you believe that you’d receive a reprimand for the work not performed, then have that chat with your employees.
A Great Example of Company Culture
A great example of a company who truly values their employees is Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft is located in Chandler, Arizona and has more than 400 happy and loyal employees. Recently, I spoke to a few of them to get their insight on why they are so committed to their jobs and their answers surprised me. They recited their purpose, mission, and values verbatim. I don’t know any other person who can remember their company’s mission let alone recite eight lines of values. They said that they believe in people and their dreams, and their company believes in them. In fact, they have a dream manager on staff whose job is to help them work towards realizing their dreams.
Building a Culture of Passionate and Loyal Employees
I’m sure you don’t have to hire a dream manager to turn your culture around, but you can take a few steps to get started in the right direction. In the book Entreleadership Dave Ramsey recommends building unity within your teams. Here are five things you should consider in order to build unity:
- Communicate—We discussed how to create a culture of communication in my last post here. Let your employees know how good they’re doing, how well the company is doing, as well as when things aren’t looking that cheerful. You just might find a creative solution to that problem that you’ve been struggling with for so long.
- Shared Purpose—You know you have a committed culture when your employees can recite your company’s purpose from memory. Everything you do should correlate to your company’s purpose. When it does, your employees will notice it and share in it too.
- Axe the Gossip—Gossip destroys everything that you’ve worked so hard to build. Don’t participate in it, and consider implementing a policy that reprimands it. Problems or gripes are fine, but problems shared with peers that can’t fix them are considered gossip. Hand problems up and recognition down if you want to build a unified team.
- Solve Conflicts—Disagreements must be solved in a constructive manner. Part of being a leader involves helping your team grow together before they grow apart. Have the courage to deal with the conflict.
- Let Incompetence Go—Team members become demoralized when they are required to picking up the slack for a peer who is incompetent. When you keep an incompetent person in a role they can’t fulfill it makes the leadership appear to be incompetent as well. When you let the incompetent employee go, you send a message that performing with excellence is required.
Building a culture of passionate and loyal employees isn’t easy. You’ll have good days and bad days. But if you make an effort to stay true to the tips in this message, you’ll find a more peaceful work environment, increased productivity, and less turnover.
Earlier in this post I talked about Infusionsoft’s culture. Do you have a great culture in your company? Let me know. I’d love to share it as an example in a future post!