Your Workplace Culture…

…the secret weapon in the fight for employee retention and attraction

How can you remain competitive during the ‘Great Resignation’ without the purse of a Goldman Sachs behind you?

Given that they just announced unlimited leave for their senior bankers, in a move that makes them one of the ‘best companies to work for’, anywhere.

But, are massive salaries and attractive incentive packages, alone, the driving force behind retaining and attracting talented employees during the ‘Great Resignation’?

Well, ‘No’ apparently, according to the latest research.

In a survey conducted by FlexJobs in Q1 2022 – they asked 2K+ people why they wanted to quit their jobs and how they planned to do it. A staggering 62% cited toxic corporate culture as their motivation for quitting with 68% of respondents not having another job lined up before quitting.

An analysis from MIT Sloan Management Review looked at the impact of more than 170 cultural topics driving employee attrition relative to compensation. By far-and-away toxic corporate culture was the top driver. The analysis revealed that a toxic culture is 10.4 times more likely than compensation to drive resignation.

And Gallup found that creating positive workplace cultures contributed to a 72% lower attrition rate.

The data is in, and the message is clear – people want to work in a positive and fulfilling environment where what they do matters, and their contribution is valued.

One could view this through a doom-and-gloom lens, or as a prime opportunity to snap up and retain skilled and talented employees. And in the case of small and medium businesses this translates into a very real competitive advantage.

Smaller businesses, with less corporate bureaucracy and red tape getting in the way, are more agile and can more easily adapt in order to capitalise on these findings. The data clearly shows that a superior workplace culture, followed by decent compensation, will win the day.

But still, you may be asking, how does one measure, improve and lead workplace culture?

The most common barrier to improving workplace culture is the complexity of the concept so this is indeed a fair question.

What people don’t understand, they don’t manage. What people don’t manage they become victims of.

But, the Unwritten Ground Rules (UGRs) methodology can help you change that forever.

UGRs are people’s perceptions of ‘this is the way we do things around here’. It’s the UGRs in an organisation that constitute its culture and drive people’s behaviour.

Understand the UGRs at play in an environment and you’ll understand the culture.

UGRs can be positive or negative and often sound like this:

“Around here, at our meetings it isn’t worth complaining because nothing will get done”
“Around here, when I need help I get it without hesitation”.

Here’s a challenge for you: look at the way that people do things in your workspace, see if you can identify the prevalent UGRs at play. They are always there – just be an observer for a little while and watch how UGRs impact people and drive behaviour (including your own).

When you spot a negative UGR try to imagine what the outcome would be if that was flipped to a positive UGR. Now imagine the influence it would have on your overall workplace culture if Positive UGRs dominated.

There will always be room for people to find the negatives in any situation. Your opportunity lies in identifying positive UGRs you can live by and help others to live by in a similar way.
You can and do influence others, so you can make the choice for your influence to be positive and in doing so you can create and lead the workplace culture that is going to give your business the competitive edge with employees looking for that ‘something better’.