Retention Strategies That Work

Insights Blog | 2 min read | April 22, 2024

- By Lisa Kinney, Nexstar Network Leadership & Culture Coach

Does your company have an employee retention problem?

Then you have a company culture problem.

Blunt but true: Companies that struggle to retain people are having internal culture issues – the core problem does not necessarily lie with the employees you’re hiring. When you have a healthy company culture, people want to stay working at your company. Contrary to popular belief, wages and benefits aren’t the top reason people stay with companies; creating and maintaining a positive, effective work culture, along with ensuring there’s effective leadership in place, is the best way to retain employees.

But how do you create a great company culture?

Well, first, you need to have a really strong company mission and vision, and you need to have core values. As a Leadership & Culture coach, I am frequently surprised by the number of business owners I encounter who cannot tell me what their company’s mission and vision statements are – who can’t name a single core value at their business. Mission, vision, and values aren’t just statements to put on a poster in your break room – these things need to be intertwined into everything your company does! Bringing them to life and holding everyone accountable to aligning their behaviors to these values is what creates your company culture. The mission provides a purpose, while the vision shares the goals of the company. Why should employees stay at your company if they don’t even know their purpose or how they align to the goals of the company?

Businesses with a great culture have leaders who have done the work to set out their company’s mission, vision, and values. Why does the company exist? What is its purpose? Why should people want to do business with them or work for them? Where is the company going and how will it get there? The senior leadership team at a healthy company needs to know the answers to all these questions.

That brings me to my second thought: Companies with a great culture have strong leaders. Leaders who live their company mission, vision, and values. Leaders who speak to those precepts, hire to them, and reward employees who strive to reach them. Who do you have at your leadership table? Are they strong enough to set the tone for the business? Are they willing to take action when employees aren’t aligned to the company values?

Strong leaders are able to hold people accountable; they’re not afraid of losing people if they have difficult conversations. Strong company leaders are not paralyzed by a fear of losing high-revenue-generating employees or backfilling positions – they know they have to do the right thing to create the best culture for the people they value.

Creating and maintaining a healthy company culture is the best way to retain great employees. If you’re struggling with retention issues, I urge you to take a step back and start examining your company’s mission, vision, and core values. Take a good, hard look at your leadership team, as well. I’d be willing to bet the solutions to your retention issues are right in front of you.

Lisa Kinney has more than 15 years of experience supporting business leaders with all aspects of talent management, and she specializes in helping to create engaging workplace cultures.

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