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How to make your work culture a magnet for top talent

Companies can build a work culture that attracts top talent by showing respect to employees and supporting them, says S. Chris Edmonds.

3 min read



If you’re a business leader, you already know this: 4.2 million US workers voluntarily quit their jobs in July 2022. More than 70 million have quit since January 2021. Businesses continue to struggle to retain and attract top talent. Many companies are short staffed. Team members are exhausted by taking on extra duties to cover the workload – and some resort to quiet quitting, doing only the work they’re paid to do. I was recently interviewed on BBCtv on the subject.

What should business leaders do to stop the bleeding? What makes a work culture a magnet for top talent?

A 2021 study by MIT Sloan evaluated over one million employee reviews from around the world on Glassdoor. Their analysis resulted in the top ten elements of culture that matter to employees.  The number one response was respect. In fact, the survey found that “employees feeling respected at work” was nearly 18 times more powerful a predictor of culture rankings than compensation, benefits, and perks combinedThe rest of the top five most powerful predictors are supportive leaders, leaders living the organization’s core values, the presence of toxic managers, and demonstration of unethical behavior. 

In your organization, it’s likely that you have some leaders that consistently demonstrate respect to employees, some supportive leaders and some leaders that live your company’s core values. The problem is, to sustain an uncompromising work culture, every leader must do these things, every day. It’s unfortunately also likely that you have some toxic managers and some degree of unethical behavior happening in pockets in your company. The problem is, to sustain an uncompromising work culture, you must ensure NONE of your leaders do these two things.

To make your work culture a magnet for top talent, you must make respect the single most important element of the employee experience across your company. Employees of all generations desire and deserve workplaces where they are respected and validated for their ideas, efforts, and contributions every day. Leaders are not used to demonstrating respect in the workplace. They must start doing so, now.


Chris Edmonds is a speaker and author as well as executive consultant, founder and CEO with The Purposeful Culture Group. He has authored or co-authored seven books, including “The Culture Engine” and “Good Comes First.” Edmonds’ videos, posts and podcasts are available at DrivingResultsThroughCulture. Follow Edmonds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Apple Podcasts.

Opinions expressed by SmartBrief contributors are their own.


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