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Career Advice

How Top-Notch Employers Are Using Culture to Recruit and Retain Employees

Posted by Sarah Greesonbach

Last Updated July 8, 2019

It’s no secret that it’s a job seeker’s market. The unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1% overall (2.1% among workers with bachelor’s degrees), which means that many employers are pulling out all the stops to be as attractive as possible to prospective candidates fielding competitive offers.

One thing employers are doing to recruit and retain the best employees? Intentionally building a meaningful and healthy company culture. In fact, leaders from Atlassian, FedEx, Pinterest, and more recently opened up about their efforts and share best practices for this year and beyond.

As you consider a new job or a new career path, look out for the following three big company culture trends you can expect to see in the most elite companies:

Company Culture Trend #1: Forging Unity in Diversity With Good Management

Recruiters and hiring managers are paying more attention than ever to diversity and inclusion efforts in hiring and building teams. But it’s not just about filling in the numbers – it’s about building diverse and inclusive teams that can unify to work towards a common goal or mission. Companies that want to bring you onto the team know increasing diversity and welcoming different kinds of people will unlock greater levels of innovation and creativity, so they will increasingly value what makes you unique and sets you apart from other prospective hires.

The most instrumental agents of change in this area of company culture? Good managers, according to Michelle Kim, the founder and CEO of Awaken who has worked with companies like Google, PwC, and General Assembly to create compassionate spaces for uncomfortable conversations: “Unless you have a really kick-ass manager, no matter what the company stands for, you’re not going to actually benefit from the inclusive culture that you need in order to perform at a high level for your team.”

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Company Culture Trend #2: Managing to Support, Not Control

You know by now that different industries offer different levels of work-life balance: for some, a 70-hour week is the norm, while for others, flexible hours are a given. But even outside of the actual hours you’re working, your employer has a lot of influence over how you work and what you work on – and increasingly, employers see that giving you more autonomy and input over your work leads to a healthier company culture. Or, in the words of Shane Metcalf, Chief Culture Officer at 15Five, “We want to be doing what we can to support our employees, not control them.”

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Company Culture Trend #3: Helping You Tap Into Creativity and Innovation

One of the most promising company culture trends to look out for is the shift in how employers view creativity and innovation in the workplace. Several speakers at Culture Summit, including Joshua Lavra, Products Lead at IDEO, Karlyn Borysenko, author of Zen Workplace, and Aaron Kahlow, founder of ConsciousCircles.org, emphasize the importance of making room for focus, mindfulness, and intentional engagement, which allow creative behaviors to blossom and grow.

This plays out in a company’s culture as employers learn they can’t just hire a creative and innovative person and sit back to watch them work– it’s on them to champion a culture that lets creative employees bring their best selves to work. And it’s this reasoning that’s behind benefits programs like onsite gyms for a mid-day endorphin rush, catered lunches to take the pressure off meal planning,  and even meditation classes – for, well, meditation.

TELL US! How important is company culture to you? What new company culture trends are you seeing as you consider new opportunities?

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