Creating a Captivating Culture

March 03, 2021
MRA Edge
Engagement & Retention
Read time: 5 mins

What happens when employees feel that their organization’s culture isn’t up to snuff? Often, they look to leave. Since the onset of the pandemic, employees have been acutely aware if managers have stayed true to the culture of their company.

It has never been more important for an organization’s culture to shine. Employers need to care for their people emotionally, financially, and for each employee individually as a person. If that’s not happening, there’s a good chance that companies are losing great people.

With culture in the hot seat, we examine the biggest questions being asked by employers and offer tips for improvement.

What can employers do about resignations happening right now due to culture?
  • The first thing companies should do is a pulse survey. Ask a few simple questions about what employees need, what’s going well, and what needs attention. Then share the results and act on them. Make the changes that can be done now and plan to incorporate more when the time is right.
  • Another vital aspect is one-on-one manager meetings. They should be frequent, covering how their people are doing both professionally and personally. It is a great way to help employees feel valued.
  • Is your organization doing better than expected financially? Share some of the success with employees through one-time bonuses. Are things difficult? Be transparent and share what’s going on with the company.
  • Employees can get spooked for all kinds of reasons. They can feel overworked, under-valued, or insecure about the health of the business. Addressing concerns openly with facts can be comforting.

There is no one-size-fits-all response right now. Individual employees have individual circumstances and needs. Decisions cannot always be equal but should routinely be fair. Fair is the balance of what the business needs and what the individual needs to be successful.

How can employers tout their culture while wooing great candidates?
  • A benefit that is becoming a non-negotiable for many candidates is flexibility in the workplace, including WFH, nonregular hours, and job sharing. A recent online survey of 1,022 professionals conducted by LiveCareer revealed that 29 percent of working professionals would quit their jobs if they couldn't continue working remotely.
  • Promote little-known benefits that can ease some stress. Talk up your financial wellness workshops, telehealth services, virtual training, or the EAP to showcase your culture as caring.
  • From the recruiting side of things, take a good look at your value proposition and what makes your organization stand out from others. Know it well and share it often. It’s not the time to be humble when trying to attract top talent. Brag about your awesomeness. Engage candidates and let them know you want them to work for you.
  • Job ads are a great place to showcase your culture. For instance, accountants know what a job in accounting looks like, so an accounting job description should not be all about the tasks. It should be a marketing piece on your job opening to draw accountants in to want to work for you. What do you have to offer? What’s in it for the applicant? ​​​​Don’t forget: You can’t put words in your job ad that are not evident on your website. If you are touting a diverse workplace or an environmentally friendly organization, take note of how that is displayed on your website. If it’s not evident, then it’s all lip service.
What actions can organizations take that will help attract and retain top talent?
  • One thing is pay transparency. It has been common practice to keep employees’ pay private, but that has changed during the last year. Newly-hired people’s wages have been more transparent, especially with entry-level positions.
  • Do the research to find out what your positions are paying in your market. If your roles are underpaid, get them to the market price (at least). When people know they are paid fairly, it helps with engagement and retention.
  • To retain your talent, keep them fulfilled by offering opportunities to grow and advance, like upskilling, spearheading a project, or rotating through other departments.

A good onboarding program is very important. Recruiting doesn’t stop with an accepted offer. Keep recruiting by touching base throughout a new employee’s first year. It’s the perfect opportunity to let your culture shine. Surveys have shown if new hires receive a positive onboarding experience, they will connect more strongly with the company. 


  • What are you supposed to do with all the compensation tweaks you’ve made in the last year? Take some time to catch your breath, review what you’ve done, what you’ve held off, and make a new plan on what to do moving forward. Start with a market data analysis, look at your benefits, and ask employees if they need anything. Reset for this year and beyond.
  • In 2021, companies may get flooded with qualified candidates in search of a change. But people are being choosy and want organizations with a stellar culture. Now more than ever, great talent is out there looking for jobs where the culture aligns with their values.
  • A (very) valuable word in the HR world right now is flexibility. The Future of Work 2021Global Outlook survey conducted by Monster, reported that HR professionals adapted to the new way of working and hiring during the pandemic. Forty-two percent made organizational changes to flexible work schedules, and 41 percent to remote work flexibility.


Sources: Valerie Grube, Director, Recruiting, Background Investigations & Retention, Stephanie Folk, Recruiting Business Partner, and Mackenzie Button, Compensation Director, MRA - The Management Association