Creating A Place Where People Want to Work

Gone are the days where employees work at one place for the majority of their career. In fact, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average tenure of a 25-34 year old is 3.2 years. In contrast, the average tenure of someone over the age of 65 is 10.3 years.

Among the modern workforce, workplace culture has become an incredibly sought after attribute in a potential employer. It can also be a major deciding factor in whether or not to continue working for their current employer. If workplace culture is less than optimal, you could start seeing employees leave.

While it’s not necessarily a bad thing that the younger generation of workers hops around more frequently than their parents did, it should get business owners to start analyzing how they keep their talented, high-quality employees around for the long haul.

We’ve compiled a small list of things to evaluate and consider implementing in your business to create a workplace culture where employees thrive and look forward to coming to work each day.

Encourage Ownership and Creativity

One way to promote a positive workplace culture is to allow your employees to take ownership of their work and be creative. If you have an employee that has an idea they think will benefit your company, encourage them to explore the idea, create a plan, and lead the implementation. Foster their decision making skills, let them in on trade-secrets, include them in meetings.

The idea could end up being a dud, but your employee will be thankful for the opportunity to try something, learn from their mistakes, and try again. Their next idea could be a homerun.

By allowing employees to try things, fail, and learn from mistakes, it will only allow them to take more risks and succeed. When employees are able to take ownership without being micromanaged, you allow them to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Fostering ownership and creativity among your staff will keep them engaged, motivated, and at the end of the day, make you money. When your staff is excited about their work, it brings a different energy to your company that encourages other staff to step up their game and a new level of teamwork emerges.

Competitive Pay and Benefits

While this may seem like a no-brainer, competitive pay and benefits are a very high value to the modern workforce. When big box retailers and other corporations offer $15 as their minimum wage, it does put some independent, small businesses in a tough spot. However, if you can check off a lot of other boxes for employees, pay could be something they could consider negotiable. Everyone still needs a liveable wage, however, for the right company and culture, employees may be willing to work with you on salary if you check more of their benefits boxes.

Here are a few ideas you can consider as benefits to your employees:

  • Generous paid time off
  • Flexible schedules
  • Paid holidays
  • Health/dental/vision insurance. Consider a stipend if a group plan is too expensive.
  • Retirement plan matching contributions
  • Employer paid basic life insurance
  • Significant employee discounts on products

This isn’t to say that lower wages can stay low forever. Your employees will expect to be compensated fairly and for your top-tier talent, competitive pay will only further their incentive to bring their “A-Game” to work each day.

Promote Work/Life Balance

The idea of a work/life balance has become a top priority of a large percentage of the workforce. Employees want their employers to understand that they have lives outside of work.

Work/life balance has become even more valuable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between working from home, virtual schooling, filling in for co-workers if they became ill, plus the mental toll of the world being full of uncertainty, mental health has come to the forefront of most people. People want their employers to be empathetic, encourage mental health care, and be flexible when situations arise.

While not all people value work/life balance the same, even your biggest workaholic employee will appreciate your encouragement of this area. If you have an employee that is a workaholic, you could encourage them to take a day off. While they may not do it, the gesture of encouraging them to take time for themselves could go a long way.

We hope these tips can help you retain the talent you’ve worked so hard to recruit. The culture you create within your organization speaks volumes to your employees as well as your community.

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SENPA is a non-profit organization with a core focus on strengthening the success of independent natural retailers and aligned manufacturers, while nourishing their human connection with consumers. We are a leading voice, supporter and advocate for the natural-products industry, rooted in the experience of enhanced health and the power of personal relationships.

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