The Heart of Workforce Retention

Posted April 3, 2024
Iowa City community and lifestyle

Workforce planning is a critical thread of an economic growth strategy. While talent recruitment often takes the spotlight, it is our companies’ ability to retain talent that fortifies an economy, and our community plays a critical role. Having employees embedded in a thriving community is an overlooked yet profoundly impactful aspect of retention.


At Greater IC, we are looking beyond the simple numbers of employed individuals in Johnson County. Delving deeper, we understand that true economic vitality is cultivated when individuals become embedded within their communities. 


To be “embedded” in a community transcends residence or employment. It includes fostering connections, building roots, and cultivating a sense of belonging beyond the workplace. It is found at the intersections of business, art, sports, family, healthcare, quality education, and philanthropic service. All things we excel at in the greater Iowa City area. 


There are numerous ways to encourage and support staff in becoming embedded in the greater Iowa City area. It takes employers, the cities, and economic/community development organizations all working together to encourage residents to engage with their community. Greater IC offers a variety of events and programs that make it easy for both companies and individuals to engage. 


Service. Providing ways for your employees to give back to the community goes beyond benefiting others. It also creates a rewarding sense of fulfillment and connection. We are proud that service and philanthropy are a valuable priority of our culture in Iowa. 

  • Greater IC Opportunities/Resources
    The Community Board Fair invites all to explore local nonprofits and leadership opportunities. Invite folks on your team looking for leadership experience or a better connection to their neighborhood. This year’s fair will be on Tuesday, April 23 from 4-6 pm at the Coralville Public Library. Thank you to our Community Leadership Program (CLP) class of 2023-2024 for organizing this event. We are proud to host it along with United Way of Johnson + Washington Counties and the Community Foundation of Johnson County.


Leadership. Offering locally-based leadership opportunities and education gives employees an opportunity to learn alongside peers and neighbors. Connections made through these experiences are valuable in cultivating a sense of comradery and connection. 

  • Greater IC Opportunities/Resources
    Every year, Greater IC’s Community Leadership Program (CLP) gives a cohort of 30 current and future leaders a deeper understanding of our area’s challenges and assets. Together, they learn about and contribute to our community. Applications for CLP will open in May with the program beginning in the fall of 2024. 


Information. Sharing websites, newsletters, and other channels of local news, updates, and events helps employees find areas of interest. It also cultivates a broader sense of community strengths, unique attributes, and trends. 


 As we launch the new Business Support & Innovation Council this spring, we are working with key business leaders to develop more opportunities to engage and embed your employees in greater Iowa City. Subscribe and engage with our monthly Workforce Attraction + Development newsletter to receive updates.



Photo credit: Christopher Hunter at Iowa City Downtown District