Does culture matter in the workplace? Consider this job hopping stat: 36% of job seekers said they changed jobs because they were unhappy with the company culture.
And what about all the employees who kept slogging along, but hated clocking in for work every day?
Savvy marketers have built whole industries around luring dissatisfied workers away from “mind-numbing, soulless jobs.”
And workers finally feel empowered to do something about working conditions they don’t love.
As the economy recovered, we saw a rise in job hopping. By the age of 35, 25% of workers have held at least five different jobs. And almost half of employers expect new college graduates to stay at their first job for less than two years.
That’s the bad news.
But there’s good news too. Millennials job hop the most, and we have lots of data on what these workers are looking for in an employer.
Hint: It’s not money.
When Culture Matters More Than Compensation
Overall compensation matters less to Millennial job seekers than it does to Baby Boomers. In fact, compensation doesn’t even rank among the top five factors for millennials. But even among more seasoned workers, cultural elements like management style and interest in work outranked compensation when applying for a new job.
One study found that 95% of candidates valued culture more than compensation. When the culture isn’t to their liking, they don’t accept the job or they don’t stay long.
Which brings us back to job hopping. Why are so many workers looking for different jobs?
It’s all about engagement.
In 2015, only 32% of employees were engaged in their jobs. That’s only 3 points higher than the 29% who were engaged in 2011.
Clearly, companies need to make some changes that will increase employee engagement and keep their best workers from jumping ship at the first opportunity.
Focus on HR Experiences, Not Tasks
While HR managers may not be responsible for establishing culture, they are often the first point of contact for candidates. And that means culture must take a leading role in the HR office.
Unfortunately, HR often fails to communicate culture and values at all.
To remedy that problem, we must shift our focus from tasks to people experiences. Let’s take a look at four ways to make that happen:
Create a strong employer brand.
The key to a strong culture is knowing exactly who you are and why people should want to work for you. That’s known as your value proposition. Move beyond hackneyed phrases like “great customer service” and “fun atmosphere” to the heart of your company’s deepest values.
At Southwest Airlines, voluntary turnover is just 2%. That’s because they’ve developed a culture that brings out the best in their employees, and their culture is woven into every aspect of the workplace. When speaking with candidates, they look for a warrior spirit, a servant’s heart, and a fun-“luving” attitude.
The takeaway? Find your bottom-line values and weave them into the fabric of your organization.
Emphasize culture in recruiting.
As we saw earlier, the majority of workers value culture more than compensation. Are you leveraging your culture in your recruiting efforts? If not, you should be. Ask specific questions designed to create a picture of how the candidate will behave in various circumstances. Look for candidates who reflect your company values before starting the job.
Weave employer brand into HR.
A positive cultural experience should begin before Day 1. Let your value proposition inform your recruiting approach, preboarding and onboarding process, management style, communication, and every other aspect of the job. Even routine tasks should reflect and support the company culture. For example, manage onboarding tasks with your employee mobile app. Using the app, you can provide alerts for completion goals, submit immediate feedback, and help managers track progress. At the same time, you’re immersing the new hire in your company’s brand message.
Evaluate your HR software
Does your current software focus on task completion or employee experience? Does it make things easier for HR people or for employees? Can you brand the employee portal to fit your cultural vibe? Candidates and new hires experience your company through software first, so make sure they come away feeling engaged, not frustrated.
Why Is Job Hopping Good For Your Culture?
Let’s go back to our original question: what can job hopping do for your company culture?
Answer: It shows you when you have an engagement problem. Engagement and retention go hand-in-hand.
Millennials may always have higher rates of job hopping than more seasoned employees because they’re still determining what kind of work they love. Still, if you find it difficult to retain employees long-term, take a close look at your culture. The answer may be hiding in plain sight.