Retaining Top Talent in 2019: The Key Drivers of Workplace Culture

February 22, 2019 | Energage | HCI
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A healthy economy is a good thing. But it also presents challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. First, everyone is pulling from the same, limited talent pool. And then there’s the issue of turnover, because now more than ever, employees are being tempted to pursue better opportunities.

With the labor market heating up, how do you ensure you’re not losing experienced employees faster than you are able to attract new ones? It’s time to make sure your culture is in great shape so you can improve employee retention and reduce employee turnover.

The key drivers of workplace culture

So, what matters most to employees? What motivates them to stick around, give their best each and every day – and maybe even refer your organization to others? After 13 years of studying what leads to higher employee engagement – and therefore, better retention – Energage has found the answer. Through our research, we’ve identified 15 key culture drivers we’ve organized in four themes or “imperatives:”

Imperative #1: Align

  • Confidence in where your company is going and how it will get there.
  • The organization fosters a sense of strong, shared Values.
  • Employees are clear about the future Direction of the organization.
  • Meetings are efficient and help get the work done.
  • There is strong Interdepartmental Cooperation.

Imperative #2: Connect

  • Throughout the company, there is a sense of “we’re in this together.”
  • Clued-in Leaders know what is really happening in the organization.
  • Employees feel recognized and Appreciated.
  • Employees find Meaningfulness in their work and believe it contributes to a greater cause.
  • Clued-in Employees feel well-informed about important decisions.

Imperative #3: Coach

  • Employee skills and interests are aligned with your company goals.
  • Managers care about team member Concerns.
  • Managers support career growth and individual Development.
  • Managers are Helpful in supporting the work of team members.
  • Managers do whatever they can to help direct reports achieve their full Potential.

Imperative #4: Perform

  • How efficiently your company gets stuff done and an openness to new ideas.
  • The company is Open-minded to different points of view.
  • New ideas are encouraged to support Innovation.
  • The company Executes things efficiently and well.

Employee retention starts with a healthy culture

Employees rarely leave because of money. Rather, they leave because they’re looking for a better opportunity or a better working environment.

The best way to know what drives your culture is to first assess its health. (And yes, you can measure culture.) Start with an employee engagement survey that will do three things:

  1. Identify what matters most to your employees. Pay attention to their feedback and show them that you listened.
  2. Uncover what’s really happening in your organization – and pinpoint where there are opportunities for improvement.
  3. Gauge where your culture stands relative to best-in-class organizations. Choose benchmarks for your industry, size band, or local competitors.

When you understand where your culture stands, you can close the gap between your current culture and the one you’re striving to build.

Improving your culture won’t happen overnight. It’s a journey that takes time and effort. But making it a priority and making changes in small, yet intentional ways will add up. You’ll see the results in more committed employees, lower turnover, and better referrals.