Seed It and It Will Grow!

The key to employee retention is actually pretty simple on its face. A company that is intentional about genuine employee connectedness, will ultimately have a high retention rate!

Employee retention is increasingly difficult amid the Great Resignation.

Even so, the prospect of having a retention strategy eludes many business leaders.

On Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the first thing after Safety Needs like personal security and employment, is “belonging.”

Too many companies skip right over that part. It seems too “touchy feely” but I’m here to tell you it’s the most important thing on that scale for an employer.

Even if you manage to attract top talent, if they don’t have a sense of connection and belonging at your company, they’ll won’t stick around.

“Friendships at work foster a bond that works like gravity. And in its research on employee engagement, Gallup has found a strong link between having a best friend at work and employee performance.” – HBR

If you want a successful company where people will thrive and do the best work of their lives, they need to have friendships and a sense of connection.

Obviously, you can’t force people to be friends, but you can create an environment where friendships can grow and flourish.

At my company, Roma Moulding, we take cultivating an awesome culture very seriously.

There are four critical components. And it’s not too dissimilar from cultivating plants.

Space: We’re very intentional about creating spaces and opportunities for relationships to grow and thrive.

Common area rooms, huddle rooms, breakout rooms, lunch rooms, team huddles, and culture events. These spaces are where collisions of greatness and connection happen; where friendships sprout and grow.

Light: Energy goes where attention flows and what you shine a light on is what will grow the most. It’s critical that the spaces and vibe you’re creating is rooted in trust and affirmation.

Fertilizer: This is one of our secret weapons. We created a peer-to-peer praise and affirmation system using our Core Values Cards. A system whose entire purpose is making others feel good; feel appreciated.

No incentives. No requirements. Just the hit of dopamine from connecting with another human and making them feel good.

“Core Values Cards are the system we’ve devised to give peer-to-peer acknowledgments. There are no proverbial carrots, incentives, or prizes associated with them. Just the satisfaction of praising another human, the accompanying jolt of dopamine, and the sense of team unity.” – Tony Gareri

Feedback:  Plants can’t actively give you feedback, but people can. And they’re a lot more likely to do so if you ask for it. That’s why we do our companywide pulse surveys four times a year. We make them totally anonymous so people can feel comfortable saying what they really feel. That part’s important. Because no matter how cool a boss you are, you’re still the CEO/manager/owner and they’re still going to be more open with the cloak of anonymity.

The questions you ask will vary depending on your company and industry, of course.

But there are a few I’d encourage you to include no matter what your business does.

Questions like “Do you consider your coworkers to be like your family and friends?” and “Would you recommend this company to your friends and family?” are absolutely invaluable in getting a read on how happy your people are.

My proudest accomplishments as a servant leader aren’t the trophies in the case, they’re getting back results that say 85% of the Roma team considers their coworkers friends and family or returning an internal net promoter score that says 92% of them would recommend Roma to a friend or family member.

And happy, fulfilled people who feel like they belong not only stay longer, they do the best work of their lives.

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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