The Impact of Organisational Culture on Retaining Employees

In a recent article, we talked about how organisations can retain good employees in a world where people rarely stay in a job for life.

It can be difficult to address why people want to leave an organisation and the reasons may be personal or beyond your control. However, as explained in our previous article, there are steps a business can take to assess why employees are leaving and what can be done to motivate them to stay.

Retaining employees is important as a high staff turnover can be disruptive to an organisation’s operations and morale. Continually having to recruit is also costly and organisations that do not retain any staff long-term might find that their workforce is lacking in experience and cohesion.

There are many factors that affect an employee’s relationship with an organisation and their loyalty towards it, including job satisfaction, career progression opportunities, remuneration and organisational culture, among others. It’s a complex mix, compounded by the fact that every employee is an individual, with different ideals and aspirations.

How, then, can an organisation manage to retain employees in the long-term?

Undoubtedly, your organisation’s culture will play a big role in this. Where people feel their values match those of the organisation they are naturally more likely to feel an attachment to it. This is more likely to lead to greater job satisfaction and higher levels of motivation.

On the other hand, where employees do not feel like they are a ‘cultural fit’, their loyalty towards their employers may be tested. Furthermore, cultures may even be negative or disruptive. Consider, for example, a workplace where bullying is not appropriately dealt with or workloads and deadlines are unreasonable. Employees are unlikely to feel loyal to a workplace in which they do not feel comfortable or feel valued.

But how can we define organisational culture? It is not easy to measure, yet it’s important for firms to consider as improving culture has long been – and will continue to be – a focus of the FCA.

This becomes more pressing with the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) drawing ever closer, coming into effect on the 9th of December. One of the aims of the new regime is to improve conduct in the financial services from the top down, throughout all levels of an organisation, by increasing personal accountability.

Organisational culture may seem unimportant compared to the day-to-day pressures faced by a business, but it is part of a wider picture. By being proactive and reflecting on how your organisation’s culture, it may benefit you in the long-run and may be a positive factor in retaining good staff and working more productively. 

About the author

Lisa joined RWA in 2014 as an e-Learning Assistant, designing training material for the Aviva Development Zone e-learning platform.

Her role as Head of Content and Communications involves the editorship of RWA Insight. It also includes reviewing e-learning content as well as providing proofreading, copywriting and standards support across the business.

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