It’s been repeated many times in HCM circles that one of the keys to human capital management is being able to build a strong, vibrant company culture. We’ve heard this sentiment so much that it’s now bordering on cliché. But what does it mean, anyway? What is a “culture,” really, and what makes it so valuable to a given company?
It’s a vague term, and you can potentially define it in just about countless ways. But here’s one definition that just might stick – according to Entrepreneur magazine, you can measure company culture simply by gauging people’s loyalty. How devoted are people to their employer? If they’re loyal employees, they’ll indicate a willingness to stay for a long time and recommend employment to their friends. If they’re not, you may have a problem.
When you put it in these terms, culture is no longer a murky, vague buzzword. It’s a real goal that you can measure tangibly. There are definite benefits to having a loyal staff – you accumulate knowledge of internal workflows, you reduce turnover (and the steep costs that come along with it) and you make it easier for your recruiters to keep up with staffing needs.
So loyalty is good. But how do you get it? How do you build a workforce in which people naturally feel a sense of dedication to their employer?
If you ask Dov Baron, a published author and leadership expert, the current strategies aren’t working. Baron told Entrepreneur that it’s time for companies to try something different.
“Your biggest challenge actually consists of two sides of the same coin,” Baron explained. “How do you attract great people, and once you’ve attracted them, how do you keep them not just loyal, but fiercely loyal? This may well be the biggest question facing your business today. Because the fact is that the strategies entrepreneurs have traditionally used to create loyalty no longer work. It’s time for change.”
With that in mind, here are three new ideas that may help make employee loyalty a bigger part of your corporate culture.
Help foster greater collaboration
People will feel more of a sense of unity if they have to work together on a daily basis. Have your employees collaborate on projects – for example, one team member writes up a report and another proofreads it. If people achieve together on a daily basis, they’ll have a greater sense of solidarity.
Show that everyone’s contribution matters
The reality of the office is that everyone, from the CEO at the top of the corporate ladder to the new employee at the very bottom, has something to contribute. Make sure they’re recognized for it. Every member of the team, even if their job isn’t that glamorous or high-paying, should be thanked and told that their role matters.
Focus on community development
Do everything you can to build a real community among your employees. This should include lots of shared time together, regular conversations and honest dialogues about any problems that arise along the way. Your staff will achieve far more together than as a disjointed set of individuals – make sure they know it.