The Associa Playbook

The Associa playbook: 3 steps to grow your employee retention

Successful employee retention is incredibly valuable for any company. 

After all, long-term employees build valuable knowledge centers while the hiring process is pricey. But how can companies set themselves up to keep people around? 

We sat down with Chelle O’Keefe, Executive VP and CHRO at Associa, to find out. Among other groups, she leads HR, external affairs, and marketing teams. She gives us the secret sauce to Associa’s employee retention by diving into topics like: 

  1. First steps to building an employee-first culture
  2. What high-impact team leaders look like
  3. Why employee churn leads to client churn
"Our business, our employee retention, and our client retention are so closely tied that each naturally gives us a strong platform for all of those things." 

The first step to build an employee-first culture

When Chelle started working at Associa, their company culture wasn’t where it is now. 

They’ve transitioned it to an employee-focused workplace, where they prioritize regularly listening to team members. 

They do this through consistent employee surveys, and they implement intentional changes based on results. In addition, they don’t use generic employee engagement surveys. They design their own so questions aren’t stale and employees want to keep responding. 

Prioritize high-impact leadership

In Chelle’s words, “Strong leaders lead to a strong culture that leads to employee retention.” 

So, Associa focuses heavily on leadership development – with their employees in mind. The point is to have leaders at every level in the company exhibiting Associa’s values. 

Associa also focuses on developing employees with high leadership potential. These efforts are aimed at ultimately creating “culture champions.” At the same time, it’s critical that these leaders remain transparent about company culture. It’s essential that leaders check in constantly and ensure they are living up to the values they’ve advertised.

How to combat employee burnout

Combatting employee burnout is really about simply listening to your employees. Ask questions like: 

  • What are the issues you’re dealing with today? 
  • Where do you need additional support in learning and development benefits? 

Tools like Kunik make all the difference here. They provide skill-building and facilitate conversations where employees genuinely feel heard and better connected to their organization. 

It’s worth investing time and resources on this front because investing in and retaining employees is closely tied to retaining clients. 

If you’re a people business that cannot retain their own people, you are unlikely to attract external people either. 

“We started listening to our employees regularly. After we received survey results, we would say, ‘Okay, you told us this, and so we responded like that.’ Ultimately, it was a constant repetition of, ‘Hey, we actually hear you.’” 

Connect your people. Advance your culture.
Bring Kunik to your workplace today.