Managers often say the words “recruiting and retention” as if it’s just one word – as in “our company’s recruitingandretention strategies.” But the motivational hot buttons you must hit to recruit people are often very different than those which inspire their long-term loyalty.
You recruit with tangible inducements including pay and benefits, job status, and opportunities for advancement. But that’s not enough to earn loyalty. People stay, or leave, because of intangible qualities like trust and respect, feeling that their work is recognized and appreciated, and enjoying a spirit of fellowship in the workplace. They stay because of culture.
At Values Coach, we call this the Honey & Glue Formula: you attract people with the “honey” of measurable rewards, but you keep them with the “glue” of right-brain qualities that cannot be measured, but which are felt in the culture of the workplace.
Loyalty is to the organization what gravity is to the solar system; it holds the structure together, and keeps each individual working in the proper orbit relative to the system. Without loyalty, organizations (and families) fly apart.
When I speak of loyalty, I’m not referring to mere tenure. Tenure is recognition of time served (or in the worst case, simply of time put in). Loyalty, on the other hand, is a commitment to working together for a shared future.
Tenure is passive; loyalty is active. True loyalty entails a commitment to learning and growing to meet the changing demands of the organization, the marketplace, and of the times.
In his book The West Point Way of Leadership Larry Donnithorne wrote: “Leaders of successful organizations make sure their followers are proud to be part of the company. For this to happen, the followers as individuals, and the organization as a whole, must have values in common.”
Helping people connect with their personal values is one of the most important investments any organization can make any achievement of its goals. Kouzes and Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, emphasize that the more clear employees are about their personal values, the more passionately they will embrace the organizational values of their employer.
In the two years following launch of the Values and Culture Project at Midland Health, with its emphasis on the personal values-based life and leadership skills of our course on The Twelve Core Action Values, RN turnover was reduced by more than one-third – with the biggest reduction coming in the all-important category of nurses in their first two years with the hospital.
Your commitment to a Values and Culture Project will result in a culture transformation that has a positive impact on quality and safety, employee engagement and patient satisfaction, productivity and financial performance, your reputation for being a great place to work and in which to receive care and, most important, on the lives of the people who work with you.