Employee Retention & Engagement: Building a Lasting Team Culture

Team culture is a fragile and elusive quality to implement and maintain. Seeking new candidates and hiring the right person is often thought to be one of the most important channels to building company culture. However, structuring your organization to attract the candidates you want is the first step. Recently, Brendan Davis of The Davis Companies spoke to our community about tools to define your organization and immerse new hires into your way of doing things.

The first step to creating an effective work environment is developing a “why” statement. This process involves deciphering what separates your company from the rest, what the purpose of the organization is and understanding employee motivation. One way to begin establishing this statement is asking employees why they work for the company. What drives them, why do they come into work every day and what makes them feel they belong? Using employee input to define your organization can make targeting the right candidates a much easier process.

Engagement: Start When They Start

Integrating a new hire into company culture starts the second they walk through the door. Leaving an impactful first impression could be the difference to whether someone feels comfortable and adapts to their new work surroundings. Making someone’s first day memorable requires advanced planning and preparation.

Little details can make or break someone’s first day. To make someone feel comfortable, managers can do small things like share lists, introduce new hires to all team members, map out area lunch spots and connect them to the Wi-Fi. Employees will be more eager to submerse themselves in a new environment if they feel welcome instead of walking on eggshells.

More formal preparations are also critical to settling new hires. Having an established training program can help people feel less overwhelmed on their first day. It will also ensure that every new hire gets brought up to speed in the same fashion, eliminating the chance for certain disadvantages. Whether it is a pre-produced video, or more personal face-to-face training, helping new hires prepare for their new role must happen on day one.

Retention: The Art of Communication

You have hired great candidates; your employees are happy and you’ve successfully curated a positive work environment. So, how do you maintain all of this? Retaining great employees and strong culture starts with communication.

Effective managers understand their employees and are able to relate to their experiences. This requires constant communication and understanding. Get to know your colleagues, find out what motivates them, understand their weaknesses and be respectful of personal struggles. The more you can communicate, the better you will understand people’s behavior in real time.

Evaluation is another cornerstone of communication and far too often we see managers only performing annual reviews. Employees need more feedback!Communicating on such a small scale does not allow employees to understand the effect of their work or their progress. Routine feedback sessions should be established to celebrate the wins and acknowledge failures to uncover opportunities for improvement. Effectively conveying someone’s errors allows them to develop professionally and shows that a manager is invested in their success. Celebrating victories also shows that the hard work being done is noticed and appreciated. Engagement and retention revolve around improving your skills and relationships.

Great companies have an identity and make hiring decisions that fit into the established mold. Determining your organizational purpose allows managers to promote their business more effectively and pick the best fitting candidates. From the moment a new hire walks in the door, they should feel the presence of the company culture and understand how the business operates. Clear and constant communication enable companies to develop, engage and retain outstanding employees.

How does your company work on employee engagement and retention? Let us know @GreentownLabs!