business culture

Cultivate a Rewarding Business Culture

Have you watched peoples’ faces when they talk about their “dream” job? Sure, it may include above average pay and vacation time. But that’s not really where their enthusiasm stands out. Peoples’ smiles broaden as they talk about a positive business culture that includes: respect, the potential to grow, and having their efforts supported. They’ll often talk about the importance of making meaningful contributions.

You realize how much your employees value being in a workplace where they are appreciated. This in turn is a source of motivation. The question is: How does a business cultivate a strong, values-based culture that offers intrinsic and extrinsic rewards?

Avoid Cookie-Cutter Business Culture Approaches

Some ideas and actions are shallow because they fail to thoughtfully build long-term enrichment and engagement. Some pitfalls include:

  • Displaying values statements without actualizing them during interactions with employees and customers.
  • Using passé jargon terms that do not match your quality work standard.
  • Culture-building strategies that are not applied to all departments and customers.

Begin with Where You are Today

Assess your current culture to plan for tomorrow. Circulate throughout offices and departments, listening and observing.

  • Take note of employees’ interactions.
  • Do you see company values in action? Where and how often?
  • Do you observe interactions and practices that are concerning?
  • Use these above points, and others, to engage staff in a dialogue about company culture.
  • Gather ideas for cultivating a work culture that employees will embrace and respect.

Move on from There

More than likely, you have learned that employees want to feel valued and trusted. You cultivate a rewarding culture as you:

  • Share business values and plans with employees and stakeholders. Keep these central in messages and conversations.
  • Act on your business values! Reaching out with genuine gratitude and encouragement makes staff feel recognized for their efforts.
  • Enact measures that promote work/life balance and employee wellbeing. Doing so underscores your respect for peoples’ commitment to the organization.
  • Adopt and implement policies that boost employee confidence. Focus especially on those that encourage cooperation, collaboration, and personal development.
  • Authentically demonstrate your work and community values. This encourages others to do the same.


Employers, you may also find 5 Low Cost Ways to Keep Employee Retention High helpful.



employee engagement

Improved Employee Engagement

Imagine, your employees completely engaged, as they sit in a meeting, intently watching their team leader point to a chart depicting increased profits. Is improved employee engagement your goal?  Engaged employees passionately go the extra mile and feel connected to their employer’s goals. They are the employees who will happily move your business forward.

Here are steps to make that hoped-for goal your workplace’s new reality.

Create Meaningful Workspaces

Update color schemes and tones that convey value and intention. Comfortable spaces with room to move and interact casually let employees know their wellbeing and interactions are valued. Businesses with multiple locations express unity by assuring similar design aspects from one setting to the next.

Assure that Things are Running Smoothly

From the computer system to heating and ventilation, staff appreciate a quick fix or prompt replacement. This balances what you request of them—the ability to go above and beyond at a moment’s notice when needed.

Advancing Staff Skills

Your business can set the standard for innovation and finance leadership. Your employees know that and want the chance to show its true! Offer them ongoing opportunities to learn new skills and expand their capabilities. As they reach for new and better ways to perform, they will carry others along with their momentum. Capacity builds as your business makes a mark for itself in the community and the sector.

Tie Each Task to the Mission

Even mundane, ho-hum tasks become energizing when linked with your business’s mission. Staff appreciate that you know some parts of the job lack glamour. And they are doubly grateful to you for pointing out why and how each task contributes to an overall positive outcome.

Little Things Mean So Much to Employee Engagement

Those are a ready smile, a heartfelt “thanks for staying overtime,” or sincere appreciation for a new idea. Expressions like these show employees you are a leader who pays attention. They’ll then stand together for you.


Click here for more employee engagement tips.



employee retention tips

5 Employee Retention Tips

Today’s historically low unemployment in the finance and accounting sectors is creating employee attrition concerns for employers.  Employee retention is foremost in their minds, as it is difficult to find replacement staff in this type of economy.  Consequently, it’s imperative that employers manage their staff using methods that are geared towards employee satisfaction. The cost of hiring new employees can be colossal. In fact, according to Employee Benefit News, it can cost 33% of an employees’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that employee leaves. Of course, the employment retention rate varies by industry, but every business should be upgrading their employee retention strategy. If your company is finding this situation challenging, here are five employee retention tips.

Employee Retention Tips #1: It’s Time to Focus on Employee Retention

You know the best and brightest on your team. They perform well and encourage others. Focus on ways to assure your organization retains these talented people. Doing so includes a mix of perks, praise, and pay.

Employee Retention Tips #2: Pay Attention to Perks

More and more employees are seeking a variety of perks to compensate for their work and dedication. These include:

  • Work/life balance flexibility such as long summer weekends; a remote workday each week; or flex time for special events.
  • Supporting professional development, as people in finance know the value of ongoing learning. Reinforce this with work-site and online continuing education options compensated by the business.
  • Commitment to employee well-being as demonstrated through provision of comfortable social meeting spaces. Touches of greenery and walking paths create a pleasant work environment.

Employee Retention Tips #3: Communicate Your Enthusiasm

Your team feels uplifted when work goes well. Provide them with added assurances through praise, expressions of gratitude, levity, and outright enthusiastic smiling. Use concrete descriptions about the quality of team members’ work. This reinforces their performance as it deepens engagement. And, engagement equals retention.

Employee Retention Tips #4: Remuneration to Increase Employee Retention

Although it is true that pay-rate is not the only reason why employees stay on-board, it cannot be lightly dismissed. This is particularly true in this era with finance unemployment rates hovering around 2%. This is a good time to review compensation in-house rates. Compare these for your sector, business size, and within your region. Include a review of benefits too, to assure that yours are in line with, or outpacing, that of the competition.

Employee Retention Tips #5: Call on the Consultants

There are times throughout the year when financial cycles demand the need for added staff. That’s when you typically call on consultants. You can call on them again when you are in recruitment mode to find your next best employee.

For more employee retention tips that will have a great impact on your organization, check out: 5 Low Cost Ways to Keep Employee Retention High






professional development

Pros of Professional Development

With finance and accounting unemployment rates hovering around 2%, astute employers are expanding employee retention initiatives to remain competitive. Designing professional development plans that encourage job satisfaction are top of mind for many employers interested in upping their employee retention strategy.   Providing professional development training encourages employees to perform better and prepares them for greater responsibility.  Additionally, it can also help attract top job candidates.  Investing in your employees is beneficial to the entire company and can boost the bottom line.

Match Professional Development Options with Learner Interests

Provide a variety of educational and training options to match employee learning styles and interests. These include:

  • Extended professional development options, such as:
    • Finance and accounting certifications.
    • Accredited and continuing education courses.
    • Goal-specific in-house mentoring.
  • Sound-bite learning that can be readily integrated within a workday. These can be conducted independently or led by anyone wanting to advance their training abilities.
    • YouTube sessions.
    • Video and audio tutorials.
    • Short skills sessions to advance digital knowledge, soft skills, customer awareness, and others.
  • Invite employees who are enrolled in courses, conducting certification studies, or have attended a conference to:
    • Hold lunch and learn sessions with colleagues about lessons they are gaining.
    • Provide Q & A opportunities to share:
      • First hand insights about studying online.
      • Seeking certification.
      • Balancing learning with work and home life.

Consider Return on Investment Planning

As you plan on investing in employees, you want to assure that your organization gains as well. Consider options for protecting business interests while providing for professional development.

  • Establish a contractual agreement for tuition reimbursement. This may include:
    • Expected duration of continued employment following course completion.
    • Partial or full payback of tuition if employment ends.
  • Request employees engaging in professional development to mentor new staff or prepare internal social media posts about lessons learned.


When employees can perform their jobs more efficiently, they become more confident and motivated.  Confidence and motivation leads to greater employee retention.


employee retention

How Important is Salary for Employee Retention?

The cost of replacing current employees is astronomical when you factor in the time it takes to hire and train them. As well as, the time associated with hiring and training new employees. Considering these costs, it is difficult to fathom why not all employers are laser focused on employee retention.

If you have an employee that’s about to walk out the door, should you offer them more money to avoid those costs? It is important to understand just how important salary is to maintain your workforce.

The Gap in Understanding Employee Retention

Polling shows that around 75% of employees that left a position did so for reasons other than pay. However,  90% of managers believe that money is the driving factor behind employee loss. In reality,  if employees don’t feel good about the environment that they are in, or the work that they are doing, no amount of pay can keep them in your office. Studies suggest that appreciation for their work was the single most important factor, followed by their relationships with coworkers.

Fostering Employees

While pay is often a tangible method of showing employees that you appreciate them, many don’t feel that it is important as regular feedback and praise when they have done something positive. Rather than simply look to increase employee pay, many companies choose to offer other incentives for great employees.

Additionally, making sure to help employees maintain positive work environments with their coworkers can pay great dividends. These can be simple group presentations or activities, breaks or quarterly lunches together. Simply making sure that you understand your employees’ needs, and then taking concrete steps to improve the work environment for them can lead to higher overall retention.

Present the Ladder

Over time, many employees will want to grow their own skills and take on increasingly difficult tasks for the company. Introducing a plan for employees to climb the ladder within the company can lead to motivated staff that works hard to understand all aspects of your business. You can also be sure that when your internal employees receive promotions, that they will be ready to hit the ground running.

If you want to increase your employee retention, it is important to look beyond the paycheck and find out what really matters to your staff.


For more employee retention tips, check out Keep Your Employees from Fleeing to Competitors