How Much Does Your Organization Really Care?

Organizational cultures come in all shapes and sizes yet only a handful really work in terms of employee engagement and retention. A lot of studies have been done on why employees stay and why they leave companies. The results present a number of plausible reasons why they do both.

Our experience and observation in working with thousands of organizations would lead us to believe that one very important central and simple common theme seems to exist in those that retain employees at a high level. That theme is centered on a high degree of caring about the well being of the employees.

Oh sure, most companies will tell you they care. But, with a limited number of exceptions, who do they think they’re kidding? The level of real caring in most companies ranges from “who gives a you-know-what” to “we care quite a bit, but just don’t know how to show it”.

But in a small percentage of organizations, from the top rung of the ladder all the way to the bottom, there is a genuine and real sense of caring about and for employees. When there is a culture built on genuine concern for employees, all kinds of good things happen. Employee engagement is strong, retention is high, productivity tends to be off the charts, and people just seem to get along better.

These organizations are careful about who they hire to lead employees. They understand that the managers have to be compassionate, caring, and nurturing while still having the ability to hold employees responsible for high levels of performance. These managers aren’t afraid of developing relationships with employees. Those relationships sustain employee satisfaction even when difficult issues have to be addressed.

What’s amazing is just how many organizations and/or managers just don’t care about their employees in any meaningful way. They are much more interested in the short-term and in extracting as much work out of the employee as possible.

Here’s a quick test of this theory on caring about employees. The next time you’re in a social setting with people from various work backgrounds, ask them if they think their employer or manager really and truly cares about them as a person. Sure, some will say yes when they mean no. But you might find the answers you get interesting. Then take a look around your own organization. Does it care? Do you care?