Keynote speakers can help improve company culture

The hiring and retention challenges companies are currently facing hammer home what should have always been clear: company culture is everything.

In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 25% voluntary turnover rate across all industries. This turnover dominates the daily news cycle and forces experienced employees to reconsider their priorities and make changes. This, in turn, can have a negative impact on the continuity of the business plan.

Business leaders must be dedicated to building a healthy and inclusive culture if they are to attract and retain talented and engaged teams. An often underused strategy is to bring in outside experts who can help facilitate crucial conversations while bringing in new ideas and energy.

Of course, being able to stand out in such a competitive hiring market is just one of the many reasons companies should care about the state of their company culture. After all, leading with empathy while our people are happy and thriving should be the only motivation we need.

Losing employees is costing your business money

Studies have shown that replacing an employee costs up to 33% of a worker’s annual salary; between job offers, interviews, selections, training and everything that happens in the process. When it comes to retaining an employee and investing that amount in their success, the math is clear.

Many companies have understood this. Many say all the right things, and even write their values ​​and slap them on their website to really make their point. But of the dozens of companies that claim to be dedicated to the work of building a healthy and inclusive culture, far fewer bother to do so.

Barriers to building corporate culture

As leaders, we must understand the needs and concerns of our employees. Often this process becomes complicated even for those with the best intentions.

Although diversity, equity and inclusion have become a much more important goal for many organizations and businesses since the rise of movements like Black Lives Matter and End Asian Hate, it can still be difficult to put yourself in the shoes. employees who come from different backgrounds. and consider all potential blind spots. And beyond that, the inescapable power dynamic of the company’s chain of command often leaves employees insecure about sharing their true feelings or concerns, even if it’s just about pay or benefits. social.

The 24,000 pound elephant in the room sitting between employees and bosses is that decisions directly affect the employee’s job, and therefore their whole life.

External experts help facilitate conversations

And while they can’t make an elephant like Houdini disappear, the most talented speakers have the skills and experience to create welcoming spaces where employees feel much more comfortable talking openly about their needs. and their concerns.

Taking the first step to making these conversations possible goes a long way in building trust with your employees. And it can make them more comfortable being open and honest with leadership in the future.

I have been fortunate over the years to have been able to see hundreds of case studies of clients who have leveraged keynote speakers for corporate culture transformation. I have also seen it within our organization. Carefully selected external experts can be a key part of a comprehensive corporate culture strategy, perhaps even the missing piece for some.

In 2021, when voluntary turnover rates averaged 25%, ours were only 2.8%. We have also grown by 35% and by 2022 over 50% of our current workforce will have been here for five years or more. It’s no coincidence that 2021 was also a record year for us in terms of revenue.

Results go beyond KPIs

Having empathy and understanding the financial benefits of a healthy and inclusive culture should motivate any business leader who understands this reality. There are also other intangible assets.

In early 2021, a particularly concerning outbreak of violence took place in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As someone of Jewish descent, I tend to be exposed to a somewhat one-sided flow of information when it comes to this particular issue, but I’m also the kind of person who values ​​all perspectives.

In a conversation that would have been completely impossible without a culture of openness and trust, I enjoyed an informative and respectful conversation with one of my employees who has family ties to Palestine. As a person, I appreciated their perspective, and as a business leader, it was a moment that helped validate the work we’ve done to build our culture.

When an employee is comfortable enough to have a conversation with the CEO about a potentially sensitive topic, that company has a healthy culture where employees feel empowered and safe. Such nurturing, trust-building little moments are only possible when you’ve got your priorities straight and done the work necessary to create a healthy and inclusive culture.

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