As we venture into the future of business, I believe we will see an environment of higher and higher employee turnover. People have more options available to them now than ever before. You can be or do whatever you want, and the internet will teach you how. Businesses are having to find talent quickly, just to lose it and start the search all over again. Here are five ways to boost your culture to both attract talent and, more importantly, retain it.
1. Have a fast pace. In my experience, people want to work at a fast pace, evolve and get to the next level. Fast is fun. In business, the enemy of speed is fear. As a leader, you have to strive to not lead by fear. Scared employees are slow to make decisions. Slow employees are bored, and bored employees move on to find something more interesting. It’s good to note that there is a balanced line between leading by fear and appeasing everyone. Shoot for the balance.
2. Celebrate losses. A good leader will be full of pride in their team but not themselves. The head of the company and leadership should make their losses/mistakes known and show what it looks like to learn from them. If an employee feels too ashamed to mess up or lose a deal, their leaders haven’t shown them it’s OK to fail. A culture that takes failure and improves from it, frees employees to take better business risks and build the company.
3. Take on your employees’ dreams. Businesses that are able to mentor their employees into their dreams and goals have a chance at retaining that talent in a productive manner. If you have entrepreneurial employees, work them into a role that scratches that itch or mentor them into a side hustle to see how they like it. If you have a great employee who has a different dream, support them and educate them on how to attain it. They might find they like it and as it takes them two years to develop the skills to pursue it, you still have a good employee for that time. They might find they don’t like it and you have gained an incredible relationship with that individual. Have open and honest conversations and try to break down the walls between you and your staff to get to the culture where people’s actual desires are brought up.
4. Keep perspective. Having a global perspective and operating with gratitude is the best way to break down people’s insecurity. If you have employees who are acting jealous or envious of other employees, that’s often rooted in their own insecurity, and it’s a quick way to ruin company culture. Get rid of office politics and employee backstabbing by implementing an overarching culture of gratitude. The best way to instill gratitude is to require employees to serve their community. There are 884 million people around the world without access to safe drinking water. Having a perspective of what it’s like outside your personal bubble and serving your community makes your inter-office conflict seem not quite so dire.
5. Practice servant leadership. Think empowerment over control. Make it your mission every day to come into work and ask how you can help your team, and have them do the same for their teams. Ask your team for feedback. If you can, get your team to the point where they are willing to give you raw and honest feedback on how to be better. This doesn’t mean being passive and catering to every will and want of your team or you won’t ever make progress, but it’s the listening that matters.