Building a retention culture starts with an understanding that great, high performing people are the foundation that leads to sustainable success. Great people need great leaders to guide them, thus the goal of every company should be to ensure that leadership is not only top notch, but developed in all areas of the organization. Like never before...leadership does matter!

A couple of years ago, Randstad conducted a poll of U.S.
employees and of the employees responding to the poll, 86% also told Randstad that their happiness on the job depended on their employers letting them know that they were valued. Instantly, I wondered how well companies were performing in relation to this expressed employee need. Judging from the statistics and comments from my colleagues, I'd say companies are doing a poor job letting their people know they are valued.

Happy people don't spend all their time looking for other jobs. Do they?

It could be easy to point the finger at employers and assume that they don't care about their people. I say before we judge them too harshly, we probably ought to talk about what employees mean when they say - their happiness depends on their employers letting them know that they are valued. How do you that? How do you let someone know they are valued?

Depending on your personal point of view...feeling valued may take many forms. For example, how I might want my employer to let me know I am valued as an employee may be completely different from what my co-worker needs. When I first read the statistic, I'll admit that I judged the meaning through my own lens - as we all do! For me, the statistic says that employees are crying out for some love, respect and appreciation in the workplace. I believe for a lot of people those things are true, and I suspect that the employees polled may have had some other things in mind as well.

Here are a few of the ways that Webster defines value/valued:
To estimate the value of; set a price for or determine the worth of; to think highly of; esteem; the social principles, goals or standards held or accepted by individuals, classes, society, etc.

One way that employees feel valued is in the compensation they receive for the work that they do. And as one HR study after another show, compensation is not THE driver of a strong retention culture. Sure great compensation and benefits do help, and in the end people choose to stay with their organizations for many more reasons than money.

Here are just a few:

-Employees want meaningful work; they want to make a contribution that is uniquely their own. This requires management to lead and coach and stop trying to force people into a "one size fits all" approach to getting the work done.

-Communicate expectations clearly. Clearly define the required results and then let good people do their work. Within reasonably established boundaries, be willing to let people tap their own unique and creative ideas to come up with innovation solutions to their work.

-People want to know that their employers care about them and want to know that they are willing to invest in their professional career growth and development. It makes sense. Still, a commitment to offer ongoing training and development is an afterthought for far too many companies.

-Your employees want to know that they are appreciated for the work that they do; they want someone to know they exist. This certainly seems to suggest that creating a retention culture starts with looking beneath the surface of what's really happening in your company.

So here’s the question…Is your company’s environment one of harmony that promotes an attitude of success, well being and abundance for all? If not, that seems like a good place to get started!

Author's Bio: 

Talent Builders, Inc. is a leading provider of people development products and solutions. Offering a range of assessment tools and facilitation programs to fit a variety of needs, our assessments and programs support the development of a strong, vibrant retention culture.

Prior to founding Talent Builders in 2002, CEO, Barbara Giamanco spent more than 20 years in sales and management with such industry-leading technology providers as Ingram Micro, Egghead Software, Aldus Corporation and Microsoft Corporation. Managing teams of sales professionals and interfacing with top executives helped her to develop much of the people development expertise she shares with clients today.