The Secret Sauce to Employee Retention

December 4, 2019

In today’s labor market, especially here in Colorado, retaining employees and top talent is on every employer’s mind. We know the usual suspects of retention; competitive salary and benefits, investing in employees’ professional development, creating a culture of open communication, making employees feel valued, providing meaningful work… the list goes on.

One often overlooked element is translating your company strategy to department and employee levels. Here’s the crux, if your employees don’t feel involved in the strategic goals and vision of the company they start to feel disengaged and undervalued. They find themselves having a hard time prioritizing their tasks and deliverables because they don’t understand how they fit into the whole picture. Ultimately this can start to affect your overall company culture.

How do you effectively communicate your strategic plan, goals and vision to your employees?

Here are our 7 keys to success:

1. Don’t be a one hit wonder
Avoid the “big launch event and disappear” approach. Instead, integrate regular communications into employee’s daily routines and have your strategy stay top of mind.

2. Keep it simple, but meaningful
Your organizations’ vision influences your strategy, decision-making and behaviors at executive levels, but often isn’t well articulated for employees. It matters that you establish its relevance with employees in a way that is easily understood. Strategy-specific messages linked to your purpose become tools to help employees connect their day-to-day efforts with the aspiration of the company.

3. Change your communication style
Corporate communication often follows a top-down approach. In reality, dialogue at the grassroots is more important. Employees are more likely to believe what leaders say then they hear similar arguments from peers.

4. Be real
“Corporate speak” comes off unauthentic and lacks meaning to most employees. Authentic messages will help employees see the challenges and opportunities as you see them and understand and care about the direction in which you’re trying to take the company.

5. Tell a story
We don’t remember facts and figures, but we do remember stores and experiences. Utilize storytelling as much as possible to bring a human touch to the company and to help employees understand the relevance of your strategy and real-life examples of progress and shortfalls against it.

6. Open up for questions
Hold a meeting simply for the purpose of letting your employees ask questions about the strategic plan. Open communication and answering these questions early on will make all the difference.

7. Make the investment
Your employees single-handedly control most perceptions your consumers have about your brand. Investing in an internal commutations campaign to help your employees internalize your strategy and based on that understanding be able to determine what they need to do to create a differentiated market experience for your customers is not just smart, it is a necessity for success.