If you are just tuning in to our three-part retention series, we invite you to read part one, where we discuss the importance of truly knowing your team members’ goals, passions, and struggles in order to retain them one-on-one the way they want to be retained. 

In that article, we briefly spoke on the role of “perks” in employee culture that are sometimes misconstrued as complete retention strategies. We said they have their place in building a strong culture but should not be relied upon as all an organization needs to do to keep their top-tier talent in place. 

However, retention and culture go hand in hand. You may have a clear view of what your employees’ goals, passions, and struggles are, but what if the company culture is keeping them from finding fulfillment?

Retention rests on culture, the way your company thinks, the values it has, and the way it makes your employees feel. If your organization does not have a strong culture, you will undoubtedly have a retention problem. 

So, how do you build a strong culture? 

First, it cannot be forced but instead must be part of a genuine, good faith effort to focus on winning the hearts of your team members. As a leader, you must be transformational instead of transactional, focusing on who your team is becoming versus what they are doing. And, you must involve your team members in the WHY or vision of what you are trying to do. When they have buy-in, they show up with responsibility and passion. 

This can manifest itself in a simple change in how you give direction to your team. For example, say you were going to make a change in a process. Instead of handing out instructions for the change, include the reason. “We are changing this process BECAUSE…” and go into detail behind the thought process in place. In doing so, you are sharing your vision and giving your team members responsibility and license to feel involved. That builds culture and enhances opportunities for retention. 

At the end of the day, people want to be led. It is up to you to lead them in a way that builds culture and, therefore, bolsters retention.