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Create an Attractive Workplace

As an employer much of your time is spent trying to find the right employees and then trying to find ways to keep those employees from leaving. Although many small to medium sized business owners struggle with the fact that they are unable to provide pay that is competitive with larger employers, according to research money is not the main reason employees stay with an employer. Some of the reasons why employees seek out other work opportunities are: they feel bored or not challenged in their jobs and /or they feel unappreciated by their employer. Employees want to work for employers that value them as individuals and listen to what they have to say.

Helpful Tips

This section will provide you with some helpful tips on how can you make your workplace more attractive to those employees you wish to keep.

  • Be clear on what your company does, its priorities and what it stands for to help keep employees focused during their daily work routines.
  • Provide new employees with a proper orientation to the company.
  • Create a positive work environment and become known for it.
  • Be sure that your company’s priorities and environment appeals to workers of all ages.
  • Be open to employees with different values, styles of dress and physical appearances.
  • Broaden your employee candidate pool by hiring people from underrepresented groups such as immigrants, First Nations people, African Canadians, older workers, people with disabilities, etc.
  • Offer a flexible workplace with flexible benefits such as flex time and flexible health packages that appeal to different ages and lifestyle needs.
  • Invest in employees. Look at how you can support them in a career with your company as opposed to supporting them only in their current job.
  • Have workplace training options that provide unskilled workers with the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to learn from the ground up.
  • Consider training to help address challenges and sensitivities associated with having a workplace made up of various ethnicities and cultures.
  • Ensure safe working conditions.
  • Provide employees with the tools required to get the job done.
  • Leave the option of returning open to employees who leave on good terms.
  • Start a recognition program that is low cost and low maintenance.
  • Vary job tasks for those workers who like changes and challenges.
  • Promote staff from within the company.
  • Have a basic HR plan in place.
  • Use wages, benefits and training creatively to meet the needs of individual employees.
  • Communicate company policies and expectations from the top down, ensuring that at every level supervisors and managers are doing what needs to be done to create an attractive workplace.
  • Listen to and respect your employees.

Different Generations1

To further assist you as an employer to create an attractive workplace, it is important to know that the workplace is changing. Different generations of workers have different attitudes towards how and why they work. By understanding some of the differences affecting the workplace you will be better able to meet the needs of each generation.

Workplace differences include:

Old Workplace

New Workplace

Structured set up

Flexible set up



Financial incentives

Variety of incentives

Continual employment

Frequent unemployment

Work for others

Self employment

Large corporations

Small businesses or units

Hierarchical Management

Participatory Management

Education is completed

Life-long learning

Focus on product

Focus on customer service

Error is tolerated

Total quality management and contro

Generational Traits 2

With more people working longer there are four generations in the workforce. They include: the silent generation (1922-1945), the baby boomers (1946-1964), generation X (1965 -1980) and generation Y (1981 – onward). Each generation has its own values, work style and management style.

Generational Traits in the Workplace

Silent Generation

Baby Boomers

Generation X

Generation Y

This generation is hard-working, trusting, optimistic and very moral.

This generation is

optimistic and driven

to succeed in a work


This generation is not

very trusting, but very

adaptable to change.

Has a good idea of work and life balance.

This generation is hard

working and adaptable

to change. Optimistic

about the future and

open to ideas.

Generational Values in the Workplace

Silent Generation

Baby Boomers

Generation X

Generation Y


Hard Work




Delayed gratification


Team focus


Personal growth




World thought




Technologically literate

Civic duty



Social ability


1 Source: Building Better Workplaces

2 Source: Building Better Workplaces;