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How Company Culture Can Help You Retain Employees

professional skills

Employee retention is crucial when it comes to saving time and money. One potential avenue to keep your workers longer involves creating a company culture that focuses on loyalty and engagement.

The Importance of Retention

If it's not already, employee retention should be a top priority for you and your company. Onboarding new employees is a time consuming and, even worse, costly endeavor, as it takes time to train new hires and money to cover the transition when an employee leaves.

If you're looking to retain employees, be sure to evaluate your company culture and its effect on reducing turnover. Creating a culture that is tolerant, welcoming, and enjoyable can go a long way towards keeping your employees from leaving.

Happy Employees are Loyal Employees

Creating a welcoming and tolerant company culture kicks off a mutually beneficial cycle between employer and employee. When your workers feel valued and your organization demonstrates a real commitment, they're more likely to stay with your company.

employee holding up smiley face to indicate happiness and loyalty

Modern workers, especially millennials, place high value on how they are treated by their company. They may be more likely to jump ship if they are unhappy, but conversely, they are more likely to stay put when they work for a company that treats them with respect and views them more as a partner and less like a subordinate.

In addition to staying longer, satisfied employees are also more productive. A study by the Social Market Foundation found that happy employees were noticeably more productive, and likewise, unhappy employees were far less efficient.

Not only will establishing a corporate culture help you retain employees, it will also make them better workers while they're with your company.

Culture Improves Engagement

Working with a company, you can only do so much when it comes to creating and maintaining a culture. The final and perhaps most important ingredient is the employees themselves, and their participation can be a great way to improve engagement and retain them.

Engaged employees smiling and having fun

Instead of simply implementing policies, encourage feedback from your workers. What do your employees want from their employee? What kind of culture would they like to create? Encouraging participation not only shows that you value your workers, but it also creates a culture that your employees actually want to be a part of.

A rigid culture feels like just another corporate mandate, but a fluid and interactive environment allows employees to feel like they have a say, which in turn improves retention.

Culture is Self-Sustaining

Once your culture is firmly established, you'll notice your workforce gradually adapting to the change. Workers who do not approve or fit in may leave to pursue other options, but will be replaced in turn by new employees who have been drawn in by the environment you have created.

This phenomenon is fairly common and fits into the cyclical nature of healthy company cultures. New hires will apply in part because of their interest in the culture, and once hired, they will continue to carry out the ideals of the culture, which in turn only reinforces the overall cohesiveness of your organization.

As we've already covered above, this cycle will also help you retain employees because they will feel more comfortable, and their comfort will only continue to grow as the culture becomes more prevalent. Intangible benefits such as employee recognition and corporate culture are instrumental in generating more tangible results.

For more information on how to retain employees and improve company culture, check out Study.com's directory of professional development courses, which contain multiple courses that cover relevant topics.

By Bill Sands
July 2018
professional skills engagement & retention

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