Culture is What Motivates and Retains Talented Employees


Culture is what motivates and retains talented employees. Every decision your organization makes strengthens or weakens your culture, and a healthy workplace culture—one that is fair, inclusive, high-functioning and free from harassment—is a critical business asset and force multiplier. 

At Booz Allen, we take pride in cultivating an environment that empowers people to change the world and makes them proud to be part of our team. Our shared purpose and values form the foundation for everything we do at Booz Allen, including our service to clients, our support for our communities, and our interactions with each other. 

Caring about your colleagues is a huge motivator for people to create and cultivate a safe work environment, which is essential for a healthy culture. Our employees understand the direct link between Booz Allen’s success and our unwavering commitment to living our values – ferocious integrity, unflinching courage, passionate service, collective ingenuity, and a champion’s heart – every day. Being a values-based organization enables us to attract and retain top talent, provide outstanding service to our clients, uphold our reputation for doing the right thing, and make choices that reflect our values, even when it’s difficult. This drives the Booz Allen culture that our employees experience.

How can HR professionals enable and encourage this values-driven behavior? HR is often the first line of support for employees and leaders – no matter what the topic, they turn to us for guidance, insight and information. We are champions for all things people-related. That’s a huge opportunity and a huge responsibility.

For example, we team with other parts of the organization to provide annual ethics and compliance trainings on key topics such as harassment or unconscious bias. These trainings are intended to help our employees better understand our policies and the behaviors that we expect from them, and to provide resources of where to go for help with questions or to raise a concern. When the entire organization has the same orientation, a healthy culture goes beyond what’s merely legal or compliant to ensure a good experience for your employees. The right behavior becomes the norm.

Embracing diversity and inclusion is also a big part of a healthy workplace culture. For us, inclusion is more than a concept, it is who we are—a place where we know we can truly be ourselves. We know that these differences lead to unique ways of thinking and approaching challenges—something we truly value as a multicultural community of problem solvers. 

We should all be committed to offering a culture and environment of inclusion that fosters respect and opportunity for all our people. At Booz Allen, that commitment is evident in everything from our firmwide celebrations of affinity and cultural heritage, to our inclusive offerings such as health benefits for domestic partners, and parental benefits for all our working moms and dads, including adoptive and LGBTQ parents.

As our workplaces transform, so do workplace cultures and employee expectations. That is why it is essential that HR leaders constantly skill up, improve best practices, offer cutting edge solutions, and partner with the business to ensure that all programs and policies are meaningful and impactful. HR needs to be ready with the smartest policies, the best training, and optimal guidance (even – and sometimes especially – when it’s not popular) to create a thriving workplace culture. Creating an environment and culture that protects all employees is what empowers our doers, drivers and dreamers to bring their whole selves to work every day.

Betty Thompson will join SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. and CHROs from Zappos and John Deere to continue the conversation on all things work. Join the LIVESTREAM and ask your questions! 11/16, 12:30-1:45 p.m.  #WeAreWork

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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