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Revolutionizing Work Culture:

Overcoming Organizational Challenges to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Over the past few years alone, employee expectations surrounding work culture have undergone a massive transformation. Gone are the days when hybrid work or even full-time remote work were the luxuries of a privileged few.

In a post-pandemic world, many employees are hesitant to give up the benefits and cost savings offered by non-traditional workplace models. While this has proven an issue for some companies that long to return to the norm of 9-5 Mon - Fri in the office, others are embracing the opportunity to pioneer innovative new approaches like the Performance-Based Work Environment, also known as the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE).


Performance over Policy: What is a Results-Only Work Environment?

The Results-Only Work Environment creates a powerful dynamic in which employees are measured by the results they produce, rather than the time they spend at their desks (wherever that desk might be). Rather than being paid to simply show up at the office, employees are given 100% accountability to measurable results, and 100% autonomy, allowing them the freedom to do their best work whenever and wherever they choose.

Many companies today are still using outdated work models that are long overdue for an upgrade. 

These traditional work policies revolve around controlling when, where, and how people are allowed to work. In essence, many employers are still paying employees not only for the work they do but also for the ability to control a massive amount of their schedules.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that social science has revealed that this type of control leads to compliance rather than actual engagement. The Results-Only Work Environment rejects these outdated ideas in favor of giving employees heightened levels of both responsibility and autonomy, allowing them the freedom to do their best work whenever and wherever they choose.

ROWE has also been shown not only to increase employee engagement but also to reduce the stress that’s often produced by what sociologist Robert Karasek called the Job Control Demand Model. Karasek’s research revealed that it’s not just high-demand workloads that lead to employee stress, but their lack of control over how to meet those demands.

For years, employers have been trying to produce a solution through strategies that lead to what former Harvard Professor Todd Ross calls the Myth of the Average. In essence, his theory states that attempting to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution often leads to a solution that doesn’t actually fit anybody.

Rest assured that ROWE is not just another way for employers to dictate their employees’ schedules and work habits. It’s an innovative approach based on the idea that no one is better suited to make a decision about the most productive approach for individual employees than the employees themselves.

ROWE employees are each encouraged to take full control of their own work in whatever way helps them to feel the most productive. This allows them to see work as an important part of their lives, not something that dictates how and when they get to live their lives.

By shifting from outdated policy-driven work models, companies that adopt 100% accountability and 100% autonomy - ROWE - can enjoy all the proven benefits of a performance-driven work system. Read on to discover how the Results-Only Work Environment is designed to solve the pressing problems many companies are facing in the age of “quiet quitting.”

We'll explore how ROWE can help boost talent acquisition, employee retention, workforce productivity, and more.

Be sure you also download our free comparison chart to find out more about how ROWE compares to the traditional 9 – 5 work environment!

The Secret to Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

According to the 2022 findings of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee now switches jobs once every 4.1 years. As the rise of remote work continues to blur traditional geographic work boundaries, many employees now enjoy more job opportunities than ever before.

So how are companies supposed to go about attracting top talent, let alone retaining them? The secret largely comes down to understanding why so many employees choose to leave their companies in the first place.

What's With All the Turnover?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a study that revealed some of the top reasons employees quit their jobs. Many of the top reasons listed were also the key issues that the remote-only workplace is designed to fix, including:

  • Company culture
  • Feeling disrespected
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Poor benefits
  • Feeling burnt out
  • Strained relationship with management

The quest for a positive company culture was revealed to be so important to job seekers that 71% said they’d be willing to take a pay cut to find it. The bottom line? Employees are leaving their jobs to search for something better.


How 100% accountability and 100% autonomy (ROWE) Helps Boost Employee Retention

If your company wants to solve its employee retention problems once and for all, the key is to become that “something better” that everyone is trying so desperately to find. When it comes to attracting top talent, the Results-Only Work Environment allows companies to offer and deliver competitive benefits.


Employees become the entrepreneurs of their own existence and enjoy complete control over their time.


Genuine, focused collaboration that leads to a more positive work culture.


Each employee enjoys 100% accountability and 100% autonomy.


Work is judged on results - no credit for simply being ‘available’ 9-5


Leaders manage work, not people.

We’ve got you covered with a full guide to key messages to communicate to leadership. This handy document will give you the inside scoop on how adopting a ROWE can benefit your company, employees, and clients.

The Key to Boosting Workforce Productivity

You wouldn’t be the first if you’re currently wondering how giving your company’s employees complete autonomy could possibly produce productivity gains instead of chaos. Keep in mind that the Results-Only Work Environment isn’t at all about flexibility or kicking back and telling everyone to do their own thing.

For 100% autonomy to work, it must be accompanied by 100% accountability. These two concepts are as vital to creating a successful ROWE as both peanut butter and jelly are to crafting the perfect PB&J.

Here’s how the two concepts work together:

Accountability: Each employee must be absolutely clear about the measurable results they’ll be expected to achieve and by when.

Autonomy: Unlike “flexibility,” which keeps us stuck in the time clock mentality (I owe my employer time each week, and during that time I “work”), employees have the freedom to make smart choices every day about where, when, how, and with whom they engage, in order to achieve measurable results.


Under a ROWE work model, employees enjoy more freedom but also more responsibility. If an employee fails to achieve results, it’s time to sit down with them and talk about what’s going on.

Given the high level of self-accountability that all team members enjoy, managers have more time to work with those who may be struggling. This allows them to zero in on any potential issues and get them solved before they turn into larger problems.

That said, it also makes it much easier to spot any unrepentant slackers who are uninterested in mending their ways. If you do come across an employee who isn’t interested in results or solutions, you’ll need to let them know that your company is not the place for them.

Remember, the Results-Only Work Environment is all about results. While ROWE offers employees plenty of benefits, no results = no job.

How is a ROWE different from remote or policy-driven hybrid work?

99% of hybrid environments today are Policy-Driven Hybrid Environments. This means policies drive which days are office days, home days, and which hours are work hours and which are not. ROWE is a Performance-Driven Hybrid Environment - which means the work drives which days, times, and how many hours are worked. ROWE starts with the work, and that determines the reset. All other hybrid environments start with rules, and then get to work.  

If there’s one thing that the traditional work model has taught us, it’s that measuring how long someone successfully sits at a desk or is logged onto their computer from home is not the same as measuring the value of the work they produced. The Results-Only Work Environment is about increasing productivity, not mouse jiggler sales.

ROWE in the Real World

Discover inspiring success stories of ROWE Certified Organizations that have unlocked new levels of productivity and engagement:


JL Buchanan, an award-winning consulting firm, doubled their revenue within four years of adopting a ROWE.


Becoming a ROWE has led the public accounting firm, The Garabedian Group, to achieve 10-15% annual growth.

Watt Global Media-1

After implementing ROWE, Watt Global Media has transformed its work culture into one built on trust and alignment.

As many companies have already discovered, each employee already holds the secret to increasing their own productivity. The key to boosting productivity gains, creativity, and innovation is often as simple as creating an environment where each is allowed to flourish.

Want to find out how your company stacks up in terms of creating a positive work culture that empowers employees to focus on results-only outcomes?

Look no further than our Work Culture Quiz to discover your company’s strengths and identify strategies that can lead to valuable improvements.

The Cost Savings of a Results-Only Work Environment

An employee retention problem isn’t just a nuisance, it’s also an incredibly expensive problem. According to a recent Gallup study, the process of replacing a single employee alone can cost a company anywhere from half to two times the employee's annual salary.

The study estimates that voluntary turnover rates cost U.S. businesses up to $1 trillion dollars every year. When approached with these figures in mind, suddenly the cost savings from employee retention can seem like a much more important priority, even to the most hardened of CEOs.

ROWE is already providing companies with a proven 50% return on investment in turnover reduction rates alone. But rest assured that the financial benefits of ROWE don’t end there.

The ROWE Workspace

By allowing employees the freedom to work wherever they will be most successful, companies are reducing traditional overhead costs like 1:1 workspaces. This isn’t to say that it’s time to offer up every desk in the office for sale on Craigslist.

The concept of ROWE doesn’t involve doing away with your workspace altogether but creating a collaborative environment where employees can get together based on terms that work for everyone. Rather than assigning everyone their own dedicated office, many ROWE organizations find that shared workspaces not only get the job done, but also foster increased connectivity and collaboration.

ROWE also involves rooting out and eliminating unnecessary expenses that may have been cutting into your company's bottom line for years. After adopting ROWE, the team at JA Counter reported a 23% decrease in expenses and a 94% increase in net income.


Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Then there are the financial benefits that come from attracting top talent who are seriously into their jobs. The companies we’ve worked with have enjoyed an incredible 168% return on investment from increased employee activity and a 20% boost in on-time assignment delivery rates.

The Results-Only Work Environment can even lead to healthier employees. Our studies show that ROWE employees:


WRD_icon_number_1Enjoy an average of 52 extra minutes of sleep each night

WRD_icon_number_2Are 23% less likely to smoke

WRD_icon_number_3Are 25% more likely to work out

When employees feel in control of their own lives, their decreased stress levels show up in their work. Happier employees lead to better customer experiences which, at the end of the day, is what every great business is built on.


Yeah, but...

No matter how great you think ROWE sounds, the odds are you’ve already begun rehearsing rebuttals to the “yeah but” statements that your boss is sure to throw your way. Go ahead and press pause on your mental presentation for a minute, because we’ve got a little something that’s sure to make things go a lot smoother.

We’ve developed a free survival guide designed to stop all manner of “yeah but” statements in their tracks. It may even help calm some of your own doubts by tackling common questions like:

  • How will we know work is getting done?
  • What if people take advantage and slack off?
  • What will happen to teams and relationships?
  • What if everyone decides not to work at once?
  • How will I advance my career?

Short of covering what to do if the office experiences a zombie apocalypse, it covers pretty much every situation you may be asked about. Download your Yeah, buts survival guide to start fielding questions today!

The Age of Quiet Quitting

While the “great resignation” may have gotten more press, a quieter trend has emerged right alongside it over the past several years. Employees are adopting the art of “quiet quitting,” which involves doing the absolute minimum required to continue collecting their paychecks.

The trend first emerged on social media and has since caught on at an alarming rate. But many employers have yet to realize just how large the problem has become.

A recent Gallup study revealed that quiet quitters may now make up a staggering 50% of the U.S. workforce. Why are so many employees so resigned to avoid going above and beyond?

The study pointed to a number of reasons, including:

  1. Lack of clarity when it comes to expectations
  2. The feeling that there were no opportunities to learn or grow
  3. Not feeling cared about
  4. No connection to the company’s purpose or mission

As any employer would agree, there’s little use in investing in top talent acquisition only to end up with half a workforce that's dedicated to doing no more than the bare minimum. Let’s take a look at how you can use some of the guiding principles of ROWE to turn would-be quiet quitters into motivated, engaged employees.


Ensure That Expectations are Crystal Clear

Clarity is the heart and soul of the Result-Only Work Environment. As the quiet quitting trend proves, if you expect the bare minimum from people, many will be happy to deliver.

The traditional work model includes plenty of policies, rules, and regulations that managers are expected to enforce. But in a work culture where employees are expected to focus on following the rules and managers are tasked with enforcing them, whose job is it to focus on actually getting results?

Rather than putting all the emphasis on how, when, and where the company achieves results, why not just put it on....well, achieving results? The Results-only Work Environment is one where adults are free to work like adults.

Rather than being cast as strict elementary school teachers, managers are hired to manage work, not people. Their job is to ensure that everyone knows exactly what tasks they are responsible for and the results they are expected to achieve.

An employee from Watt Global Media had this to say about the difference that working in a ROWE makes, “The way I approach a task, both in the office and out of the office, has changed — for the better. I feel more responsible overall, and in control of my time and my results. My life feels more balanced; I’m happier, healthier, and more productive than I have ever been.”

Foster Open Communication and Trust

When companies begin to adopt ROWE principles, many are awarded a surprising discovery – employees have great ideas too! Many traditional businesses are stuck in the trap of insisting that everyone approach their jobs using the same set of guidelines, all of which were constructed by corporate team members.

The problem is that many corporate bosses haven’t interacted with customers at the ground level in years. In reality, the lowest-level employees often prove to have some of the most valuable insights.

These are the folks who engage with your customers every day, understand their pain points, and work with them to find solutions. Leaders who choose to disregard their thoughts and suggestions are simply robbing themselves of countless dollars worth of priceless feedback.

A ROWE is a place where every employee is allowed to offer their suggestions or thoughts to any team member at any level. Even though we all know what happens to “a house divided against itself,” many companies continue to pit leadership teams and employees against each other, often to their own undoing.

Companies like JL Buchanan are a great example of what can happen when you bridge the great divide and unleash the full potential of your entire team. After an employee pointed out the flaws in one of the firm's processes and suggested a better alternative, the company was able to add a whole new revenue-increasing service line to its offerings.

Make Growth Opportunities Freely Available

At some point, almost everyone has experienced the treachery of being stuck in a job with no growth opportunities. Viewed through this lens, the quiet quitting trend makes an unfortunate amount of sense.

Why put in the work to go above and beyond if you’ll still get paid the same amount as the guy in the next cubicle who spends most of his day on social media? The Results-only Work Environment is all about motivating employees to achieve measurable results.

It's important to ensure that those who come out on top are rewarded with anything from peer recognition showcases to performance-based incentives. A key to retaining top talent long-term is providing them with plenty of room to grow and awarding them for their contributions along the way.

Part of making employees feel responsible for their own destinies involves providing them with the learning and development tools they need to excel in their careers. Rather than creating an environment where your employees are forced to wait for permission from their managers to grow, make the tools freely available and watch what happens!

This is not only a great way to advance from within, but to get the word out that your company is a place where employees can thrive. Dale J. Garabedian, President & CEO of The Garabedian Group reports, “The word is out that the ROWE system works for TGG; people are calling and asking if we have positions open for them to join the team.”

Make Every Employee a Valuable Part of Your Process

When you onboard new talent, ensure that they not only understand what your company is out to do but that they are a valuable part of achieving your mission. There’s nothing worse than feeling like an expendable cog in a company machine, yet far too many employees relate to this feeling every day.

No wonder they dread showing up to work! Rather than treating employees like a means to an end, ROWE creates an environment where everyone is working together to achieve a shared objective.

Creating an environment where everyone’s thoughts and ideas are welcome and encouraged makes for a powerful, engaging dynamic. As one Gap Brand leader described, “Management and employees report an increase in overall energy and engagement level, great focus on quality rather than simply meeting deadlines, and an overall sense of trust among employees at all levels of the organization."

The hard truth is that if your company’s employees are bored or disengaged, your company isn’t taking advantage of their full potential. The odds are, your office is full of bright, creative innovators just waiting for someone to notice the valuable skills and insights they have to offer.

If you skipped over the Work Culture Quiz we suggested earlier, now’s the time to get some powerful insights for unlocking the secrets to a more successful organization!


Ready to Go ROWE?

Work culture is evolving at a rapid pace throughout industries all over the world. While some companies may see attracting top talent and employee retention as challenges, others are turning emerging trends into amazing opportunities.

The bottom line is that employees are tired of being undervalued and overworked. Today’s workers are looking for organizations that will allow them to unleash their full potential and utilize their own unique strengths.

ROWE is a revolutionary approach to a positive work culture that offers companies the chance to enjoy everything their employees have to offer. In return, employees enjoy the benefit of regaining control of their own lives and careers.

Ready to get started? Contact our team now to find out how we can help put your company on the front lines of a work culture revolution designed to increase productivity, attract and retain top talent, and boost your company’s bottom line.