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Gary Beckstrand shared O.C. Tanner’s recent research regarding culture and how to improve it. Culture is a powerful force that forms whenever you get a group together, and it affects how we treat each other and how we feel. Gary discussed leveraging strengths to attract, retain, and engage talent by improving culture. O.C. Tanner has identified what they call culture magnets that help impact culture, listed below:

  • Purpose: What is your higher cause beyond the products and services?  Opportunity: Do employees have a voice and understand how their contributions affect bottom line?
  • Leadership: How good are the leaders at being mentors and coaches? Most companies make people leaders because they are good doers but how do we help them transition?
  • Success: Are you creating opportunities for great work and recognizing it when you see it?
  • Wellbeing: How do you demonstrate you care about employee’s well-being beyond wellness programs that focus on reducing health care costs?
  • Appreciation: Find ways of recognizing that are meaningful to the employee and purposeful to the organization. This also helps build confidence and helps employees know what to continue doing.

An improvement in any one of these culture magnets will improve the others. While you can’t focus on all of them at the same time, certain culture magnets have the most impact on retention, engagement, and attraction. For retention, focus on leadership and then well-being and appreciation. To drive engagement, focus on opportunity and purpose. For attraction, focus on leadership and success.

The panel then shared where they saw their company’s strengths and areas they were working on. For instance, Mary Lauer from Presence Health/Amita shared that as a not-for-profit, their strength is purpose because most people join for the higher purpose. Everyone knows the company values, but opportunity and leadership are the areas they are working on, and they are currently building out their leadership development program. Manuel Cuevas from Motorola shared that his company started with purpose in shifting their culture since it was lofty. By providing products for public safety, they help people be their best in difficult situations. Ann Weiser from the Cubs also shared that purpose was their strength since hope was a big part of the culture.