Improve Employee Retention and Productivity: Become an Employer of Choice
By Shadi Chakoutahi of Staffing Proxy
Too many employers put off thinking about employee retention until they notice a decline in performance or when they are faced with an impending vacancy. Unquestionably, a poor-performing employee has a lasting negative impact on the business, and the resignation of a reputed employee has a significant effect on patient experience.
While both situations create immediate needs, neither is the real core of the problem; these are just symptoms of a much greater problem. If you address a symptom without identifying the root cause, you’ll run into the same issue time and time again. This means you’re investing time, energy, and money into a solution while seeing the same symptoms repeat themselves over and over again. This is a bottomless money pit.
To break free from this seemingly endless cycle, we must consider our organization from a different angle.
Most of us can, off the top of our heads, name at least one company with a low employee retention rate and excellent brand loyalty. However, these are tips of an iceberg, and when you look below the surface, you’ll find that a healthy company culture makes up a vast majority of that iceberg. Employee retention and brand loyalty are simply the parts you can see from a distance.
What defines a healthy company culture?
In 2019, MIT SMR/Glassdoor Culture 500 used machine learning and human expertise to measure and analyze culture using a data set of 1.2 million employee reviews of over 500 of the world’s leading companies. (Source: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/measuring-culture-in-leading-companies/). The results were clear: A healthy culture consists of core values (the part that’s important to employees) and norms (your behavior must be consistent with these values), which are shared and respected across the organization by everyone.
We’ve made a list of six core values that define a healthy company culture:
(You can learn more about these core values in our detailed article on the topic.)
Such values raise the bar for what you can achieve as an organization, and they help employees thrive professionally and find meaning in their work without seeing a negative impact on their productivity. Of course, these values must be practiced in every facet of the organization and present in every decision you make, including professional development, performance reviews, HR policies and procedures, job requirements, compensation, and business operations.
When you work with us to fill a position, we ask you to describe your organization’s culture in five words during your onboarding session. There are two key reasons for this exercise:
- We know that, from a candidate’s viewpoint, it is important to have a clear understanding of the company’s culture before joining.
- This exercise allows you to pause and have an honest conversation with yourself about your organization’s values. It’s likely you’ll find the root of your turnover problem in this phase.
Of course, it is far easier to address the symptom temporarily, and we are always happy to match your organization with top-tier talent. However, that won’t be a lasting solution unless you can address the source of your retention challenges. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge, tools, and support systems to address the problem without having to build a Zen garden, free snack bar, or game room (complete with ping pong tables and bean bags). Those are lovely to have, but they’re all band-aids!
Our goal is to help you become an Employer of Choice.
What is an Employer of Choice, and how can you become one?
An Employer of Choice is an employer that inspires talented individuals to join the organization and stay there long-term. In such an environment, exceptional employees choose to join and dedicate themselves to the organization’s success. Patients and customers can sense the vibrant culture, which can be refreshing and invigorating, resulting in repeat business and referrals. More importantly, an Employer of Choice always has a bullpen of candidates waiting to become full-time employees.
One of the key characteristics that Employers of Choice have in common is creating high-performance teams, and they do so by fostering the six core values we mentioned in the previous section.
When your company culture is healthy (remember, values, and norms), success comes naturally and organically for the team.
At this point, you are probably ready to point out the fact that the Culture 500 report we provided above is based on some of the largest, most powerful organizations in the world. Do those values really translate to a small-scale business or healthcare practice?
Our answer is that yes, they do, but the exact way they’re implemented might vary. However, our EOC assessment measures and quantifies the most prevalent Employers of Choice practices on the scale of the six core values we provided earlier. For reference, we’ll list them again:
We’d love to help you become an Employer of Choice. Implementing these core values can be difficult, and sustaining them can be even more of a challenge, but we have your back.