Are you solving problems so your people can do their best work?

People don’t leave jobs; they leave work environments. Work culture was the third-highest cause of stress in my research. Interestingly, while only about 20 percent of people said work culture caused their stress, more than 30 percent said an improvement in work culture would reduce stress.

Ultimately, team performance is dependent on how well the leader solves problems.

Over and over in my work, I have seen organizations weather significant overwhelm and uncertainty while maintaining high job satisfaction. Employers who root out problems and make their people feel seen, valued, and connected to the mission of the organization endure change and high stress and support employee retention and engagement.

Employees who are worried about paying the bills, the future of the organization, or the security of their job, can’t perform well.  As part of my research, I interviewed hundreds of leaders and employees. One of the themes that bubbled to the surface was that purpose-driven organizations recognize their success is reliant on the success and well-being of their employees.  Bill Sennholz, CEO and President of Forward Bank, put it best when he said,

“If we want to be the bank of choice, we have to be the employer of choice.”

In a tight labor market, competing for the best talent is a top priority.  Not only does Forward Bank actively listen to their employees to define the problems to be solved, they proactively communicate.  They have a budget dedicated to marketing to their employees about benefits and the direction of the organization. Employee satisfaction is the goal.

They demonstrate dedication to employee satisfaction in small actions, such as buying dinner for employees who work late to complete a project, and big ideas, such as creating the Pay It Forward Fund, which provides grants to employees in financial crisis.

These strategies paid off when the employees completed the American Banker survey during a massive conversion of their operating system. The conversion was high-stress inducing, but yet, the employees reported 95% job satisfaction.  As a result, Forward Bank was awarded “Best Bank To Work For.”

That is high performance under pressure!

Is your employee rewards program focused on solving problems?   Are you doing enough to support employee retention?


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