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5 Things Execs Can do to Attract Talent

5 Things Execs Can do to Attract Talent

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Jonathan Mills

Corporate culture creates a distinct opportunity for executives to help attract talent. In fact, by fostering culture they can have more influence over employee attraction than anyone else in the organization. But how? The answer isn’t through competitive pay and benefits (though those are foundational). The solution is to foster a corporate culture where talented individuals naturally want to be. Here are five tips for executives on how to attract talent.

1 Treat corporate culture strategically

Corporate culture is comprised of your organization’s social transactions, behaviors, expectations, policies, and practices. It directly correlates to your bottom line by affecting turnover, performance, reputation, creativity, and engagement to name a few. Even with good intentions, failing to pay attention to corporate culture will result in entropy and market forces tossing your organization about. The solution is to regard corporate culture as a strategic issue. Commit real planning time to understand and steer your culture, then return throughout and at the top of the year to reassess and course correct.

2 Get out of the way!

Stop scheming to modify employee behavior with carrots and sticks. These strategies only affect behavior in the short-term and often result in completely divergent results. When they fail (and they fail often), it leaves employees disillusioned with your leadership and less likely to trust your next attempt. Instead, shift your focus to strategically creating autonomy, mastery, and purpose in your organization. This new paradigm puts employees in the driver’s seat.

3 Model consistent behavior

It may seem contradictory, but at the same time you are “getting out of the way” of your corporate culture, you should be heavily engaged with behavioral modeling. This means spending real time in front of your employees, doing instead of telling. An employee’s natural assumption about executives is that they live in an ivory tower. Show your team that this isn’t true by getting on the shop floor with them. If you need to offload some tasks to other leaders to do so, then don’t hesitate. It is important that employee relationship management receive attention on par with client acquisition and finance.

“The devil is not in the detail, but in the application. The heavy lifting of applying it to the organizations you lead must be up to you.” – Paul Gibbons

4 Learn continually

Experience is only as valuable as its evolution. You should be continually learning about how to foster corporate culture, demonstrating to your team that your organization is one that learns. Diversify your sources of education–read books, go to workshops, discourse online, etc. Do not, however, leave out your most promising source–your employees. As you foster autonomy, mastery, and purpose, your employees will become valuable experts. Lean on these folks for knowledge, regarding them as internal consultants.

5 Course Correct

Slow and steady wins the race. You should always avoid knee-jerk, reactive policies. They are short-sighted and often treat the symptom rather than the problem. Instead, stear corporate culture like a large ship. Regularly reassess your position and direction, course correcting to adjust culture over time. Employees will be more welcoming of the change and less likely to revert back to their accustomed “status quo”.

Crafting a successful corporate culture can be a challenge, but it gets easier with a little perspective. If you would like to connect to discuss culture or find help, contact Corporate Culture Specialist at

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