recruit to retain

Recruit to Retain Through Strong Organizational Culture

Four generations are merging into today’s workforce – Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials (Gen Y), and Gen Zers – and for the first time in history, we have statistical and behavioral data we can use to better inform organizational talent strategies, specifically recruitment and retention.

Each generation brings unique characteristics and perspective to the workforce.

Baby Boomers created what we know as today’s human resource and talent programs. Millennials and Gen Xers were pioneers in the use of technology, seek flexible work schedules, and collaborative work environments. Gen Z may be the youngest demographic but they bring a new set of rules to the talent game – entrepreneurship, technology, and an awareness of privacy laws and financial implications.

So, what does it take to win over the four generations in today’s talent game? Organizations have to identify the talent they need and what they are willing to give to get the talent they want. The employee value proposition (EVP) is that “give” and “get” between employee and employer, embodying the company purpose, environment, and culture. It is a mutually reinforcing mechanism that increases employee commitment by 29% and keeps employees three times more engaged than those at companies without strong EVPs.

For organizations to recruit strong talent and retain them, the EVP needs to be compelling and versatile. Here’s how to recruit to retain employees through strong organizational culture:

Recruit with Intention 

Reevaluate how you recruit for talent and use channels you may not have used before to engage younger generations. Today’s talent is more mobile and tech-savvy than ever – 45% used a mobile device to find a job and 73% use social media sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to research company culture. Your organization’s culture is no longer a secret and today’s workforce is forthcoming about what they want and how they want it.

Retain Through Culture

The strong EVP is not only how the organization hooks the employee, but more importantly, it is how they retain the strong talent they have invested in recruiting. Your company culture now gives to the employee in order to get back hard work and loyalty. So what are today’s four generations looking for in their work that will engage them enough to stay?

Purpose-driven work.

Leaders and managers should readily share why one individual’s work is important to the overall mission of the organization. Share the “why” behind an employee’s work so they can align themselves to the organization.

Give them autonomy.

As Albert Einstein said in Out of My Later Years (1950),”Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” Give employees a task with clear guidance and trust they will do their job.

Use the employee’s strengths.

Observe your employees to identify their strengths. If your resources allow it, invest in a simple strengths-finder the organization can use to foster teamwork and interdependence.

Build culture through open dialogue.

Build collaborative relationships vertically and horizontally by encouraging informal dialogue. Discussion and levels of dissent are healthy and promote brainstorming and ideation.

Use difference, don’t reject it.

Cross-generational mentoring is a strong tool. Seasoned employees provide a wealth of institutional knowledge that younger generations take for granted. Use your team’s cultural and experiential differences as strengths not weaknesses.

Transform your performance management.

Make performance feedback a dynamic, impactful and future-oriented exercise. Continuous, real-time feedback embedded in day to day operations is that much more effective and builds a safe culture of community, collaboration, and open dialogue. It’s also how we function in every other aspect of our lives these days. Think reviews, likes, and ability to give instantaneous feedback through social media.

Leaders and managers today need to be the positive force driving these value propositions forward as the message is received by the actions at the top. Leaders and managers are no longer enforcers of compliance but are sought to encourage inclusivity and foster a culture of curiosity and self-motivation. The leader at the intersection of four generations values today’s workforce and wants their organization to succeed and in order to do so, a mutually reinforcing culture of giving and receiving will win your organization the talent war.


This article was originally published on my LinkedIn. Find it here!