Building a Culture of Employee Retention

As an employee retention speaker and employee retention expert, I often hear about different organizations and how they want to grow their culture.  I will hear about a culture of quality, high performance work culture, a culture of excellence, etc.  I never hear anyone say we want to build a culture of employee retention.  Perhaps that’s why they don’t have excellent employee retention.  Here is how you can go about building a culture of retention:

  • The first step in building a culture of employee retention is to state that is your objective. State it in your values statement.  Tell your employees that openly and honestly.  Acknowledge that you have a problem and that your employee retention isn’t what you would like it to be.
  • Tell your employees that you want to hear from them what you can do to change that. Who better to ask than the people you want to stay?
  • Gather all of the input that you can and then set some priorities about what you are going to do to build that culture. Then, start taking action.  It is amazing the impact you can have in a short period of time when you start to act on a problem.  Don’t go it alone either.  Ask your employees to help you to work on the priorities you set.  They will gladly jump in and lend a hand if they know you are serious about building that culture.
  • Dedicate some money to the problem. You can do a lot with limited funds.  But, if you allocate some resources to the problem like you would if you were doing an ISO audit, it will certainly help your efforts.
  • Once you start to get some traction and are seeing some results, celebrate your success. Thank your people for their efforts and acknowledge that they were a major part of that success.
  • Keep driving forward. Don’t be satisfied with improved employee retention.  Your goal should be to drive it as low as possible and then sustain it.  By this time, you will view employee retention as a norm for the business.  When you are to that point you will know that you have a “culture” and not just an initiative.  It will be built into the fabric of everything you do in the organization.

The great thing about a culture of employee retention is that you will see a lot of other benefits in quality, customer service and productivity.  Your culture drives those other results as well.  This stuff is simple….real simple.  It’s just not easy.  The key is to take that first step and commit that you truly want a culture of employee retention.

Jeff Kortes

Jeff speaks and conducts workshops regularly in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana. He draws on his experiences as a human resources professional, father, coach, martial artist and U.S. Army veteran to provide thought-provoking programs that yield results.