In this competitive market, companies are struggling to not only retain but also grow their talent pools as they expand. Attractive salaries are important, but the most successful companies incorporate people-first practices into their mission and daily practice. In this article, I will discuss five ways your company can stay on track by retaining, cultivating and increasing your team of winning talent.
1. Invest in job and career-readiness training.
During the pandemic, many people changed jobs in what is being called the Great Reshuffle. At the same time, we are living in a period of significant growth across industries toward a more technology-centered economy, which is amplifying the need for high-skilled employees.
This is not only increasing competition in the hiring market but also creating a skills gap between the jobs that need to be filled and the number of people with the experience to fill those positions—heightening the overall pressure on employers.
Growing companies need to invest in their employees not only through raises and other financial incentives where possible but also by offering training programs and other benefits to provide them with the necessary tools to support their career goals.
Ford’s recent investment in job and career-readiness training across the United States highlights the value of this type of development. Employees are in the driver’s seat and are searching for more from their employers.
2. Develop a strong work culture.
According to WTW’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitude Survey, 20% of workers would leave their current jobs. And it’s not a desire for pay increases motivating them—they are seeking upgrades in work culture as well as benefits.
Fostering a healthy company culture helps improve overall satisfaction. It’s vital to create a culture that inclusively empowers all employees to succeed.
3. Be flexible with your employees to mitigate burnout.
Avoiding the brain drain that comes with high turnover rates and maintaining a robust talent pool have become top priorities for many organizations.
To increase employees’ utilization of their PTO, we at Smith have found success in sharing questionnaires to understand their workloads and where other leaders and team members can step in to help them take days off. This is a major factor in helping employees avoid burnout.
Successful companies work to support employees by focusing on hiring staff in both recruitment and HR and by building a culture of transparency. This includes more touchpoints with executives and allowing remote work where possible.
4. Optimize both your onboarding and continued training.
The success of your company is directly tied to the success of your employees, and it starts with the onboarding process of new individuals joining the team. Onboarding has been noted as a make-or-break moment for retaining employees in the long term.
In addition, many companies that have been successful with staff retention have some type of ongoing training program that both new and existing employees attend to both learn the basics and advance their knowledge base and skill set. Trainings that are designed to engage through modules and industry certifications keep employees equipped to do their jobs and empower them to take themselves—and the company—to the next level.
At Smith, we have built Smith University to provide staff with a structured training and onboarding program and support them throughout their tenure.
5. Promote a culture of open communication across hierarchies.
Investing in people can also mean finding innovative ways to cultivate employees’ feelings of enrichment. This can be done by nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship where they can find their own passions within the company and have opportunities to make a difference or address gaps they notice.
Whether they are implementing a new process or spearheading their own branch within the company, employees should feel welcome to connect with leadership to make it happen. Incorporating a mechanism for feedback and open line of communication into company operations is extremely important to overall success.
Creating ways for your employees to give feedback and providing ways for them to feel involved in the organization’s success will promote transparency and give people a sense of ownership. When you reach the tenure some people have at Smith, it’s not just about making a living—it’s about building a life.
Invest in your company’s most valuable asset—and reap the rewards.
By looking inward at your company to understand where to improve your employee experience and creating avenues for employees to become invested in the organization, it can lead you down a successful road: higher retention rates, happier employees and better business for your customers. This cannot be done half-heartedly—it must be baked into the culture of success.
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