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Article -> Career Development and Building Corporate Culture

Date Added: February 2006

People inherently search for new jobs because they cannot help but compare themselves to others. Inequity in the workplace is something perceived by everyone. This is not a good thing for businesses because if people are not satisfied with their current roles, they are not being as productive as they could be, making their employers less efficient than they should be.

Human Resources constantly must fight the battle of retention. Senior leaders, whose jobs are usually more secure and satisfying, do not see the problem quite as clearly. Oftentimes, leaders neglect the need for career development for top performers in their companies.

The loss of "top" talent has many implications for an organization. Retention processes are becoming more common as the need to retain top performers and the benefits of human capital are noticed by human resource departments. Almost half of all organizations are implementing retention processes, with several organizations targeting career development opportunities and the promotion of qualified employees.1

Other programs that can be implemented to retain top performers includes:

  • Strong communication plans
  • Vacation and holiday benefits
  • Opportunity to telecommute
  • Employee of the month recognition
  • Increased time off
  • Educational assistance
  • "Spot" bonuses

Human Resources should personalize their programs to retain all top performers. Fair treatment of all employees is very important and can be a huge morale boost for a company. If employees feel that their company is vested in them and really cares about them, they will be less likely to compare themselves with others. This means they will be more likely to stay and grow with the company. Good retention procedures relate closely with the corporate culture. Culture starts with action, not words; results, not promises.2

Corporate culture can only be built from the ground up, delivering a change that will benefit all employees. Also, it is something that can only get stronger with greater leadership support. Actions must be backed up with words that justify them. Sacrifices must be made that visibly affect something, producing results for the good of the company as a whole.

The next step is making your job a vital part of life. This means making work important to employees emotionally. This is done by giving employees an opportunity to use their strengths in order to achieve their goals as well as company objectives.

There are several questions that need to be answered by employees to accomplish their sense of achievement:

  • What is important about the work you do?
  • What is important about that?
  • What will that do?

Suppose that Jack packages bread on a line eight hours a day. Jack must answer the three questions listed above. When he does, he will find out that without someone packaging the bread, the bread would lose moisture and become moldy. If the bread is moldy, customers will not want to buy the bread, and the company will lose business, resulting in potential job losses - including Jack.

Good leaders instill passion into their employees, which makes working more of an accomplishment than a chore. This simple exercise makes a company more efficient, as well as improves employee morale. If a company continues to exercise this model with employees, a high performing culture will be born.

Hiring the "right" people is just the beginning, because it still takes a corporate culture that allows them to be successful in order to get the most out of even the most skilled employees. By training a specific attitude in employees, they will feel connected to their situation, and their skills will be of greater value to the company.


1 Bates, Steve. "Many Employees Itching to Leave, New Survey Reveals." SHRM. Nov. 16 Nov. 2005.
2 Roberts, Steven. "Re-Igniting Your Employees' Passion for Work." Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge. April 5, 2005.

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