Creating loyalty with culture

By Adam Quandt

It’s no secret that workforce has been a strong topic around the marine industry – and many others like it – for some time now. However, more often than not we look at workforce development from the lens of “how do we draw new people in?” not “how to we keep the good ones we already have?”.

Looking at how we retain our workforce might be more important now than it ever has been in the past. Fortune recently reported that as of January’s Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, a record 4.5 million people voluntarily left their positions last November.

And while this “Great Resignation” is certainly affecting some industries more than others (ie. accommodation and food services), it’s important to get ahead of things in your business now, so that you don’t find yourself bleeding good employees down the road.

The concept of creating a culture within your business and your team isn’t new to the marine industry to the marine industry. However, oftentimes we look at creating a business culture as a means of something a business presents to the customer.

While recently attending the Association of Marina Industries Conference & Expo down in Daytona, the Boating Industry team had the opportunity to sit in on the day two keynote address from Top 101 Employee Engagement Influencer, Jill Christensen.

Author of books like, If Not You, Who? How to Crack the Code of Employee Disengagement and Remote 101: The Secret to Engaging Virtual Workers, Christensen uses her experience from her time working in Fortune 500 companies to dive into the concept of creating a company culture that keeps employees not only engaged, but also loyal.

During her address, Christensen said that organizations with exceptional employee engagement outperform peers by up to 150% in earnings per share and offer 90% better growth trend than their competition, yet only an average of 36% of U.S. workers are engaged, in other words, most workers just cruise through their day on autopilot.

By creating a company culture that gets employees involved and engaged in the business itself, employees are more likely to enjoy their job and in turn stay for the long term. Christensen says a company culture that offers an employees voice to be heard in many if not most of the business decisions passes along a sense of ownership in the organization’s success. During her presentation, she noted that this will be especially important as the workforce becomes younger.

“The next generation of workforce will not be happy with you just throwing more money at them as a business owner,” Christensen said. “This generation wants to feel worth, they want to feel heard and they want to know that what they say matters and has an impact on their job.”

So, before you look to bringing in and developing the next generation of marine workforce – whether it be sales, service or somewhere in between – perhaps take a minute to assess your organization’s culture and if necessary make the changes to ensure that you maintain not only the loyalty of your current team, but the next generation that you bring in as well. 

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