3 Books to Help Entrepreneurs Generate Winning Employee Cultures Authoritative guides for creating corporate environments that don't just attract workers, but retain them.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
According to a May, 2022 PwC study, one in five workers plans to quit this year. In the U.S. alone, more than three million quit every month, and that rate has remained stubborn, despite signs of a hiring slowdown.
Put simply, it remains a seller's market for labor, which means businesses of all sizes need to focus on retaining high-performing staff members as part of a savvy growth strategy. And this applies broadly — even for those early-stage companies without the resources of the larger incumbents in their industries.
Fortunately, upping direct compensation isn't the only way to attract and retain talent: Successful company culture transformations can also produce great returns in this space, and at a lower cost. And such transformations don't have to focus only (or even mostly) on simply creating a better place to work. Improving retention can also include enlarging the pie that rank-and-file employees share, as long as these efforts start at the top… with you and your leadership team.
Not sure how to proceed? These three volumes offer outside-the-box ideas for positive culture change, and actionable road maps for when you're ready to begin such a journey.
1. The Family—Business Balancing Act: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Being a Family Man by Patrick Cummings
Can corporate transformations start at home? Should they? Husband, father, entrepreneur and business coach Patrick Cummings thinks so, and that's the thread of this remarkable guide.
You already know that balancing work and family life is not easy. Scratch that: It can feel almost impossible to be an active participant in a household when you have so much on your plate professionally, but Cummings knows that it can be done, because he lives it every day. He leads readers on a deeply personal journey that has resulted in a life free of regret and "what could have been"s. It is a journey with valuable lessons for any entrepreneur or business leader as they work to make organizations healthier, happier and more engaging for both current and future employees.
Related: Guide the Great Company Culture
2. BusinessOutside: Discover Your Path Forward by Bart Foster
As a business leader, you have to present the "real you," not an empty suit. You have to do great work, obviously, but more importantly have to empower every member of your team to realize each's potential.
That might feel like an overwhelming ask if your current culture accepts inauthenticity and mediocrity. If your business has been getting by on "just good enough" for years, you might not see a clear path towards change.
It might be that you just need to get a new perspective. That's the thinking Foster's (literally) outside-the-box treatise on strengthening corporate culture provides — by encouraging "bringing business outdoors" and helping a team overcome outdated social and corporate conventions to thrive on its own terms. It's a must-read for any professional who knows that leading by example is vital, but isn't sure how to start — a road map both to personal fulfillment in the C-suite and to an authentic, transparent style of leadership that helps break down barriers within teams.
3. Brand Primacy: How Google Made Companies the Kings of Content by Cory Schmidt
Schmidt's is arguably the most tactical title on this list — a guide to achieving exponential growth and fostering a results-oriented internal culture that attracts and retains top talent, principally by mastering Google's organic search engine. Follow its advice and your business will stand out from the crowd, at least for the people who matter most: high-potential job candidates.
Like it or not, Google dominates virtually every industry. You simply can't run a business without a great web presence. A mediocre website paired with a seldom-updated LinkedIn page and a Twitter handle that gets zero engagement no longer cuts it. Potential customers, investors, employees… all have higher expectations.
This globally-trained SEO and marketing expert takes you on an SEO crash course that will make your company the envy of its peers. Along the way, you'll learn digital marketing strategies that do more than juice sales: Used correctly, they will also help market your company to talented candidates and develop internal flows that engage and delight current employees. The potential result: a more outwardly appealing enterprise that's firing on all cylinders — internally, too.