Episode #1271 Jim Barnett: How to Cultivate a Culture of Retention

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Jim and Jenna discuss how to design a positive and sustainable company culture to promote long-term retention. 


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Jim Barnett

Co-founder and CEO of Glint View Full Profile

Insights from Jim

On Measuring and Improving Team Happiness: 

  • "Our design philosophy at Glint is creating a platform that enables continuous conversation. We believe the way to get better at anything is always through continuous feedback and improvement." 
  • "Doing an annual survey is like going to your doctor for your annual physical and expecting to get in shape. It just doesn't work." 
  • "The most important part of any company survey is empowering your managers to see the results and take action at a local level."
  • "It's not about helping your team members succeed in their roles. It's about helping them enjoy them."

On Candor and Honesty: 

  • "You can be exceptional at talking to your team, but they may not always talk to you. It's critical to establish a confidential way to have honest conversations."
  • "To be a master of conversation, you have to create a safe environment to connect. Be a good listener and be capable of constructively giving and receiving feedback. Be authentic and open as often as possible."
  • "If you aren't careful, feedback can be more about you than the person you're trying to help."
  • "When I get feedback I see it as a gift and try to be as open to it as possible. I focus on the feelings and thoughts that are coming up for me when I am receiving the feedback and what's driving them...When I was an earlier CEO, I would quickly respond to the discomfort. Now, I  view the conversation with as much curiosity as I can. If you stay curious, you can learn a lot from feedback."
  • "The most important thing is to always be authentic. Default to open as often as you can. Secrets are toxic. We run Glint with the perspective that we should be able to tell anyone on our team anything at all times."

On the Discipline to Hire Exceptional Team Members: 

  • "Recruiting is about building a relationship. It's an entire team effort to land great candidates."
  • "One of my greatest passions in life is sculpting teams. I view a team like a piece of sculpture; You need every piece to fit together perfectly."
  • "A lot of companies say they want to hire A-players. You have to practice the discipline to do that. If you are a leader trying to build a great team, you have to be willing to experience the discomfort of having a position remain open, saying no to someone who is a good candidate but not a great candidate, and having your team constantly ask why you haven't filled the role."

On Onboarding's Critical Correlation with Retention: 

  • "If someone is unhappy with their onboarding experience they are eight times more likely to be disengaged at your company in six months and 10 times more likely to leave within a year."
  • "Onboarding begins before someone's first interview. It starts with your company's brand and all of your communications with prospective candidates - from receiving an application to making an offer - to their first day at the company, training, and mentorship." 

On Retention: 

  • "The key to improving retention and reducing attrition is driving engagement levels on your team, which will be different for every team within your company. In order to do that, you have to know what's working, what isn't, and the pieces that really matter."