Lessons from Episode 8

10 ways to build a culture that attracts and retains talent


Vi Senior Living has risen through the ranks of employers to become a choice destination for talent across a wide scope of job functions. The biggest factor employees cite when asked why they came to work for Vi and stay there to build successful careers: a culture that feels like family. Vi was recognized as a Glassdoor Best Places to Work in 2019 under the leadership of SVP of HR, Learning and Organizational Development Judy Whitcomb. Here are the top ten contributors to Vi’s strong and desirable culture.

  1. Survey your employees. When you do, look at the results. How do people feel about the current culture? Are their feelings aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish?

  2. Be deliberate and intentional as a leadership team to demonstrate the company’s values in your actions. And not only when things are going well—when times are tough, people will be watching how you act. Leaders model the values, communications reflect those core messages, employees are expected to uphold certain behaviors, and eventually they become a natural part of your culture.

  3. Culture can’t be fixed overnight. It’s a long-term effort that requires consistent, daily actions and behaviors to become sustainable.

  4. Build relationships in order to build culture. If you work in the home office, be in touch with what’s going on in the field. Have respect for your business partners and seek an understanding of what they’re dealing with so you can support them accordingly.

  5. As you get good results, share them. Start small and watch your successful efforts catch on over time.

  6. Celebrate wins as a team. No one individual can build culture alone—it takes a unified effort. Everyone deserves the credit for successes.

  7. Invest in people and support them in pursuing their passions. This applies even if those passions fall outside of a specific job role. Give people the opportunity to uncover new talents.

  8. Share employee stories publicly. Don’t tell potential recruits what it’s like to work for your organization—allow your front-line employees to show them. When people are building long-term careers at your company, show young workers (even high school students!) that potential.

  9. Cultivate a reputation for developing your employees. Invest in training that drives business results AND equips people to do their jobs well. Surveys consistently show that employees value development opportunities over a surprising list of other workplace perks.


Looking for more? Listen to Episode 8, where Diana talks with Vi’s Judy Whitcomb about building a strong culture, applying the principles of consumer marketing to recruiting, achieving business goals through learning efforts, and more. New episodes of Talent Champions are released every other Thursday. Subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.