Written by: Nicole Newman


In today’s ultra-competitive job market with a low unemployment rate and high demand for the best talent, how can companies keep the best and brightest?  Sue Shellenbarger’s Wall Street Journal article “Why Perks No Longer Cut it for Workers” from December 2018 explains how the most successful companies are doing this by providing employees with a sense of belonging.


Sue shares that the companies offering growth potential, trust, motivation and career planning are more likely to retain top talent and post higher per employee profits than companies that don’t.  Creating a cohesive work environment, promoting from within and continued training account for high employee satisfaction and lead to employee loyalty.


Sue’s article shares that; “psychological safety: the freedom from the fear of being shamed or ostracized by others for voicing criticism or tossing out a crazy idea” encourages higher employee performance by allowing team members to take risks, innovate and solve problems.


The creation of cross-discipline and multi-generational teams that foster collaboration and a free exchange of ideas can provide employees an increased sense of ownership and pride within their organization.


According to Atlassian’s article “Have tech perks gone too far?” the top six traits that make for a stand-out workplace include a sense of purpose, risk taking, rituals that drive innovation and create a culture of discovery, transparency and autonomy, flexibility and the idea of “working open.”  These cultural imperatives, not perks, are what current and potential employees are taking into account when deciding to join, stay or leave an organization.


The WSJ article was shared on LinkedIn and gained quite a few comments with people offering their opinions.  Among the many, there were comments such as “never underestimate the significance of a company’s culture” and “the most successful companies give employees a sense of belonging,” showing us that this is both a desired and important attribute for employees.


It seems as though the tech industry and large companies are paving the way when it comes to creating innovative company cultures. For the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, it is more important now than ever before to create a culture that team members can relate to and be proud of.  Community involvement, open or alternative workspaces, the inclusion of team members at all levels in idea generation, accessibility to leadership, and fostering collaboration across the organization are just a few ideas to enhance your organization’s culture.



How does a company create a culture that attracts and retains the best and brightest?



We found there are many free resources online. The recent Forbes article, “Defining Company Culture: It’s About Business Performance, Not Free Meals And Game Rooms” dives deeper into creating a desirable culture. The author, Natalie Baumgartner suggests that employee perks can often be confused with company culture, or “…being used as a Band-Aid solution to cover up a lack of defined culture.”
In fact, research shows employees value culture and career growth almost twice as much as they value compensation and benefits when selecting an employer.


Company Culture: A Complete Guide for 2019 offers specific elements to achieving a positive culture such as company values and employee engagement. It states, “To put it more simply, culture is the way things work in your company – engagement is how people feel about it.”


An astonishing 87 percent of organizations cite culture and engagement as their main challenges, according to a report by Deloitte.


While there is no “right” answer for every organization, creating an inclusive and empowering workplace culture is highly more likely to attract and retain top talent.




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