As an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I am always looking for that one special thing that can put my clients and audience participants over the top when it comes to their employee retention strategies. Just this past week, I was at my 6AM CrossFit class and we had a blast. As I showed up, some of my other CrossFit colleagues began to arrive and we started talking about what was going on in their lives and people asked me how I had been because I hadn’t been at class the prior week as I was traveling. They asked if I had been on the road, where I had traveled to, how my gigs went etc. We all know what we each do, if someone has switched jobs, was on vacation and a whole host of things that we have going on in our lives.
Later that day, this employee retention trainer had the opportunity to talk to his youngest son who is a world class CrossFitter and superb athlete. He is in medical school and is on a tough rotation, so he has not been to our CrossFit Box (That’s what they call them) but instead has been going to one of the athletic clubs in the area because it is more convenient with this schedule. He talked about how different it is and that “it’s just not the same as going to the CrossFit.” When asked why, he explained that he has been going to this athletic club for three months, talks to people, sees people regularly but there is not the “sense of community.” CrossFit across the country talks about this all the time. We are a community. That is part of the expectation of belonging to CrossFit. If you show up a CrossFit Box anywhere in the country to do a “drop in” they introduce you to the whole class before class starts. People welcome you, shake your hand and accept you with open arms. There is a sense of belonging.
That sense of belonging is what organizations need to do with their people. It’s SPECIAL. It makes you feel SPECIAL. I can’t imagine not going to CrossFit Greendale because the people I go with are a community. I look forward to going to class as much for the people as for the work out. I love the community. If an organization can develop a sense of belonging and community like a CrossFit Box can, their employee retention would increase significantly. A sense of community is something that is special and it WILL retain people. Other than giving your employees C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise) building a sense of community is one of the key ingredients in employee retention.