Author: Nirbhik Goel, CHRO, VFS Global
Over the last two years, we’ve seen the global workforce settle into remote and hybrid work structures. However, often watershed moments like the pandemic prompt people to introspect on their goals in life. Work from home routines provided employees time to evaluate their interests and career paths, with greater flexibility and balance or even the drive to move to new sectors and roles. As a result, attractive compensation is no longer enough to retain employees in a dynamic and competitive market. According to recent research by Deloitte, 2021 saw one of the highest attrition rates in two decades at 21% compared to 12.8% in 2020. So, this raises a critical question - are you doing everything to retain your employees, beyond just compensation and benefits?
The impact of attrition goes beyond just losing an employee in the short term. Besides being an added cost to the company, employee attrition also impacts other employees’ morale. Evolved employee expectations in the post-pandemic world, has made retaining employee a more complex challenge. So much so, that many companies are learning to replicate their focus on customer experience to employee experience, as it’s a potential growth driver linked to productivity and revenues.
It is important to gain employees' trust and faith in the company for a long, fruitful association. People are a company’s most valuable resource, so how does one ensure successful employee retention? Here’s where a ‘Hire to Retire’ strategy becomes imperative for adoption. Hire to Retire (H2R) is a human resources process that includes everything that needs to be done throughout an employee's career with a company. Here are five methods to help you win the fight for top talent today.
Pay Attention to Employee Careers
According to a recent Robert Half research, nearly four out of ten professionals believe their career has paused since the pandemic. For employees aged 18 to 24, the figure rises to 66%. Approximately half of the respondents who stated their career had stagnated cited stagnation in pay growth, job promotion, or skill development. Promoting from within outlines a clear path to higher pay and responsibility, as well as making employees feel appreciated and invested in the company's success. According to Mercer's 2022 Global People Trends survey, over one-third of employees polled indicated the company's brand and reputation, as well as fair career advancement prospects, were the top two reasons for staying with their present employment. The primary reason given was work stability.
Invest in Employee Training & Development
Employees see training as an investment in their value and a strong motivator to stay with the organisation. Workers want to work for a firm that encourages them to advance, and if it doesn't, they'll leave and take their skills somewhere else. According to the Mercer report, a considerable number of organisations (42%) are altering their talent strategy to focus more on internal talent marketplaces and using the gig economy. Companies have been achieving this goal by investing in targeted learning programmes and providing internal gig experiences to bridge skill gaps, according to the report. Finally, a great training and development programme may offer a variety of short and long-term advantages, such as enhancing employee engagement and retention, fostering new thinking, and providing your company with a competitive advantage.
Recognise Employee Contributions
Highlighting important accomplishments not only boosts employee morale but also helps with staff retention. Create opportunities to celebrate big and small successes and enjoy these milestones as a group, whether a team completes a significant project ahead of time or an employee celebrates a work anniversary. Even if you must celebrate online, it may be a memorable and significant moment for employees and an opportunity to bring everyone together.
Practice Effective Communication
The pandemic highlighted the necessity of effective workplace communication, especially between managers and their teams. It is important to create an open and cohesive work environment where employees feel free to express ideas, ask questions or bring up concerns at any time to their leaders. Managers should ensure that they are doing everything they can to encourage timely, productive, and pleasant communication within their team, for both on-site and remote employees. Managers should also have regular check-ins with teams to learn about their workload and job satisfaction. Keeping an open line of communication and giving timely feedback can go a long way in making the employee feel more valued and an important part of the organisation’s success.
Promote Work-life Harmony
Job happiness and satisfaction are closely linked to a healthy work-life balance. Employees need to know that their supervisors understand that they have lives outside of work and that working from home makes maintaining a work-life balance much more challenging. Flexibility with hybrid and remote work options, cutting back on unnecessary meetings, working beyond the mandated office hours and overworking teams should be prevented. Employees should be encouraged to set boundaries and take time off at regular intervals. Consider rewarding late nights with more time off, if they are essential to accomplish a project.
Creating a process of growth opportunities for employees within the organisation would not just stem high attrition concerns but equip organisations with better succession planning and raise the ratio of long-serving employees.
The employee retention techniques given are just a few ideas for improving employee happiness. Along with maintaining up-to-date market compensation and benefits requirements, it is important to take a holistic approach and implement these best practices to create an appealing workplace culture. Some team members may inevitably depart your company sooner than you'd prefer. You can, however, make their choice more difficult and if your employees leave knowing they were respected and supported, they'll likely speak well of your company and, who knows, maybe even return to work for you in the future.