3 min read

Six Simple Steps to Keep the Best Talent in Your Organization

Six Simple Steps to Keep the Best Talent in Your Organization

Would you like to be able to attract, hire and hold onto the kind of quality people you need to achieve your organization’s mission?

Meet a Christian-led company that’s experiencing this reality every workday.

Based in Southern Pines, North Carolina, Classical Conversations is leading the home-centered education movement by teaching parents and students the classical tools of learning.

The Opportunity


Robert Bortins, Classical Conversations


Recently, their CEO, Robert Bortins, Jr. shared with me the six, revealing steps that have created a workplace where nearly 70% of employees are fully engaged (the national average is 50%). As you know, employee engagement is directly tied to Outstanding Talent, the third of the eight culture drivers that make up BCWI’s FLOURISH Model. We’re presenting the FLOURISH Model in our continuing podcast/blog post series, “The Eight Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace Culture.”

While no organization is perfect, every organization can develop a pipeline of outstanding talent and improve the health of their organization. Classical Conversations has certainly done it, and so can you.

The Action Steps

As Robert explains, Classical Conversations has continued to secure, cultivate, and retain, high-quality talent by following these six steps:

1. Be open to learn

“When you conduct an engagement survey the first time, you don’t know what to expect, but of course we were happy that we were certified as a Best Christian Workplace, but it also exposed areas where we weren’t meeting our own expectations and had a blind spot to that fact.

2. Start with what’s not working in your workplace culture

“We identified four of our lowest scores and set up a team of supervisors, managers, and hourly employees from across teams to spend three months studying the issue and coming up with solutions to present them to the C-level team. We then implemented each initiative as it made sense.

“Not only did these four scores go up, so did related items! By listening and learning, we believe we’ve created an environment where our team members are excited to work and support our customers with that same enthusiasm.

3. Attract great talent from within

“We try to recruit from our customer base. We know that people that choose Classical Conversations for their family have alignment with our company. They have a passion for education, a passion for children, and if they are successful, they will make their own families’ lives better.

[shareable cite="Robert Bortins, Jr."]We believe that everyone is a soul to be nurtured.”[/shareable]

4. Retain great talent through trust, flexibility and family first

• “We trust our team members to do a good job—on time, and since we trust them, we give them flexibility when appropriate to take care of life.
• “If a person needs to be taking care of something at home, having them sitting at their desk is not good for them or the company, so we let them work from home, or come in late or leave early as long as they get their work done.
• “Result: Our people give back way more than they take. We’re a family company and we want our employees to be with their families and we work together to come up with suitable arrangements for them to live a lifestyle that they could live elsewhere.

5. Generously reward your talent

“We’ve developed a generous pay-for-performance program, based on company profitability and each person’s scorecard. This year, an employee can earn up to 25.5% of their base salary. We also make needed salary adjustments based on added job responsibility.

6. Respect your talent

“We’ve all heard that people join organizations, but they leave managers. We believe everyone is a soul to be nurtured, that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We aren’t perfect. We mess up every day. Admitting this is part of respecting every person, every day.”

The Result

Consistently high-performing talent makes for consistently satisfied customers.

  • “Our customers are the best and brightest in the world, and so we have to keep up with all of these amazing homeschooling moms and dads. People learn through imitation, and if we’re not living our values out daily, then we can’t serve our customers. Our customers trust us, they know we are on their side and are going to be there for them.”
  • At Classical Conversations, we are all about our Father’s business during our time here on earth, and those in ministry who reinforce that with their words, policies and actions will see a tremendous growth.”

[callout]“If you’re a Christian business owner, and not in C12, you’re missing out on your best days. Every month, in our peer advisory, we’re reminded that we’re servants of Christ and given tools to live that out in the workplace. Our employees see how C12 is impacting me and how it’s benefiting them.”—Robert Bortins, Jr.[/callout]

It's Your Turn

Which of the above six steps signals something good that’s currently going on right now in your workplace culture?

Coming Up Next on our Continuing Series

“Why Uplifting Growth is a Non-Negotiable”
Kelly Jones, Chief Operating Officer
Apartment Life
Euless, Texas     

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