Cara Silletto, President and Chief Retention Officer, Crescendo Strategies

Cara SillettoWorkforce thought leader, speaker and author Cara Silletto, MBA, is the President and Chief Retention Officer of Crescendo Strategies, a firm committed to reducing unnecessary employee turnover. She was named a “Game Changer” by Workforce Magazine and listed her in their “Top 10 Company Culture Experts to Watch” list. Her newest book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave & How to Keep Them Longer, was just released in March 2018.

What does organizational culture mean to you?

Organizational culture is a combination of behaviors and attitudes exhibited by leaders and employees across an organization that create the underlying vibe of that company.

What are the major determinants of organizational culture?

Some major factors that impact or define an organizational culture are the levels of formality, communication channels used, workload and schedule expectations, and primary leadership styles used throughout the organization.

What is the role of employees in organizational culture?

Who a company hires and how employees interact with one another play a major role in setting the tone of the organization. A few bad apples with strong personalities can sway an entire culture if intentional care isn’t given to hiring the right people and ensuring behavior and attitudes are indeed what is expected.

What are the common problems associated with managing organizational culture?

Everyone is busy! In some industries, turnover is so high they are just hiring warm bodies to fill the shifts, instead of carefully selecting the right staff. At many other organizations, managers are overloaded with too much work and cannot find the time to properly train and develop their staff. This inhibits the company’s ability to create a great organizational culture.

What are the ways to innovate company culture? Any best practices to share.

To make a change or enhance an existing culture, there must be culture champions who drive the company-wide conversations throughout the transition, communicating the new expectations and leading by example. These champions could be top leaders or others who step up to define and demand the culture the organization wants to have.

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