4 things to know about workplace experience, talent retention

By Dylan Guest, Director, Communications

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Talent Task Force guides work to identify pressing talent and workforce needs to help local employers attract, retain, and develop top talent.

The latest meeting, held on Wednesday, May 8, focused on talent retention, particularly its correlation to workplace experience. Nic Smith, Managing Director at CBRE, led a compelling conversation on this topic. Take a look at the key takeaways below.

Workplace culture does not have a universal definition.

Workplace culture often tops the list of priorities for prospective talent and employees when evaluating job opportunities and deciding to stay with a company, a topic also covered in the DRC’s recent Talent Talk event.

That said, ‘culture’ does not have the same definition for every company or employee. It may be viewed as anything from company values to community engagement to office amenities and everything in between.

“Workplace experience or culture is a holistic approach to creating an optimal environment for employees that impacts their engagement, satisfaction, and wellbeing,” said Smith. “It’s also a feeling an employee has, which can be anything from their connection to the company’s mission, having their work appreciated, relationships with peers, and all the subtle things that it’s difficult to have control over.”

Workplace culture is an ever-evolving and flexible framework.

The ‘people’ aspect of culture takes precedence.

“The people-centric approach has the biggest impact on retention,” said Smith.

Before Smith’s presentation, attendees had breakout discussions about what they believe keeps people, and even themselves, at companies. The common answer was ‘people,’ from colleagues to leadership, and Smith wholeheartedly agreed.

“The people aspect can oftentimes get overlooked, but if you want to retain people, you have to help them develop, have flexible leadership that can adapt to different people’s styles, and things of that matter,” said Smith. “If we’re going to get employees engaged, then they also need to get their needs met. It’s about the balance between the company and the employee.”

The employee experience starts before one is hired.

“Many companies do customer journey mapping, but it’s also important to do employee journey mapping,” said Smith. “You have to find the moments that matter in your organization.”

The physical environment of the office and the broader spectrum of workplace culture are crucial. However, it’s important to remember that an employee’s perspective on a company starts at the beginning of the hiring process.

A company’s brand in the marketplace attracts people to an organization, and the experience of the recruitment process sets the tone for the employee’s experience.

“Something as simple as a hiring manager reaching out and keeping a conversation going after an interview is so important, especially because the recruitment process can take some time,” said Smith. “These actions let the employee know what to expect from an organization.”

It is crucial to magnetize the workplace.

Companies need to find a way to motivate employees to come to the workplace without ‘forcing’ them to do so.

“You have to find out what people want,” said Smith. “Around 84% of employees are motivated by the promise of socializing with colleagues and spaces that delight and really earn the commute.”

An appealing and human-centric operation and environment gives employees a reason to want to come into the office. An appealing and human-centric operation and environment gives employees a reason to want to come into the office. DRC expert identified the trend of workplace amenities as a return-to-work strategy last summer.

The next Talent Task Force meeting is Wednesday, August 14. Email Cary Bailey, Director of Member Engagement, at cbailey@dallaschamber.org to inquire about joining this or other DRC task forces. Email talent@dallaschamber.org to inquire about getting involved in talent strategies initiatives.

To learn more about the DRC’s work in Education, Talent & Workforce, visit our website.