employee retention, engagement, and stress is about more than getting your ducks in a row.
Eliz Greene

Employee retention is a hot topic for HR professionals.  Is your employee rewards program designed to retain and attract the best talent?

My research on job stress and purpose-driven corporate culture revealed the second secret to great employee rewards:

Purpose-driven organizations solve problems so people can perform at their highest potential.

Thom Singer wrote a great article about cultivating potential to support employee retention.  I agree mentorship and training are essential.  I also agree that work-life balance strategies aren’t the answer.

Employee retention depends on solving problems.

Employees who are worried about paying the bills, the future of the organization, or the security of their job, can’t perform well.  As part of my research, I interviewed hundreds of leaders and employees. One of the themes that bubbled to the surface was that purpose-driven organizations recognize their success is reliant on the success and well-being of their employees.  Bill Sennholz, CEO and President of Forward Bank, put it best when he said,

“If we want to be the bank of choice, we have to be the employer of choice.”

In a tight labor market, competing for the best talent is a top priority.  Not only does Forward Bank actively listen to their employees to define the problems to be solved, they proactively communicate.  They have a budget dedicated to marketing to their employees about benefits and the direction of the organization. Employee satisfaction is the goal.

They demonstrate dedication to employee satisfaction in small actions, such as buying dinner for employees who work late to complete a project, and big ideas, such as creating the Pay It Forward Fund, which provides grants to employees in financial crisis.

These strategies paid off when the employees completed the American Banker survey during a massive conversion of their operating system. The conversion was high-stress inducing, but yet, the employees reported 95% job satisfaction.  As a result, Forward Bank was awarded “Best Bank To Work For.”

That is high performance under pressure!

Is your employee rewards program focused on solving problems?   Are you doing enough to support employee retention?

Stay tuned for Employee Rewards Secret Part 3: Meaningfully Measurable

Read more:

Employee Rewards Secrets Part 1: Employees Have to Want the Reward


About Eliz Greene

Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health and reduce stress are used by thousands of busy people all over the world. She is a motivational wellness speaker, author, and job stress researcher. Visit elizgreene.com to book Eliz for your next event.


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