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Listen Up↑ -- Office Culture as Employee Compensation

05 January 2018
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How to market your office culture as an attraction for new employees

Rewards come in many forms. Monetary, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual rewards are just some of the ways we might classify the kinds of satisfaction we derive from what we do in life. The value we assign to these different forms of reward can also vary widely depending on the circumstances surrounding each. If you've just run your first marathon and captured a $100 prize for best time in your age group, the financial compensation likely pales in comparison to the physical and emotional thrill you felt as you crossed the finish line. So, too, when it comes to employee compensation in the workplace. Organizations need to consider all the ways in which it rewards workers for their contributions beyond just a paycheck. And office culture is one such perk that's often overlooked.

The changing nature of employee compensation

While job seekers continue to be driven by such criteria as career outlook, advancement opportunities and salary, the dynamic is shifting, especially among younger and older workers. The tenor of a firm's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts has had a growing influence on job seekers deciding where and where not to work. More employees want to see employers that mirror their support for local communities, the environment, and other social causes. The same goes for a firm's commitment to diversity and inclusion. Workday commutes have grown much tougher in many large metropolitan areas, so companies convenient to public transportation gain an edge with many job prospects.

But what about office culture?

Once you've accepted an employment offer, agreed on salary, signed up for benefits, and figured out how you're getting to work, what's left? Well, obviously, doing the job itself. But everything and everyone else that surrounds you during those eight (or more) hours a day boils down to work environment, or office culture. How would someone describe yours? Is it professional? Is it energized? Is it respectful? Is it fun? OR ... is it tense? Is it chaotic? Is it miserable?

How employees answer this question will clearly cut straight to their level of satisfaction on the job. For many, once they've established themselves in a new role at a new employer, recurring issues with an unhealthy office culture can be the overriding reason why they elect to move on.

So, consider for a moment that while office culture may be a few steps down the priority ladder during the recruitment process, once a worker's been hired, office culture often becomes one of the biggest factors shaping the success of employee retention efforts.

Promoting office culture as employee compensation

Addressing this paradox can serve companies well. If your organization embodies a healthy, robust and supportive office culture, that's a major selling point for recruits. Using personal employee profiles in the careers section of your website that allow workers to attest to a professional office culture, and how they've benefited, is a great way to showcase your firm's strengths. Check out companies like Johnson & Johnson and Citizens Bank for examples of how to do it right. Social media and digital campaigns should also be used to lead people to worker testimonials. More and more, savvy companies such as HP are taking the next step and producing short videos that make their employee profiles come alive.

When job seekers visit your organization online, be sure your careers section pops with the faces, pictures and stories of who their potential future colleagues might be. Before a recruit even begins to search job openings or benefits information, make your digital experience imbue them with a sense of the people and values your enterprise represents.

No matter the job or field, every organization compensates workers in multiple ways. When striving to attract top quality talent, be sure not to ignore one of the biggest determinants of how well people succeed in your workplace. Actively promote a thriving office culture as an integral part of your employee compensation.

Joe Ailinger

Joe Ailinger Jr. has more than 20 years experience in employee and crisis communications, public relations, and brand-building for the financial services, defense technology, healthcare and nonprofit industries. Connect with him and learn more at http://linkedin.com/in/joeailinger

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