Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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How to design a great employee experience: Tools and culture

In this article on designing a great employee experience, we go over best practices when it comes to the tools they use and company culture you build. If you haven’t already read our installation on onboarding and strategy, find some tips in our previous article.

Designing an employee experience


Top performers bring many things to your company; ideas, fresh perspective, innovation, and even some better ways to do things. They bring skills and experience, plus a great work ethic that contributes to your bottom line.

However, the company has to bring something more than a salary to the table. You need to equip your employees with the tools they need to succeed; this includes software and hardware, as well as a benefits package that will help them remain healthy and productive.

Questions to ask:

  • Do they have a computer that suits their needs? Is it quick enough, virus-free, and portable if needed?
  • Do they have access to all the software they need to operate well? Is it the most efficient, effective, and reliable software available?
  • Do they have a quiet workspace available where uninterrupted work can get done?
  • If their job requires regular meetings with clients or other team members, do they have a professional and equipped meeting space?
  • Do they have access to quick and reliable Internet?
  • If they’re required to interface with clients via the phone, do you provide a phone and phone plan with unlimited minutes?

Also good to consider:

  • Do they have a means to get to work? If many of your employees commute, can you provide bus passes? If they drive, do they have a convenient place to park?
  • If their job requires long hours at a desk, do you provide a gym stipend to ensure good health?
  • If your employees stay late, do you provide dinner or healthy snacks?


When you’re building a company, culture helps to ensure all of your team members have the same values and work ethic. Culture defines the employee experience as part of their day-to-day operations as much as the daily work.

Defining and fostering company culture is a challenge, and there’s no definitive guide to building company culture that’s perfect for your unique company. However, here are some things to get you on the right track;

  • Ask the right questions. Asking the right questions can reveal what your employees are uncomfortable with at work, if there’s anything that the company could be doing that’s low-cost and high-reward, and more.
  • Have occasional team-building activities.
  • Reward your team for jobs well done. If they got a big project finished early, consider getting them lunch or letting them have the afternoon off.

For more in-depth resources on building company culture, check out Kissmetrics’ article on The 4 Elements That Make Great Company Culture, Entrepreneur’s The 8 Essential Steps to Building a Winning Company CultureHow To Build A Great Company Culture on Forbes, and 8 Tips for Building a Great Culture on Inc.

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How to design a great employee experience: Onboarding and strategy

Designing a great employee experience takes time, effort, and attention to every aspect of an employee’s journey. In this series, we’ll be breaking down some best practices for designing a great employee experience to enhance productivity, motivation, and retention.

Designing an employee experience


Your employee’s journey begins even before they’ve been accepted into the company. It starts with how you found them (are they a good fit in the first place?) and how they’re treated during their interview process. Do you respect their time? Do you let them know about your decisions promptly? Do you ask the right questions?

To give you a place to start, here are some resources on finding the right fit to join your team.

Once you have your candidates picked out, interviewed, and hired, it’s time to work on your onboarding checklist. Successfully onboarding an employee is the first step to a good employee experience, as it sets the stage for their success.

Provide proper documentation of all the processes they will be handling. This includes how-to guides, training videos, recorded screenshares, and on-the-job training. Beyond that, here are a few keys to keep in mind for an especially helpful onboarding.

  • Don’t use yes/no questions when asking if they understand. Prompt questions with questions, such as “what do you have questions about?” and “what concerns you the most so far?”
  • Check in regularly while they’re learning the ropes, and have someone who was recently in their position train them. It’s likely they had some of the same questions.
  • Ask them to write down anything they don’t understand from their onboarding, and use those questions to improve your process.


A key part of your businesses employee experience is understanding of your company strategy. They should know the why of what you do. Start by crafting a one-page strategic plan, refine it, and share it out.

It’s important to keep this short to ensure your team reads and understands it. It’s good practice to have a comprehensive strategy document that’s also succinct enough for any shareholders to review and understand.

Tip: If your business is technical, ie. SaaS or a web app, be sure you train all your team members how to use it, even if they won’t be interacting with your software directly on a regular basis.

Check our blog for the next part of this series!

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HR Metrics: What you should be tracking

To manage a team effectively, you need to utilize data to recognize trends, identify best practices, and understand what isn’t working. Here are a few HR metrics you should be tracking and what they mean.

HR metrics to track

Cost per hire

How much does it cost your business in time and money to hire one person? This includes the cost of putting job ads out, the time/money cost of all the people who need to interview a candidate, any assessments and testing purchased, and how much it takes to onboard them.

Cost vs revenue

Look at how much one employee costs to maintain versus the overall revenue of the company. This would include salary, but also overhead costs such as office rental fees, electricity bills, hardware and software they need, and any transportation fees.

How long does it take to onboard a new employee

Beyond the simple monetary fee, take a look at how long it takes to efficiently onboard a new employee. Measure how successfully each employee is brought up to speed, and how long it takes at minimum to most effectively onboard someone.

Average response and issue resolution time

When someone lodges a complaint with HR, take note of how long it takes for your team to respond and resolve the issue. Your goal is to get response time as low as possible, meaning your team answers promptly and effectively. You should also aim for quick resolution time. If they’re taking too long to address an issue, find out why.

Offer acceptance rate

This metric could indicate how well you’re selecting good candidates in the first place. If someone who isn’t a great fit doesn’t take a job offer, that isn’t on them–that’s on your HR team for not finding out they’re a poor fit candidate earlier in the process.

How many people were fired within their first year

This metric shows you whether you need to reevaluate your hiring or onboarding process. If multiple new hires aren’t successful and are fired within the first year, there’s something wrong with HR. Either they are recruiting poor candidates in the first place, or aren’t equipping new hires properly for success.

Where your best and worst candidates come from

Are they referrals, from a particular job site, or applying directly on your website? Look at where your best and worst candidates are finding you, double down on your high-value channels, and eliminate or reduce effort into your low-value channels.


This metric is important because each day an employee doesn’t come in costs your team in productivity and efficiency. Even if you dock pay for unapproved leaves, the people left in the office may be stuck waiting on something from the employee who’s absent, and clients could be left hanging.

Job satisfaction

How happy are your employees with their work, work environment, management, benefits and compensation? Measure how satisfied your teams are, and identify areas for improvement.

Turnover and retention rate

Look at how many employees quit within the first year, and overall. Break it down by star employee retention rate, and low performer retention rate. Despite the belief that overall retention is desired, you should aim to retain your top employees and put processes in place that will weed out poor fit employees. In other words, if someone isn’t great for the company, you shouldn’t aim to retain them.

Salary increase vs revenue increase

Analyze salaries of your employees versus your company’s overall revenue, as well as how much revenue one employee brings in on average. Look at any trends and correlation between the two to find the salary sweet spot.

Cost to terminate employees

It costs time and money to hire and onboard a new employee, but also to terminate them. Measure the resources it takes on average to fire an employee, from dealing with a knowledge transfer, conducting an exit interview, any severance pay needed, or other factors.

Key indicators of a top performer

Learn what makes your top employees your top employees. You can do this by evaluating their work ethic, behaviors, values, skills, and education. HR professionals can also talk to their supervisors, colleagues, and teams they manage to identify what they’re doing right. You can also opt to use benchmark assessments to compare your top performers and see where they line up.

Advancement opportunities

Does your company offer enough opportunities for advancement to keep your team engaged? If your employees can’t see a future for themselves there, retention rates will fall.

Effectiveness of HR tools

This includes assessments, internal help desk software, and any rewards programs you provide. Take note of how effective they are and the return-on-investment for them.

Succession planning

Look at how many employees successfully were promoted to management level. Does your team do better when leadership is promoted from within, or brought on externally? You should also take a look at the key indicators for a good leader on your team, so you can plan accordingly.

What HR metrics are you tracking?

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Check all your boxes: How to conduct an exit interview

When someone tries to quit, it’s better to let them go instead of trying to convince them to stay. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from their experience to improve your employee retention.

Conduct an exit interview with every employee who leaves your organization–even the ones who didn’t leave voluntarily. It’s important to identify anywhere your company’s weaknesses are and where you can improve.

How to nail exit interviews

Ensure honest answers

Your goal for an exit interview is not to be reassured that nothing is wrong. You want to get to the bottom of why someone is leaving, the good, bad, and ugly. Ensure honest answers by clarifying this, and asking non-leading questions.

Make it clear that you’re looking to hear their complaints, in addition to what went well. Provide a safe environment for them to voice their concerns, and conduct the exit interview in confidentiality. Make it clear that no negative consequences will come to them if they share poor reviews of their managers, or are brutally honest with their complaints.

Make it worth their time to participate

Making an exit interview mandatory is one option, but it’s also important to make it worth their time. Show that you appreciate them taking their time to give you full answers, instead of rushing through the exit interview, by providing snacks and coffee or providing lunch. If you’re operating in a startup, and a manager or founder conducts the exit interviews, you can also take the former employee out to lunch after their exit interview.

Questions to ask

Below are some sample questions you can ask in your exit interview.

  • When and why did you begin looking for a new job?
  • What are 3 things you didn’t like about working here?
  • Did you feel well-equipped to do your job with us?
  • Did you share your concerns with anyone else in the company? What was their response?
  • How would you describe our company culture?
  • Why did you decide to take the job offer at your new company?
  • What could we have done differently?
  • What was your relationship with your manager like? What about your peers?
  • Would you ever consider coming back to work with us? What would have to change?
  • What do you like about the company?
  • Did you get enough feedback about how you were performing?
  • Would you recommend us as a place to work?

Tip: Ask them if it’s okay to follow up, and if so, capture their personal email address.

Use what you learn

Finally, it’s important to use what you learn from your exit interviews to improve.

What are some ways exit interviews have shown you an area for improvement?

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How to Work with Academics to Improve Your HR Department

Do you have questions within your HR department that you just don’t have the time or capacity to test and answer? Some of the questions could include when the best time to promote someone is, what is helping and hindering your retention rate, and how to improve your hiring process.

You may not have the time to create reports on all of these, but you can work with academics in an academic HR collaboration. They’ll be able to access original data, and you’ll get access to their research and findings. You can also consider collaborating with a graduate student so s/he can craft a thesis paper around your HR team.

Questions you could use for an academic HR collaboration

What are the most common reasons employees quit?

Some of your former employees may be willing to be contacted and answer a few questions on why they left. If you conduct exit interviews, you can also give your academic research partners access (but keep them confidential) so they can evaluate reasons for leaving.

What’s the impact of using assessments on our hiring process?

Take a look at which employees were hired with the use of assessments, and which employees were hired with just an interview process. Your academic partners should be able to interview them, gauge their success with your in-company success metrics, and analyze whether the use of assessments has helped you hire more top performers or not.

What’s our average employee life-cycle?

Understanding how long the average employee stays by department, position, and the impact promotions have can help you plan in advance. It will give you a chance to curb resignations, figure out what needs to be done to keep an employee longer, and find the ideal time to promote a top performer.

What causes the most stress at work?

This one is a question that may seem obvious, but it varies between companies. Your academic partner can team up with multiple companies to see if there are trends for work stress, but personalized results will go far to answer this. For example, many of your employees may be stressed out by their morning commute, whereas a different company may have employees who are stressed out by a poor manager.

What are the biggest indicators of a good manager/leader?

This is a big question for succession planning. You need to know how to predict who will make a good leader for your company, and your academic partners can do a paper on the best indicators for successful managers. By allowing them to test your first-time managers, leaders who were promoted into their positions, and managers who were hired directly into the c-suite, you’ll get some great insight into whether it’s better to hire a leader or promote them, as well as other key data.

What other questions do you want answered at work, but don’t have the time or capacity to research?

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Succession planning advice: Hire future leaders

Succession planning is something every manager and leader should keep in mind. It means you’re preparing for the future, setting up the company for continued success, and planning for any contingencies. Our best tip for succession planning: Hire future leaders in the first place.

When you’re looking to fill job vacancies, view your candidates both for what they can do now, as well as their potential for growth. If you see a candidate you don’t think will grow with your company, don’t hire them. It isn’t in the best interests for your business or the candidate.

How to hire future leaders

Here are a few tips to hire future leaders for your successful succession planning.

Look for drive and ambition

You can plan for an employee’s growth as much as you like, but if that employee wants to stay where they are you won’t be able to get him or her to rise to the occasion. When in the hiring process, look for drive and ambition to indicate who can be future leaders. These will be the candidates who ask questions about growth opportunities, have demonstrated the desire and ability to manage teams, and who have been promoted in past jobs.

Look for candidates who have been challenged

Those who have been tested and then rose to a challenge have demonstrated their ability under pressure. Ask about their biggest successes and listen to how they came about; did the candidate have to go through challenges to get to where s/he is?

The ability to grow and thrive under pressure is necessary for leaders, to ensure they continue being effective leaders even in times of crisis.

Look for well-used intelligence

When you describe an employee as smart, it’s usually synonymous with capable. They apply their intelligence to be great at what they do. When someone is smart and knows how to use what they know, they show the ability to use their skills and abilities well. This is key for a good leader, and something you need to look for in succession planning so that you have someone capable at the helm.

Look for humility

Although you need to find someone with drive and ambition, your future leaders must be humble. A good leader credits his or her teams when something goes well, and takes responsibility when something goes wrong. Employees who are humble know that they are stronger with a team behind them, and don’t assume they can do everything on their own.

Humility is critical in a leader because it plays a big role in retention and high performance. Humble leaders build trust, share information, seek input, learn from their mistakes, and are approachable. These are all valuable to growing and managing an organization, and should be fostered early in an employees career.

What else do you look for when you’re doing succession planning? How do you ensure you hire future leaders at your company?

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Public Seminar: The Mindful Leader

Join us for a seminar in mindful leadership on May 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at SEDA BGC. Leadership is fundamentally about facilitating high performance, motivating others to do things effectively and efficiently.

Emotional intelligence is a key attribute that helps leaders achieve this function. There is a wealth of literature detailing the impact emotion has on individuals’ performance. This research has shown, for example, that people perform their best at work when they feel involved in purposeful work that develops who they are, when they feel valued, cared for, consulted, respected, informed and understood.

This research has also shown that leaders who practice mindfulness and apply mindfulness techniques to their leadership of others are better equipped to cope with everyday leadership challenges and create high performance in others.

Register Now

During this program, you will improve your understanding of emotions and emotional intelligence. You will also explore and practice tools and techniques for applying mindfulness in your leadership as a means to improve the quality of your leadership.

mindful leadership

Participants will explore the science of emotions, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. During this workshop you’ll examine the Genos model of emotional intelligence, review feedback about our emotionally intelligent leadership behavior, and explore and practice a set of mindfulness techniques to enhance EI and leadership skills.

Course outline

  • Program introduction and mindful breathing exercise
  • Six breaths mindful breathing exercise
  • Seat & feet
  • Exercise review: mindful paired listening exercise
  • Introduction to the Genos Model of Emotional Intelligence
  • What is mindfulness: Overview and links to EI
  • Attention training using mind and body
  • Analyzing your Genos EI Assessment results and planning for development
  • The purposeful pause
  • Body scan
  • Stop and drop to manage emotions
  • Program review and action planning

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Bonus: Online GENOS self-assessment reports are also included!

This intensive two-day program consists of one-day standalone units, known as the Foundation and Advanced paths. Participants are encouraged to attend foundation days and then, after practicing what they’ve learned for a few months, attend the advanced path.

About the Facilitator

Mr. Deiric McCann, best-selling author of AMAZON, sought-after international speaker, is also Head of International Development, Profiles International, Texas, USA, Head of International Development, GENOS Emotional Intelligence. He received certifications for both, including a Masters Certifications under Search Inside Yourself Institute in San Francisco, CA.

“Deiric has made a bottom-line impact on me and my business in two different areas. The first is via his considerable expertise in sales, as a very gifted, engaging and irreverently funny expert presenter at our annual Profiles International conference. The second is as the co-author of ‘Leadership Charisma’, a very practical, thoroughly researched and well-written ‘how-to’ book that every person who wants to become a more effective leader should read – and heed. Deiric McCann has my strongest professional endorsement”

– Russ Minary, Brand & Talent Management, Thought Leader

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Questions for the HR industry today

HR is constantly changing and evolving, so the big questions we need to answer change constantly. We compiled a few important HR industry questions based on this years trends and what we’ve seen as assessment players in the local industry.

HR Industry questions

How will Generation Z behave in the workforce?

Millennials are no longer the newbies of the office. As the first of Generation Z turns 21-23 and begins to enter the professional workspace as employees, you may find that Millennials are now some of the older and more senior players in the office.

This brings up the question of how to best manage Generation Z as entry-level employees, how should HR managers train them to take on leadership roles, and how to address Millennials as upper-level professionals.

How can we overcome algorithm aversion?

“The most effective HR leaders will become students of Big Data thinking. Because data on employees is more limited and less quantitative than that of, say, customer response to direct marketing, it’s easy to think about hiring and developing people in only traditional ways — ways that have rarely been tested and deliver no immediate feedback. By becoming students of Big Data thinking, HR leaders can build their instincts on how to look for and create opportunities to evaluate what works, test different approaches, and elevate HR from generic sourcing and tracking to delivering competitive advantage.” –Ken Rosen, Managing Partner at Performance Works

HR has made leaps and bounds when it comes to technology and the science behind algorithms. However, recruiters may still trust their judgment over time-tested tools. Picture the most sophisticated auto-pilot technology, that can detect changes in air pressure and weather outside that a pilot’s naked eye can’t see. Yet when you see the pilot take his or her hands off the wheel, you may get an uncomfortable lurching feeling.

The same can apply to HR managers who are more inclined to trust their gut instinct (which isn’t measurable) instead of tools that are meant to equip them with vital, in-depth information about their candidates and current team members.

This brings up the question of how to overcome any mistrust of technology when it comes to HR processes, which can tend to feel like a more personal choice due to interviews and company culture factors.

Are annual reviews beneficial for your company?

Annual reviews are a common industry practice, and have generally been seen as beneficial. After companies like Adobe and Deloitte dropped their annual reviews, found that performance and engagement actually fell by 10%.

This result indicates that annual reviews are something that your HR department should try for a few years, but it also brings up the question of whether annual reviews are a good fit for all companies or if you should find another way to manage performance reviews.

The jury is still out on this one, but it’s an important question to ask on an individual scale, and factors such as company size comes into play. Look at the time investment it will take, the results, and whether it’s sustainable or worth the ROI.

How should HR address contingent workers?

Contingent workers include part-time employees, freelance workers, independent contractors, and the like. These are not full-time employees, but play a vital role in a company nonetheless. Many teams are evolving to accommodate contingent workers, but it’s important to define HR’s role in this movement.

How should you address company culture in these non-full-time teams? What learning and development can HR provide? There are numerous questions that come with how to incorporate contingent workers and how company policies differ.

Who owns data?

As data privacy concerns get more pressing, and more and more records are being digitized, the question of who owns your employee information is becoming increasingly pressing. As companies try to improve their team organization, learning and development options, and department placements, they collect data on job candidates that might stay on record. Who owns this data? Is it the company that’s doing the testing, or the employees/candidates whom the data is about? This is one of the most important questions in HR that must be addressed.

What questions do you have for the HR industry?

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Get certified for the GENOS Emotional Intelligence Program

People Dynamics was the first to hold a GENOS Emotional Intelligence Certification in Manila, back in November 15 to 16, 2016. Spurred by its success, we decided to bring it back for a second year in Cebu!

On May 25 – 26, 2017, join us at the Mandarin Plaza Hotel in Cebu to earn a Certification for GENOS Emotional Intelligence Program.

The demand for emotional intelligence in the 21st century is even more pronounced, especially with the influx of automation, being in the midst of disruptive innovation, artificial intelligence and the height of the digital era.

Register Now

Here’s a quick look at how last year’s certification program went.

Emotional intelligence facts

  • Emotional Intelligence is proven to be a critical success factor for leadership and organizations
  • EI or EQ is more than twice as predictive of performance than IQ
  • 80 to 90 percent of the professional competencies that differentiate top performance are related to EI Companies
    that have implemented training on emotional intelligence have seen phenomenal returns on their investment
  • A holistic EI Well-Being Program requires two key components: Assessment plus Intervention
  • GENOS has all of the above!

Register Now

An investment of Php25,760 includes the 2-day certification and a great opportunity to learn, network, and improve your professional teams and self.

Certified Master Trainer

Deiric McCann
Head of International Development Genos
Author of Best Seller Amazon Books
International Speaker Certifier

Register now

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Employee Learning and Development in the Philippines

This is a guest post by Ron Cullimore of Manila Recruitment. His expertise covers client experience and engagement, service management, business development, offshoring and recruitment strategy for start-ups, SMEs, corporations and multinationals. His passion lies in providing well-rounded recruitment solutions to teams with specialist recruitment needs in the Philippines.

Your employees are assets, and should be valued as such. They deserve returns for their hard work and loyalty that go beyond minimal monetary gifts. While money could be one motivating factor, there’s nothing more fulfilling than preparing your employees not only for their current roles but also for future career opportunities.

Employee development is a process where an employee, with the support of his/her employer, undergoes various training programs to enhance his/her knowledge and skills and acquire new skills s/he can use in the future.

How to Promote Employee Development in the Philippines

In the Philippines’, employee development is one of the key factors that affect employee retention, especially among millennials. Here are some effective learning and employee development tactics your company can do to provide the needed growth your employee deserves.

Training and Seminars

Training helps an employee perform his best. Meanwhile, the organization benefits from this as well, as it may likely lead to higher profits.

In-house and outsourced training, conferences, and seminars make employees better and reliable resources, as they become equipped with knowledge and information they would most likely use throughout their career.

Make them feel that the responsibility of the organization lies on their shoulders, which it does. Seminars should give more attention to leadership and management development, talent development, customer service and sales, which are some of the basic skills needed in most jobs in the Philippines.

Promotions, Performance Appraisal, and Additional Benefits

Well-performing employees deserve more than just recognition. Promotions should take place not just because your people are brilliant at their current job, but because they are ready for a bigger role.

A great amount of dedication and hard work deserve something in return to motivate employees to deliver more and go the extra mile. Who wouldn’t say no to a promotion or be commended at any point in his career, right?

According to a scheme called 360 Degree Appraisal, managers or supervisors evaluate the performance of their team members and give them valuable feedback based on their evaluation. The results of an appraisal help an employee determine his shortcomings, strengths, and how s/he can work on these to be more efficient with work and career growth as well.

Remember to always include personal feelings of your employees by taking their lifestyle, specifically their family time into consideration. Filipinos have strong family ties, so offering benefits that revolve around the family can help. Events like family days, days off for special family events, and even bringing of pets in the office are good retention ideas to help your employees feel that you value them and their personal lives.

Team Building and Other Extra-Curricular Activities

All work and no play leads to burned out employees. It’s hard for employees to muster up the extra effort needed to go the distance when they’re losing the will to work. Give your people a break from time to time so that they have something to look forward to in the future.

The perfect way to engage your employees is by doing a team building, which is useful for breaking down barriers between individuals through activities that can promote camaraderie and sportsmanship within the workplace.

Further, local corporations such as Resorts World Manila, Capital One, and Thomson Reuters Philippines offer free shuttle services to their employees. Small to medium businesses and startups can also offer simple perks that can satisfy and motivate employees, which can eventually make them stand out compared to other companies.

Professional Development Opportunities

Most companies in the Philippines offer an excellent environment to develop and advance their careers. Giving your employees the opportunity to take on educational courses which can extend their subject matter expertise could shape them to be better career people in the future.

Providing learning opportunities at the expense of the company to enhance your employee’s skills will help in maintaining a high level of confidence on basic, and even advanced workplace skills among employees in their respective career tracks.

Keep your employees engaged

The Philippine recruitment scene has been continuously growing, as it becomes more competitive and adapting to today’s generation. From offering competitive salaries and benefits to developing a culture of innovation and shared rewards based on company performance, your company must always prioritize employees for they are the key players to your business’ success.

It is essential to be creative and learn what keeps your employees engaged and enthusiastic about working for you and avoid the factors that could make them hesitate that decision. Workplace culture is a primary influence that could easily be innovated, and thus, choosing a lighter, more efficient environment for your employees is one big thing that could make them stay.

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