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It Starts With Culture: How to Build and Retain Your Dream Team

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It’s often said that a business only thrives as much as its people. In my advisory work with clients, I’ve consistently seen this sentiment in action as businesses seek to recruit and retain top talent. With remote opportunities ramping up the competitiveness of the hiring landscape, these past few years have caused businesses to look more closely at their recruiting and retaining strategies. People now want more out of their employer, and using the same old playbook for recruitment and retention could be setting you up for a costly fail.

Has your business had success hiring and keeping talent, or are you looking for ways to improve? Building and retaining your dream team isn’t going to happen overnight, or even over the course of a year. It’s a long-term investment that will require your business to look inward and determine the value you bring to the hiring landscape and your workforce.

Update and Elevate Your Recruiting Strategy

With social media networks and numerous recruiting tools on the market, candidates have more job options at their fingertips than ever before. If you’re relying on a hiring strategy you implemented years ago, now’s the time to review and update it. Top talent isn’t going to magically walk through your door, so consider these methods to help target and recruit the right candidates:

  • Assess your benefits package and pay rates to confirm they’re competitive
  • Leverage your branding in job descriptions so that candidates get a better feel of what makes your company stand out
  • Review your business’s social media presence and confirm all accounts are polished and consistently reflect your company’s brand and mission
  • Implement referral programs that reward employees for assisting with recruiting efforts
  • Regularly evaluate your hiring processes to help ensure your business is staying on top of hiring trends and appealing to job seekers

Put Your People First

Many businesses focus on attracting great talent but lose sight on how to keep it. Employee turnover can stunt organizational growth, increase your costs and demoralize your staff — all side effects no business wants. Effectively retaining your team members requires investing in them in a way that’s more than just monetary. Team members want to be seen, heard and valued. Ignore this fact, and you might as well hand your competitors the keys to your kingdom. Here are a few ways you can foster a healthy, productive work environment that puts your people first:

  • Establish employee recognition and performance review programs to motivate and reward team members
  • Provide employees with career development opportunities customized to them as an individual so that they see a future at your business and continually improve their skills
  • Implement policies that promote flexibility and work-life balance — life is unpredictable and work often isn’t the first priority for team members
  • Invest time in succession planning to secure the future of your business and your employees’ roles within it; human capital goals should always align with your overall business goals
  • Understand the role mid-level managers play in employee retention, and build stronger manager-employee relationships
  • Routinely ask for employee feedback via engagement surveys so that you can continue to make positive workplace changes

In addition to these retention strategies, you should also consider the value proposition your company offers to its staff. At a high level, a value proposition is the promise you make to employees of what they can expect to get out of working at your business. It’s typically part of your mission and vision statement and should align with your business’s values. Most of all, your value proposition needs to be intentional and account for more than just standard compensation. Being paid is the bare minimum, and although competitive compensation is essential, employees also want an authentic workplace where they can excel and belong.

It All Comes Down to Culture

When I discuss hiring and retention concerns with clients, the one thing I always dig deeper on is culture. Culture plays a significant role in attracting, engaging and retaining employees in any organization. The mission, vision and value statement of an organization are the guiding lights and true north of who the organization is, why it came to be and how it operates. Culture is the genuine connector between a business and its people when it’s done correctly and isn’t just words on paper — it’s what job seekers relate to when looking at your job openings and a key reason why employees ultimately choose to stay (or leave). 

According to a study from John Hopkins University, millennials now make up most of the workforce, with 38.6% of workers in that generation. And unlike the prior generations before it, millennials value a company’s culture and ethics as a top priority above things like job security and pay.

If you aren’t focusing time and energy on your business’s culture, it’s going to be difficult for candidates and team members to identify with your goals and feel inspired to contribute their time and energy toward them. Neglecting culture is like building a house on quicksand. Without a solid foundation, it’s nearly impossible for your business to thrive. No matter how you decide to refine and update your business’s hiring and retention strategies, the core of making your business appeal to today’s candidates and keeping your current team members engaged is a healthy, unified culture.

Ready to build your dream team? At Creative Planning Business Services, our business advisory team helps clients address their most complex challenges, like fostering a culture that attracts, retains and grows great talent. If you’d like to learn more about our services, schedule a meeting with us and we’d be happy to discuss them further with you.

This commentary is provided for general information purposes only, should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


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