What Does It Take to Have a Sticky Culture?

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Sticky Culture

Company leaders are the glue that makes employees stick around. If you feel like you’re interviewing and hiring every other month due to employees constantly walking away, you may be lacking stickiness within your organization.

It’s Thursday afternoon and there are end of the week deadlines looming. You have a staff of six, four of which were hired in the last 23 months and two of those were hired within the last eight months. They are a competent group; all know what to do and how to get it done yet you can see that they are unhappy. You ignore the whispers and the sideways looks because you are too busy…so busy that none of your six have gotten a performance review in well over a year. You are juggling multiple projects, ignoring phone calls, and late on responding to emails when your most tenured employee (of only four years) whom you’ve been considering for a promotion comes into your office with a letter thanking you for the past four years but telling you his last day will be in two weeks. What is happening? Why can’t you keep employees? They have great benefits, considerable time off, and you even have tried some of those employee morale activities that you found on Google. Why won’t they stick around?

What is a sticky culture?

For most of us, sticky makes us think of things like molasses, honey or syrup. It’s comparable because sticky companies are pretty sweet once you get things rolling. They have higher profits, lower stress, better customer service, stronger relationships between leaders and their teams, more time to focus on operations, and reduced costs going towards recruitment and training which can result in staggering and surprisingly high amounts. A 2018 article published by Forbes said that people quit their managers. They physically walk away from their managers because they feel their managers have mentally and emotionally walked away from them; employees begin to feel neglected. When companies invest in their employees, they feel valued and appreciated and want to stick around for the long run. There is a definitive relationship that exists between turnover and morale. Stickiness comes from regular recognition, praise, incentives, and opportunities for growth and professional development.

When was the last time you asked your employees about their personal and professional goals within your organization? Was it at the last assessment? When did that happen? Did you have employees that you want to promote? Have you gotten their feedback to see where they want to be in the future? Employees need to know that they are valuable to you and the organization. Positive professional health starts from the top and trickles down to everyone else. A sticky culture starts with leaders that employees want to stick with because they know their leader has their best interests in mind.

You can be sticky, too.

Some ways to approach stickiness is through:

  • Adapting a commitment-style interview process
  • Producing realistic job descriptions and employee work profiles
  • Keeping an open ear to those that look to you for leadership
  • Investing in employee professional development to prepare them for advancement opportunities
  • Legitimate, honest, and frequent communication

See where your employees want to go. Help them be the employee that you need and encourage their growth through investing in them. Become the glue that makes them stick. You can be the nicest person, have the most employee lunches, and take your crew to happy hour every Friday and they will continue to go. When you don’t acknowledge goals, ambitions, and strengths and weaknesses on your staff and there are people that have been in the same position with the same pay for the past two years, haven’t received a review in forever, and no one is talking about their futures, you can guarantee that the front door of the company will remain a revolving one with employees coming and going.

Let us help you get started on the path towards a sticky organization.

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