3 steps to creating a culture that retains your best employees

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | Corporate Culture | 3 steps to creating a culture that retains your best employeesEmployees can do the minimum, or go the extra mile, and the difference between these two levels of performance, multiplied by the number of employees, can make or break a company. And when your employees are going the extra mile, it means they are engaged, and engaged employees don’t leave.

Losing employees is costly, especially if they are your best ones. Not only do they take specialist know-how and client relationships with them, but often straight to one of your competitors. And if you are operating in a context of skills shortages, which many companies are, you simply can’t afford to lose those skills you know are going to be impossible to replace.

The key to overcoming all of the above issues is culture, because as Peter Drucker famously said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Making sure your company culture is one that engages and retains your best employees is an ongoing endeavour, and there are three proactive steps you can take to build it:

1.Turn your company into a cause

Make sure you have a vision that is ambitious enough and inspirational enough to become a cause that employees rally around and makes them want to go the extra mile. Engagement for engagement sake will only ever bring short-term results; engagement around a cause, however, will keep your employees motivated for years.

Most companies have a vision, but with confusion rife around what a vision actually is, rarely do we find one with that essential emotional ingredient that makes employees put aside personal agendas for a collective one that appears much more attractive.

2. Set a minimum standard for people management

“People don’t quit companies, they quit their bosses”. How often have you heard this said? And how often on exit interviews do we find it to be true! This simple fact, disheartening as it might seem, is exactly the information we need to change our company culture.

By focusing on our people managers, and equipping them with the skills to better manage their relationships with their subordinates, we can minimise the loss of good employees because of bad management.

Giving feedback, for example, in a way that motivates rather than demotivates employees, is a skill in short supply among today’s line managers, but is something that can be easily taught and quickly put into practice.

3. Make Confidence a daily discussion

Confidence is discussed regularly in sports, because the sporting world knows that it is critical – that difference that makes a difference when athletes and sports people need to find that elusive next level of performance.

Confidence is multi-faceted and often misunderstood, but when discussed and worked on regularly, will make a huge difference not only to your employees’ performance but also their motivation. When employees are engaged, they will stay with your company, but you don’t just want them to stay, you want them to offer you their best performance possible. Confidence is the thing that moves them from commitment to action and gets them through turbulent times.

Creating a culture takes time, but results in a workplace where employees can give their best, making them feel good, and benefiting the company bottom line.

When you focus purely on Engagement, the tendency is to look to extrinsic and largely superficial motivations, such as gym memberships, extra holiday and shopping discounts, which only drive short-term results.

Investing in culture, however, addresses the more long-term and intrinsic drivers of human motivation – the need to grow as a person and make a difference – and sustainable Engagement, and employee retention, is the return that investment brings!


About the Author

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article | 3 steps to creating a culture that retains your best employeesKaren J. Hewitt, author of Employee Confidence: The New Rules of Engagement, is an Engagement and Culture Change specialist who is fluent in five languages. Her book is a finalist in the Leadership category of the Business Book Awards 2019.

For information, please visit this link

Do Your Employees Tell You the Truth? How to Foster an Environment Where They Do

StrategyDriven Corporate Culture Article | Corporate Culture | Do Your Employees Tell You the Truth? How to Foster an Environment Where They DoAre the people in your organization telling you the truth? As a manager, if you ask someone working for you, “What should we be doing better?” or “Where can we improve?” how honest do you think he or she will be?

Will your staff give you a laundry list of opportunities for improvement, an overview of key issues that hold your company back, or nothing of substance? Do your employees feel emotionally safe enough to have these authentic conversations? And if not, why?

These questions are at the heart of building a brilliant culture, an organizational culture that is driven by authenticity, adaptability, and a willingness to listen. In several decades of organizational business consulting, I’ve found that culture often distinguishes truly successful and healthy organizations from their dysfunctional counterparts. And one of the biggest indicators of a brilliant culture is a willingness—of everyone in the organization—to both tell the truth and listen. Truth-telling is essential to building a brilliant culture, but it doesn’t happen without leaders and managers who are willing to listen to what they hear and meet people where they are.

As a manager, the impetus falls on you to set that tone. Ask yourself: When I do annual reviews, sit down to discuss key issues, or collaborate on problem-solving, do people speak honestly with me, without fear of repercussion? If they don’t, what’s keeping them from doing so?

How to Foster a Safe Environment

One of the best ways to foster an environment in which it’s emotionally safe to tell the truth is to listen to what you hear instead of only acknowledging what you wanted or hoped to hear. Consciously work on enhancing your ability to meet people where they are and focus on developing your follow-up questions. Try staying in the present more often. Rather than thinking about the next item on your agenda during a discussion, offer your full and undivided attention. You may learn that you’ve been missing essential information in previous conversations.

The truth sets organizational cultures free. Only when we understand what’s actually happening in a company culture can we choose to realign behaviors, beliefs, and strategies. Careful listening, validating other perspectives, and follow-through build trust, signal respect, and show people they are valued—all bedrocks of emotional safety. Learn to listen to what you hear and you just may be surprised at the truths that find their way into the light.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Corporate Culture Article | Corporate Culture | Do Your Employees Tell You the Truth? How to Foster an Environment Where They DoClaudette Rowley is the CEO of Cultural Brilliance, a cultural design and change management consultancy. Over the past twenty years, she has consulted, trained, and coached executive leaders and teams at Fortune 1000 companies, small businesses, academic institutions, and start-ups, helping them create proactive and innovative workplace cultures that deliver outstanding results. She lays out a road map for organizational success in her new book, Cultural Brilliance: The DNA of Organizational Excellence. Learn more at culturalbrilliance.com.

Business Politics Landscape – Cultural Shaping of an Organization’s Business Politics Landscape

StrategyDriven Business Politics Landscape Article | Cultural Shaping of an Organization’s Business Politics LandscapeAll organizations are political to some degree with their culture defining the predominant, acceptable political practices – the organization’s political landscape. This unique landscape represents where political activity takes place and the sources of power exerted, shaped by established activity controls and triggers respectively.


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Additional Information

For additional information regarding organizational cultures, see StrategyDriven’s Corporate Cultures Forum.

Marathon Consulting Group

StrategyDriven Trusted Service PartnerMarathon Consulting Group

Led by richly experienced leaders and executives from the power industry, Marathon Consulting Group approaches regulatory recovery and other engineering, technology, and management challenges from a strategic and 100% solutions-focused perspective. Our services empower our clients for effectiveness, competitiveness, and compliance.

Organizational Performance Services

Frequently, an organization’s performance is driven by behaviors of leadership team members. Marathon has developed integrated tools and processes to help organizations reset standards and change the behaviors necessary to improving performance. We have been extremely successful in guiding our clients along their journeys to excellence.

Marathon organizational performance services include:

  • Nuclear and non-nuclear safety culture surveys, analysis, assessments, cause analysis, action plan development, implementation support, and effectiveness assessments
  • Regulatory Recoveries
  • Mentoring and monitoring as a part of improvement initiatives
  • Oversight and subject matter expert services
  • Cause Analysis and Corrective Action Program Assistance
  • Organizational and incident causal analysis and training

Marathon’s approach of precisely defining problems, determining causes, and determining effective actions in concert with the client has resulted in successful improvement strategies across our client base. From regulatory recoveries to improving internal client relationships and culture, Marathon’s sharp focus on problems and their solutions has been a successful strategy appreciated by our clients.

The power of our process becomes especially evident when senior management come to understand the actual and potential consequences of their behaviors and then engage more effectively with staff as a result. The organization becomes more aligned, engaged, and prepared to respond reliably and consistently to issues. Consequential events are reduced and regulatory margin is preserved.

Management Services

Marathon provides extensive management services to clients in the electrical generation industry (including nuclear, oil, and gas).

Marathon management services include:

  • Embedded and augmented line and project management experts
  • Mentoring and monitoring as a part of improvement initiatives
  • Oversight and subject matter expert services
  • Process analysis and improvement
  • Organizational and incident causal analysis and training

Marathon’s approach of precisely defining problems, determining causes, and determining effective actions in concert with the client has resulted in successful improvement strategies across our client base. From Work Management and Outage improvement to improving internal client relationships, Marathon’s sharp focus on problems and their solutions has been a successful strategy appreciated by our clients.

Engineering and Licensing Services

Marathon has successfully provided engineering and licensing services to the nuclear and non-nuclear electrical generation industry, national engineering labs, and the oil and gas refining and distribution industry.

Marathon Engineering and Licensing Services include:

  • Engineering project management and implementation
  • Managed task implementation
  • Maintenance Rule implementation
  • Engineering program development and reconstitution
  • Process improvement
  • Training
  • Oversight and review board participation and management
  • Design review
  • Equipment and process root cause analysis and resolution
  • Direct Licensing support
  • Regulatory Affairs analysis and resolution

Marathon’s approach in each of these areas centers on accurate and detailed definition of the problem or task and development of a plan of action in concert with the client and client’s requirements. Rigorous implementation of the plan while engaging the client results in accomplishment of the effort completely as expected and as scheduled. The depth of experience that Marathon’s personnel bring to the table, and the ways in which we collaborate with the client and across the Marathon projects clearly sets us apart.

Technical Services

Marathon provides technical services to the clients in the electrical generation industry, including oil and gas.

Marathon Technical Services include:

  • Managed task projects such as Bills of Materials solutions, Preventive Maintenance program development and optimization
  • Project Controls tools and techniques for managing large volumes of data, corrective actions, and commitments
  • Financial projection and tracking tools for projects
  • Financial projection and Client Relationship Manager (CRM) integration

Marathon’s tools and techniques are proven in the field to be accurate, intuitively useable by a variety of personnel, simple to maintain with minimal skills and are usually used by the client long after the Marathon engagement.

Contact Marathon Consulting Group

Phone: 678-879-8700

Email: [email protected]

Website: marathoninc.com

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