A central collaboration space in the New Relic office. Three employees in the foreground sit together chatting.
Image: Luke Maxwell/Silicon Republic

Here’s how good company culture improves staff retention

6 Feb 2019

Company culture is a term often bandied about, but don’t underestimate its power when it comes to staff retention.

There are a lot of buzzwords and phrases that leaders like to throw around when they talk about working life, including wellness, diversity and inclusion, and company culture.

However, while many can be accused of paying lip service to these topics, the importance of them must not be diluted.

Workplace wellness, diversity and inclusion, and a good company culture are all essential parts of a well-functioning business. A diverse workforce has already been proven to be more effective than a non-diverse one.

Workplaces that don’t look after their employees’ wellbeing are more likely to suffer high staff turnover at the hands of unhappy, burnt-out employees.

And while it might be difficult to sum up what makes for a good company culture, those who have it know why it works.

Good company culture trickles down

One of the most important points about good company culture is that it must trickle down from the top. Managers, leaders and CEOs must be driving the company culture in a positive direction and leading by example.

Sean Winters is a senior technical support engineer at New Relic in Dublin. He said one of his favourite things about the company is that its CEO is an engineer himself. “He was elbow-deep in code at the beginning of the company and as the company has grown, he still remains committed to making a product that makes engineering lives easier,” he said.

Collaboration is key

Another good marker of good company culture is an atmosphere where employees are encouraged to talk, collaborate and get to know each other. Employees want to work with other people who are passionate and have drive, and collaborating with such people is the key to a positive culture.

Alexandra Bostina is a business development consultant at New Relic and she said she loves “working with people who love what they do and are committed to [making] everything better”.

“It’s a fun and dynamic place to work,” she said.

Encouraging passion

It’s not enough to simply allow collaboration to happen. A good company culture will encourage employees to actively bring their passion to work. The workplace culture should make employees feel comfortable in themselves when they come to work and be encouraged to express their ideas and drive.

Glenn Cahill, vice-president of commercial EMEA at New Relic, said authenticity is a key part of the company’s culture. “I think it’s really important for people to bring 100pc of their personal energy and their passion for technology and business to the workplace, and you can really only do that if you’re being your authentic self,” he said.

The importance of onboarding

All of these components are essential for staff retention, but it’s important for businesses to remember that a good culture starts at the beginning of an employee’s journey. That means giving them a positive onboarding experience.

Winters recalled his two-month onboarding period with New Relic and said that, after it was complete, he was able to “make an impact on the team pretty much straight away, despite being fairly new”.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading