Digging Deep: Employee Retention and Culture

Digging Deep: Employee Retention and Culture

Digging Deep

One of the most common reasons we are called into companies is around the issue of employee retention.  When a good employee leaves an organization over something that could have been avoided, the company has not only lost an important piece of tomorrow’s workforce, but also the time, money, and other resources invested in that associate.  As today’s industries continue to be pressured to do more with less, retention is an essential part of the solution.

There’s a story of an American rancher visiting an Australian outback cattle ranch who, upon arrival, quickly noticed a distinct difference: there were no fences.  When asked how this was even possible, the host explained, “Ranches out here cover an enormous geographic area; fencing the area simply isn’t feasible.  Rather than containing the cows in a pasture with a fence, we dig a deep, quality well in the middle of the ranch to provide water.  So long as there is an abundance of clean water, the livestock isn’t prone to travel too far.”

Many of our client companies exist within regions of the country that have extremely low unemployment.  As a result, the issues of attracting and retaining high quality talent is an ongoing challenge for them.  Neighboring companies will frequently offer promotional incentives to recruit team members: above market pay, a signing bonus after 6 months, great benefits, etc.  While these strategies may seem to be an effective way to gain new talent, the problem is these employees will walk out the door just as quickly as they’ve walked in as they pursue the “next great opportunity.”  Realizing this, we work with our clients to identify what qualities are important to their workforce so they too can provide a “deep, quality well” and not worry about their workforce wandering.  Below are the top five qualities we believe are essential for organizations committed to their associates:

  • Engaged supervisors who are committed to the success of individual direct reports and the collective team
  • Commitment to work-life balance
  • Providing an appropriate level of challenge to all team members
  • Investment (time, money, and opportunities) in the development of associates
  • Collaborative environment where everyone understands their role in the organization’s success

Employee engagement is the burning platform for businesses today.

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