The global workforce has undoubtedly experienced a huge transformation influenced primarily by the COVID-19 Pandemic and factors such as Web 3.0, the Great Resignation, the gig economy and even the Metaverse.
This transformation compels organisations to consider three big questions. How do they find top talent who bring clear value to the table? How do they develop such talent to be fit for–the-future? And more importantly, how do they keep this talent engaged and motivated enough so that they are happy to progress their careers within the organisation?
Already, most organisations have started remodelling their work processes to adjust to the changes in the workforce to attract and retain top talent. In the UK, for instance, 89% of organisations now offer flexible working arrangements compared to the 58% before March 2020. Still, the retention challenge looms and threatens to overturn those who do not adapt their policies to adjust to this new reality.
Employers have now realised that it is no longer enough to offer ‘hippie office perks’ of free coffee, gym membership, game nights and a cosy office. What more should organisations be doing?
The five tips below can help you re-evaluate and refine your talent retention strategy:
Reward and Recognise Top Talent
A base salary will only encourage employees to work at the level that is required for them to keep their job. Therefore, If you want to encourage your employees to stay longer, consider offering other incentive-based pay like stock units, paid time off, subsidised housing, and other non-monetary incentives like digital gift cards, tickets to their favourite events, and travel cards to bucket-listed destinations.
Besides compensation and other perks, recognition and appreciation can be strong motivating factors in retaining top employees. Rewarding great ideas and acknowledging that their work has a direct impact on the business can also empower your employees with an immense sense of accomplishment and demonstrates that your organisation values them.
The combination of competitive compensation and genuine recognition offers a powerful incentive for your top employees to remain on board, loyal, and committed. Even if you manage to keep them within the business without recognition and a good reward structure, their productivity is likely to be affected.
Listen and Take their Ideas Seriously
With sales, organisations know that listening to customers is critical to retaining them and driving growth. The same is true for retention. Top employees want to be heard as much as clients, therefore listening to what they have to say may be more than an eye-opening experience. It can provide strategic recommendations that can move your organisation forward.
Findings from sideways6 revealed that 82% of employees have ideas on how their company can improve, yet one-third of employees think their organisations do not listen to their ideas for improvement. Your top employees want to be heard and sometimes will silently exit instead of speaking out.
Setting up an Employee Resource Group (ERG), for instance, composed of top talent, is a significant starting point. Quarterly surveys and monthly suggestion boxes can help measure how much your employees are invested in the company, and what areas to improve. Asking questions like ‘what would make you leave this company’ and organising retention and exit interviews are simple initiatives that can go a long way.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
Smart organisations know top employees are their most important asset and that investment in their development is an investment in the long-term wellbeing of the organisation.
Providing growth opportunities proves to your employees that they are more than a means to an end, and your organisation is a place for them to start, explore and grow a career, no matter who they are. Your employees will also deliver their best work when they know their company is investing in them and their future.
Helping them develop their strengths, leveraging training resources to make them leaders in their fields, and paying for certifications are examples of how organisations can provide growth opportunities.
Foster Effective Management, Strong Leadership and a Great Culture
Does management model their organisation’s values?
Do they embody the type of culture they would like their workforce to have?
These are some questions that keep HR professionals up at night, in thinking about creating an inclusive workplace culture. Senior executives and leaders should foster a culture where employees feel comfortable speaking up and being their best selves. More than that, management should live the culture.
Even though culture is unique to each organisation, there are blueprints of what works best for individual industries. It is a one-size-fits-one, not a one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, organisations in highly regulated industries like banks that do not always have the freedom some of their less-regulated counterparts have, can finetune their culture to adapt to the flexible, technology-driven cultural change sweeping across the global work environment.
Enable a Diverse Team and Create an Inclusive Culture
In conversations with ethnically diverse professionals, these statements are constant:
“This diversity and inclusion thing is just a cover, like saying our product is Eco-friendly whereas it is not. It is all for branding and marketing. More like put it on the label, but not into the product.”
“Even after employing a person of colour, there is subtle, if not extreme prejudice. Most often, colleagues don’t relate well to a person of colour. The company might say they are inclusive, but if there is any slight inconvenience, the people of colour take the brunt because, obviously, they must be the problem.”
All the discussion points in this article are valid and great but none can work for employees who are stuck under a concrete ceiling. Your top employees will be quick to leave if they realise the organisation lacks the support mechanisms to help them develop and grow into leadership roles.
It is not enough to assemble a diversity council or committee or recruit more diverse talent. Senior leadership must be involved, reflect a diverse workforce and show support, transparency, fairness and equity.
With employees jumping ship in record numbers, attracting and retaining talent has become an increasingly challenging task for employers. Organisations are now seeing the relevance of people-first practices and focusing their efforts more closely on retention strategies. To move forward, business leaders must adapt to the changes in the new world of work or risk losing out on valuable talent.
Beyond big-budget salaries, inclusive hiring practices, challenging projects, flexible working models and growth opportunities, what more should organisations be thinking about?
These issues and more will be top of mind at our Talent Forum where we discuss the current war for talent and how organisations can bolster their attraction and retention strategies, to remain competitive in 2022 and beyond. Join Hannah Reid, People Director EMEIA at Apple, at the webinar titled Winning the Talent Wars- Closing the Retention Gap.
Our Talent Forum would take a thorough approach to identify the many practices organisations can adopt to improve their talent retention strategy and remain competitive in 2022 and beyond.
We will also unpack the criteria for employee engagement and retention, as well as the challenges faced by organisations in effectively executing D&I strategies.
Join Hannah Reid, People Director EMEIA at Apple, in a webinar titled Winning the Talent Wars- Closing the Retention Gap.
REGISTER HERE FOR FREE