Reduce Employee Turnover by Improving Company Culture

Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:

“A cultural change would need to occur within the organization. Currently, unmotivated employees are rewarded by receiving less work. Employees who are driven are rewarded by receiving more work (typically that of their unmotivated co-workers). To make matters worse, management does not appreciate or acknowledge the achievements of highly motivated employees. By not acknowledging high achievers and not holding low achievers to higher standards, the company is in fact encouraging the low achievers to continue with their level of mediocrity. This of course discourages high achievers who look for other employment where they will be appreciated and where mediocrity is not tolerated.”

The Solution

This is a good example of how an organization’s culture can have a negative impact on employee retention. Organization culture is the collective attitudes and behaviors of individuals who are part of an organization. Culture includes the organization’s language, managerial styles, approaches to problem-solving, and daily work practices. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, expressed or implied contracts, and written or unwritten rules that the organization develops over time and that have worked well enough to be considered valid.

Company culture manifests itself as follows:
● The ways the organization conducts its business, treats its employees, customers, and the wider community.
● The extent to which autonomy and freedom is allowed in decision making, developing new ideas, and personal expression.
● How information flows throughout the organization.
● Employees’ commitment towards collective objectives.

Improving company culture within an organization is very complex and difficult. Organizations should continually monitor their culture to ensure it remains consistent with the organization’s strategy, mission and goals because:
● It is often overlooked as the cause of the problem
● The culture in question brought success in the past
● Change involves shifting attitudes and behavior through altering beliefs and values
● Change equals anxiety
● The existing culture is just an accepted practice

It is important to know that a changing organization culture can have a positive impact on retaining employees. It is a process that requires buy-in and support from executive leadership, thoughtful planning, communications, meaningful measurements, and patience as change does not occur overnight. Most importantly, organizations must recognize and address the human element of change. As change and a well-implemented plan for improving company culture can lead to employee retention.

(This blog post is brought to you by HSD Metrics, an exit interview company that helps companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews, and by measuring employee retention. The comments from exiting employees that are featured in this blog are collected from actual exit interviews conducted using ExitRight®, HSD Metrics’ exit interviewing service. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today. Because we place the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; the names of all involved parties are kept completely confidential.)