Everyone has a desire to be a part of a community and feel connected to other humans. Sadly, many employees do not feel a sense of community at work. This lack of connection can cause turnover of unhappy employees, which can lead to high turnover rates, lack of productivity and unsatisfied clients.

Senior-level leaders often have a lot on their plates. Along with managing the company’s day-to-day activities, they play a key role in the development of professional relationships. While almost everyone has a different perception of what a good leader needs to do, one thing is certain: a leader needs to care about those they lead. Developing a positive relationship between senior leaders and employees, as well as understanding the employees’ lifestyles, will improve the culture of the company.

Know your company

For a company to grow, it needs to be profitable. When employees are happy at work, their profitability is 21% greater than unhappy employees. Employee happiness rises when they feel appreciated at work. Senior leaders can help by taking the time to form professional relationships and bonds with their employees. One way to improve employee engagement is for senior leaders to recognize individuals for their hard work.

When working for a large company, it’s hard to build personal relationships with each employee. However, it’s still important to show interest in their lives. Leaders at large companies can build morale by checking in with new employees. New hires will have the opportunity to build a relationship with their leaders and ask any questions they may have. For employees who have been with the company for a while, celebrate events like birthdays and recognize them for work anniversaries. This will show employees their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed in the company.

Flexibility is key

Positive company culture is one of the top things candidates look for in a new job. Having a great company culture is more than offering free snacks and Casual Fridays. Ideally, a company’s culture starts with the CEO and goes all the way to the entry-level employee. To make that happen, senior leaders need buy-in from every employee. That takes senior leadership understanding the needs of their employees.

One way leaders can create a positive culture is by implementing a flexible work arrangement. A flexible schedule gives employees the option to change their nine-to-five into something more befitting of their lifestyle. The implementation of a flexible work arrangement shows employees that leadership understands someone’s whole life should not be spent at the office. This arrangement could decrease turnover rates, increase employee morale and can save the company money by not having to train new hires.

Spending the extra time to build a personal relationship with employees will not only improve the moods of employees, but it will also show employees that senior leaders are buying into the positive company culture. This will, in turn, lead to employees who follow suit.

Senior leaders have the power to build a positive company culture by simply valuing their employees.  Effort on the leader’s part can create a workplace filled with employees who have bought into the company culture. Companies that can cultivate a culture of positivity will thrive for years to come.

Brian Anders serves as Director of Human Resources at WorkSmart Systems. His extensive experience in HR services ranges from employee relations and organizational training and development to project and talent management, team business, payroll, and recruitment. Anders is a graduate of Indiana University and is SHRM-CP Certified and he is a member of the Indiana State SHRM Chapter.

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