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Culture of Inclusion: The secret to attracting and retaining top talent
Source: Staffing Industry, September 2015 Issue | Author: Scott Beck | Editor: Subadhra R. Sriram
The concept of workplace culture has become incredibly fashionable. But for our company, creating a great culture is more than just a passing corporate fad; it has been at the core of our growth strategy for more than a decade.
To me, culture is what people believe and what guides how they behave. The formula is simple, but the execution isn’t easy. Every day, we focus on living in the core values we believe in. We know that if we take care of our people, they’ll take care of our customers and both our business and our people will thrive.
Developing Our People
Everyone wants to be able to grow. We’ve learned that to attract top talent, there needs to be opportunities for development – whether that means moving into a leadership role, taking on more responsibilities or just learning new skills.
We’ve invested heavily in training programs, ranging from new-hire orientation to leadership development to book clubs about life skills. Most importantly, we’ve created a system that allows our people to be in charge of their own growth. Employees actively create and drive their own career paths, and leaders help provide the opportunities for development. Just last year, almost 10% of our people, with the support of their leaders, moved to new positions or teams that better aligned with their career goals.
Giving Employees a Voice
We have great leaders, but we’re smart enough to know that all great ideas don’t come from leaders. We want to make sure employees at every level have the freedom and opportunity to weigh in on how to many the company better.
When we, like the rest of the industry, faced tough times during the Great Recession, it was out people who came up with the best solutions. We held a companywide brainstorm to identify ways to manage expenses, and our people gave more than 1,500 improvement ideas. Thanks to these great suggestions, our company and culture got stronger.
We know if we encourage employees to be actively involved in our business decisions, they will feel engaged and empowered to play a significant role in creating a work environment, a career and a company that works for them, our clients and our providers.
We want everyone to feel welcome at CHG because we know that difference voices and diverse opinions make us stronger. A while back, a group of employees coined the phrase “Free to Be Me at CHG.” It perfectly represents the culture of inclusion we’re working to create. We want all employees to feel comfortable bringing their true selves to work every day – and to know that their opinions are valued, no matter who they are, who they love, or what they believe.
The Benefits of Strong Culture
However you look at it, a strong culture is good for business. When employees are engaged in their work, they tend to stick around. Not only do you avoid the high cost of turnover, you gain so much more. When I look around the office, I’m lucky to be surrounded by a leadership team that has worked together for more than a decade. That long tenure not only results in strong skills and been-there-done-that knowledge, but an extremely high level of trust you just can’t replace.