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Are your Employees In or Out?

Staff Engagement and employee retention are top issues for CEO’s and HR Directors. Well, that is what most articles will tell you. Company Culture and Retention, these subjects always pop up on HR news, LinkedIn posts and news on employees. Why is this a hot topic? Is staff attrition and people engagement trending in the wrong direction for organisations??

Let’s break it down and explore further.

The only thing we have is one another. The only competitive advantage we have is the culture and values of the company. Anyone can open up a coffee store. We have no technology; we have no patent. All we have is the relationship around the values of the company and what we bring to the customer every day. And we all have to own it." – Howard Schultz CEO, Starbucks

Employee retention can be determined by career paths, remuneration, recognition or responsibilities. Employees come and go, but what about those that rapidly lose interest upon setting foot into the company?

There are a number of reasons that could explain this notion, though one overarching factor comes to mind. Company Culture. Company Culture, is what the organisation and the boss stand for, what they expect out of everyone working there to reproduce an environment that reflects what values they represent.

Take NetFlix for example. They’ve published their company culture online for all to see and admire, and people will click to read it! They’ve received at least 11 million views already and even with the COO of Facebook approving their culture. “Freedom and Responsibility” is their “Culture Manual” and it sets out the values that people need to buy into when working at Netflix. Research has shown, their retention rate is one of the highest in the world and they consistently encourage employees to maximise their career potential. Taking the Netflix example, transparency and helping employees to grow seems to be a good idea…

The Competing Values Framework by Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn has created the table below that sums up four different categories of organizational culture. Each section determines a different approach to work, each has its benefits and each has its negatives.

Which quadrant are you in?

Is there really a correct approach to dealing with organizational culture? I don’t think so.

Every company has their own culture, their personal approach to doing business. Their culture should reflect what they do externally and internally and the way they interact with the customers and clients of their business. Culture can only be determined ineffective when you are producing negative results and staff retention is low. It may be wise to observe and understand what your employees think about working at the company!

Take Home Message:

Workplace culture and retention go hand in hand, employees work well when they fit in with the group and having similar ideals and work ethics. There are many approaches towards generating a successful and sustainable culture. Flexibility, Stability, Inward and Outward approaches, they can all be considered for your next evaluation. Company culture is not set in stone. The company is a place to grow, so address the challenges and thrive!

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