Work Pride: 7 Employee Retention Strategies That Work

Work Pride: 7 Employee Retention Strategies That Work

Squeezed between the Great Resignation and contentious return-to-office policies, companies are putting more pressure on HR to increase employee retention rates. That’s why talent managers need to understand the underlying emotion that can make or break an employee’s tenure: workplace pride. It’s the key to a low-cost, high-impact employee retention strategies.

What is work pride?

Simply put, workplace pride is a feeling of loyalty and admiration for a company and its work. This pride is something every business wants to instill in its employees, and for good reason: pride in one’s work leads to a more engagement. All companies should want their teams to feel proud of what they do.

Work pride happens at three levels:

  • Individual contributions, which is an important aspect of identity and self-worth
  • Team achievements, which boost pride within departments or groups
  • Company pride, which is the culmination of a focused mission and work that feels meaningful

Why work pride really matters

A recent research study by Jostle revealed that having workplace pride is strongly correlated to higher employee engagement. In other words, proud employees are much more likely to do great work, have a positive attitude, and stick around longer.

In fact, another recent study has quantified the benefits of fostering workplace pride. With greater pride, employees are:

  • 6X more likely to endorse their workplace
  • 2X more likely to want to stay with the company for a long time
  • 1X more likely to say it’s a great place to work

That’s why your workplace should focus on fostering pride. Yes, your rewards and recognition program plays an important role, and so do your benefits and perks. In fact, successfully increasing workplace pride stands on the foundation you’ve already built.

Work Pride: 7 Employee Retention Strategies That Work

7 actionable tips to increase work pride

Cultivating work pride is a long-term employee retention strategy. Here are four essential steps to get your company on the path to more engaged employees.

1. Work pride starts at the top

The most important first step is executive buy in. An authentic, effective pride program must be embraced by leadership, because they will play a huge part in expressing and encouraging work pride.

As you know, employees can easily distinguish between a workplace that truly values them and one that’s just ”going through the motions.” Turn to leaders who can be genuinely enthusiastic and excited during employee interactions to set the tone. Arm them with employee recognition opportunities, and these executives can build pride quickly.

2. Create a culture of work pride

Increasing work pride is not an easy, one-time activity. It requires an ongoing culture of pride that applies to how your employees view their own work, treat each other, and assess your company and brand.

Your workplace culture includes your mission and core values. For example, if your mission is to ”increase value for shareholders,” you’ll probably struggle to make employees feel proud of activities focused on this outcome. Instead, reevaluate your company’s deeper purpose and align your mission to a more inspirational goal. Then be sure to enthusiastically socialize your new mission with the entire organization.

3. Use rewards and recognition to boost pride

Public recognition is powerful, and employees treasure company-wide kudos. There are so many ways to spotlight great work by individuals and teams, and you should use all of them:

  • During company-wide meetings
  • In internal newsletters
  • On office walls or digital displays, if you have physical locations
  • On corporate social media accounts
  • Though internal chat channels, such as Slack or Yammer
  • In spontaneous corporate email shout-outs
  • During all corporate social events, because any party can become a pride party

Pride is best nurtured through recognition, but rewards can reinforce your sincerity. Whether you use a points-based reward system or want to give a one-off reward, be sure to make a big deal about it. Putting your money where your mouth is can be an easy way to show all employees that a culture of pride permeates your company.

Work Pride: 7 Employee Retention Strategies That Work

4. Involve all of your employees

A corporate mission may codify your goals, but corporate traditions and unspoken norms play an important role, too. That’s why all employees must be enveloped in your pride-building endeavors. Here are a few thought-starters to spark ideas that could work in your company:

  • Ask employees to nominate their ”quiet but mighty” colleagues who often go unnoticed.
  • Let employees plan social activates that include peer recognition that’s both fun and meaningful, such as ”Best Printer Jam Fixer” or ”Most Important Thankless Task Slayer.”
  • Ask employees to submit brief ”why I’m proud to work here” statements and post their photos and quotations on social media.
  • Empower employees to identify opportunities to improve and innovate the way you do business.

5. Give employees opportunities to grow

Increasing individual pride may seem like a daunting task; after all, each employee has unique needs. That’s why offering an array of professional skill development opportunities—via online courses or in-person training—can be a winning idea. Here are some other ways to show your people that you are willing to invest in them:

  • Create a formal ”ask me anything” program to pair people with colleagues in different departments.
  • Give access to senior leadership in small group settings such as informal lunches or coffee breaks.
  • Offer chances to improve soft skills, such as communication, conflict resolution and time management.
  • Address topics that improve employees’ personal lives, such as financial literacy, parenting tips and continuing education.

6. Be a good corporate citizen

A significant portion of corporate pride relies on providing top-notch products or services. But an equally important aspect of this pride is based on activities that occur beyond the corporate walls, including volunteer activities and financial support for worthy causes. When your company gives back to the community, employees can share in the joy that comes with helping others.

7. Remember, measurement matters

Work pride is a powerful emotion, but it may also feel like a squishy outcome in a time when quantifying ROI is more important than ever. Fortunately, there are new tools that can help you measure the success of your program. Here at WorkProud, we help you define your progress and offer national benchmarks to determine how your business stacks up.

Some of our most recent benchmark data helps companies understand where their work pride is strong, and where it’s falling short. Here are just two examples of our measurement insights:

  • 43% of employees we surveyed said they had the highest level of pride in their work. On the other hand, about 20% said they had low pride in their work.
  • Company pride is split three ways: one-third (33%) said they had a high level of pride in their company; over one-third (37%) was somewhere in the middle; and nearly one-third (30%) said they had low company pride.

This type of valuable data can help you understand where your company has increased workplace pride, and where it needs to be bolstered.

Work Pride: 7 Employee Retention Strategies That Work

Request the most recent WorkProud® study

Pride isn’t the single magic ingredient for workplace success, but it is a critical component. Pride can fill employees with confidence, self-assurance, and a renewed sense of determination. And workplaces that foster pride are more likely to increase employee retention, engagement, and improve overall products, services, and reputations. The more pride your employees have, the more committed they are to their jobs and your company.

Learn more about creating a culture of workplace pride today. Get your copy of the WorkProud® Study, our latest research into work pride and effective employee retention strategies.

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WorkProud is committed to helping its clients create a unified approach to the employee experience by helping them build cultures of workplace pride. Trusted by millions of users at some of the world’s most recognized employer brands, WorkProud delivers a comprehensive approach to building company cultures that inspire people to be Proud of their Work and Proud of their Company.

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