Attraction and Retention: The Bottom Line of a Thriving Culture

In a recent episode of the Higher Business Series supported by Wizer, which helps people and organisations enhance decisions by connecting them with the best people for every decision.


Luli Adeyemo, Executive Director, TechDiversity hosted a thought-provoking discussion with Dr. David Cooke, Executive Director ESG Advisory, Author Kind Business: Values create Value, a trailblazer in ethical business practices; and Arlene Rahn, President & Founder Redhouse, a seasoned DEI consultant.

The session delved into the profound impact of cultivating a thriving workplace culture, exploring the delicate balance between employee well-being and business success.

Early in the conversation, David candidly expressed his discomfort with discussing Return on Investment (ROI) in the context of workplace culture. “Looking after your people should be an end in itself,” he emphasised. The primary focus, he argued, should be on the well-being of employees. When businesses prioritise the happiness and engagement of their workforce, everything else naturally falls into place.


The Challenge of Measurement: Balancing Metrics and Morale

Luli brought attention to a common challenge in the business world: the need to measure outcomes. She pointed out that businesses often struggle to prioritise initiatives that cannot be quantified. While metrics are essential, the discussion underscored the importance of balancing quantitative measures with qualitative insights.


The Power of Belief: Creating a Thriving Culture

The discussion then moved on to defining a thriving culture as one where employees truly believe they are valued and appreciated. This belief is not something that can be forced or faked; it must be genuinely cultivated. Drawing from her extensive research in DEI, Arlene noted that when employees feel valued, they are more engaged and motivated, leading to a flourishing organisation.

David echoed this sentiment, highlighting the importance of creating an environment where people are happy and energised at work. He shared his experience as a managing director at Konica Minolta, where he initiated a cultural transformation by seeking input from all employees. This approach led to remarkable improvements in engagement and business success.

Arlene and David shared practical examples of successful DEI initiatives that went beyond mere metrics. Arlene recounted her work with a global NGO, where localised teams were formed to drive inclusivity. By creating a common language and providing the necessary tools, the organisation achieved a more inclusive and engaged workforce.


Attraction and Retention: The Bottom Line of a Thriving Culture

David shared a powerful example of how focusing on culture positively impacted Konica Minolta’s bottom line. By fostering a sense of pride and loyalty among employees, the company attracted and retained top talent. He recounted a story of an employee who, after years of disengagement, proudly shared his affiliation with the company due to its commitment to social values.

This cultural shift translated into tangible business outcomes. Despite operating in a declining market, Konica Minolta experienced consistent growth over a decade. The company’s success was not driven by product innovation or pricing strategies but by the loyalty and engagement of its workforce.


Conclusion: The True Value of Caring for Your People

The discussion underscored a fundamental truth: the well-being of employees should be a primary focus for any organisation. While metrics and ROI are important, they should not overshadow the human aspect of business. By prioritising employee well-being, businesses can create a thriving culture that drives both personal fulfillment and organisational success.

In the words of David, “When you care for your people, everything else will just flow from there.” This holistic approach to business, where people are valued and cared for, ultimately leads to sustainable success and a more positive impact on society.

As businesses navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, they would do well to remember that the true value of a thriving culture lies not in the numbers, but in the hearts and minds of their people.

Watch the full discussion here

Like this? Read More…

Let's hear from you

We love hearing from our community and what topics YOU think are important.