Does your Company Culture Attract Top Talent?

Posted January 28, 2011 by

Recently I invited Jonathan Herrick the VP of Sales from Sendouts in St. Louis, to deliver a program to my Clients. I’ve always admired the company culture of Sendouts and it’s no coincidence that their sales have increased by 50% during the last two years. It’s no coincidence that Southwest Airlines and Zappos are also flourishing. The success of all three organizations is rooted in their company culture.
How would you define your company culture? What are your core values? What does your company truly represent? Your Company Culture is your company’s “way of life.” Is it your DNA, it’s what makes you unique? The companies I mention above have no problem attracting talent. They have all become a magnet for Top Talent because of their culture. When an employee goes to work for Zappos they are trained on the company culture and core values for five weeks! It’s no surprise they are one of Fortune’s Top 100 companies to work for and have a 99% retention rate! Who does that?
It was revealed in an AMA study that 70% of change initiatives fail because your culture rejects them. That one statistic is enough for anyone to realize the importance of this topic.
Jonathan shared five steps to building a dynamic culture:

  1. Know your culture
  2. Hire tough – Manage easy
  3. Communicate
  4. Rethink outside the box
  5. Four-Wheel Alignment

If you want to gauge the culture of your organization and your effectiveness as a leader, you should read Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham. And, you should survey your employees:

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?
  4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  5. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
  9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do I have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
  12. This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow?

Follow the Three C’s of Hiring: Character – Compatibility – Competence
You need to hire individuals who will align with your culture and core values as a company. When you build a dynamic team, top talent is drawn in by your team members, referral dramatically increase and you become a preferred employer. Positive word-of-mouth advertising in the job market is priceless.
Finding the Loop
Imagine what you could do with the survey results to improve employee morale and retention? Most employees complain that are not in the loop. In fact, most of them don’t even know how to find the loop! Right now when things at sea are turbulent, your employees don’t want you fixing the motor, they want you steering the ship and they want to know where the ship is headed, and they want their role defined!
If you want to attract top talent, discard your policies and procedures and replace them with expectations. Let your employees know what they can expect from you and be clear about what you expect from them. Give them the ability to make a difference and feel that they play an important role in your organization.
Another incredible book to read is The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. I was speaking at a conference in Florida when one of the attendees, Greg, suggested I read this book. He then actually sent me a copy, so of course I read it. Knowing how to build relationships is critical in all industries, in all companies, and in life. I must admit the reaction from my employees was confusion when I gave them the book to read, but soon we all realized the benefits of understanding how each of us communicates. This book will help you in your personal as well as business relationships.
If you follow some of the suggestions in this program you will retain your superstars, attract top talent to your organization, communicate more effectively and improve company morale and of course improve retention.
Article by, Barbara Bruno and courtesy of Kenndy Information Recruiting Trends providing leading edge insights and strategies for the recruiting professional

Originally posted by Candice A

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