By RedBalloon for Business

Company culture is key to staff retention

Company culture arguably plays the most important role in staff retention by determining an employee’s longevity with a business, as it can shape the entire employee experience. Businesses defined by a negative culture are more likely to see higher rates of costly employee turnover – which can spell disaster for the bottom-line.

A survey from Globoforce found that almost 50% of Human Resources leaders deem staff retention as their primary obstacle. It’s not surprising, then, that creating a positive company culture that employees won’t want to leave is a key focus for HR managers and business leaders in 2019.

But what does company culture really mean, and how does it impact your employees – and their willingness to stay with the business? Here’s what you need to know.

What really is company culture?

A company’s culture is reflected in its identity and purpose; its values and beliefs, policies and processes that govern an employee’s everyday working life. These are generally moulded by a business’s mission, vision and objectives.

From paid volunteering days to Friday morning breakfasts, monthly Town Hall meetings to regular manager one-on-ones, each company culture is unique and comprised of various elements that are deemed to be meaningful to the business and its employees.

Nowadays, prospective employees are empowered to pick and choose organisations more carefully based upon how a company’s culture parallels their own values, expectations and worldview. On the other hand, employers seek employees that will fit and have a cultural ‘add’ to their business.

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to gauge your company’s culture, as well as how your employees feel about the business. According to a report from Officevibe, a staggering 33% of individuals surveyed “don’t believe their company’s core values align with their personal values”. This is why it is so important to hire the right people from the get-go. Alignment between employees and the employer brand is key as it has the capacity to set your employees, and ultimately the business up for success – or failure.

Why is company culture important for staff retention?

Company culture and the employee experience go hand-in-hand. Where employees have a negative experience at work, the company culture can become toxic and spread like wildfire. However, when a company’s culture is positive, inspiring and supportive, employees are empowered and equipped to do their best work.

Whilst a level of attrition is normal to an extent, it is not difficult to see the relationship between company culture and turnover within a company. Employees that feel in tune with their company’s culture – that they fit, that they can add value and are valued, that their needs are met – tend to have a greater sense of overall happiness at work and are more positively engaged.

Creating an environment to which your employees feel connected, can harness a strong sense of belonging and is often reflected in greater employee engagement and staff retention rates. On the other hand, employees that feel undervalued, or that they are not recognised for their efforts, are more likely to resign. As such, building a culture of recognition is an essential facet of company culture. When your employees are acknowledged and reaffirmed that their contribution makes an impact, they are likely to be more motivated and feel that they belong at work.

Improving your company culture to retain talent

Company culture is always a work in progress – it evolves over time with the growth of a business. As such, it is important to be flexible and listen to your employees so that you are able to be responsive to their needs as things change.

Here are some strategies to improve your company’s culture:

  • Champion brand purpose: ensuring that your employees understand the company’s values and purpose can create a sense of meaning in one’s work and be a great motivator for your employees.
  • Ask for ongoing feedback: From employee engagement surveys to regular one-on-ones, it’s imperative that you seek feedback from employees, as well as create an open platform for them to do so, to ensure that they feel ‘heard’.
  • Implement a Recognition and Reward program: Creating a culture of recognition and inclusion through a recognition and reward program is a great way boost employee happiness at work and promote a positive workplace.
  • Be transparent: When employees don’t believe in the integrity of the business, there can be devastating impacts on company culture. Build trust with your employees through promoting transparency across all areas of the business and create a culture they can be proud of.
  • Employee benefits: whilst employee benefits are not the be-all-and-end-all, they do in fact hold weight in that they can be a powerful retention tool. The perks of a company’s culture could be the competitive advantage your company has over another.

The benefits go beyond greater retention

Staff retention is not the only gleaming benefit of building a positive company culture. Companies with great cultures often have:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Increased profitability
  • Greater employee engagement
  • High employee morale and loyalty
  • Cost savings from reduced turnover

Company culture is an essential ingredient for staff retention. This is why it’s crucial to develop an environment that is positive and can bring out the best in your employees – and you might just find that they won’t want to leave.

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Let the RedBalloon for Business team show you how to reward and recognise your people in a way that facilitates a positive company culture. Contact us today to learn how.

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