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5 ways to keep your employees happy and loyal

At a time when good workers are at a premium, companies are scrambling to make sure their workplace is one that can bring in the best employees — and give them good reasons to stay.

According to a recent Gallup poll, less than one-third of employees in the U.S. consider themselves “engaged” at work. Just 32 percent of employees said they were engaged in their jobs, while 51 percent said they were not engaged and 17 percent said they were actively disengaged with their work.

This ain’t good, folks.

Non-engaged workers are not only less productive, they are more likely to leave. And when they do show up, often they’re just killing time, doing the minimum required with little extra effort to go out of their way for customers. They are less vigilant, more likely to miss work and change jobs when new opportunities arise.

So how can you create more engaged workers? Improving a company’s culture is seen by many as an essential step. Here are some tips for making your corporate culture more attractive to workers, whether they’re temporary or permanent.

1. Emphasize communication and accountability. Communication is absolutely essential to improving a company’s culture. Employees need to know clearly where you’re going and what your goals are. Send weekly email updates to employees, hold quarterly employee meetings where you talk through performance measures. The point is, when you stress communication and accountability, employees feel invested in the company and its success.

2. Give employees skin in the game. It may not be possible in every situation, but many companies known for good culture provide employees with some ownership in the business. If that’s not possible, good wages are often associated with strong corporate culture. Remember, employees know when they’re undervalued.

3. Embrace social interaction. Team-building, which includes social gatherings and training opportunities, is crucial. Employers need to find ways to give people an opportunity to come together, to interface with people that they work with all the time by phone and by email. When they get to meet each other, they can develop a more personal relationship based on camaraderie and interactivity.

4. Take the right first steps. Don’t recruit merely based on qualifications, but seek out workers who fit the company culture. A large part of culture is chemistry. Not every culture is for everyone. When someone is not a cultural fit, they can become toxic and their countercultural behavior and attitude can sabotage the culture and taint other employees.

5. Treat it as a daily commitment. Work at improving your culture every day. There’s no quick and easy fix. Creating a healthy corporate culture is really hard work, an ongoing process that requires ongoing attention.

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