And retain your best talent with tips from experts
In Part 1 of this article, we explained what the Great Resignation is. The shifting and changing environment of the “way we work” shed much light on the “way we want to work”.
Of many things – one thing is certain – your employees’ wants and needs supersede other things. But, to cater to individual needs is a near-impossible task. Thus, bringing a change would require you to focus on aspects that positively affect most of your employees.
We’ve shared a few ways that employers can turn the wheels to their advantage.
Before we learn about that, let’s look at some tips that can help you and your company acquire and keep talent for a long time.
Establish guidelines and set boundaries:
Set clear guidelines on how to treat remote workers. It’s important to let your employees know what is expected of them. Give them the freedom to work on projects that interest them and contribute to the overall success of the company. For instance, remind your employees it is okay if they are not camera ready.
Another aspect is to “establish expected communication guidelines during and outside of working hours. Each team will have to define what works best for them,” says Kayla Hasler, BDR & Digital Marketing Manager at Abelian, a certified Salesforce Consulting Silver Partner.
To clarify, Hasler gives an example, “If someone needs to communicate something outside of traditional work hours, restrict communication to just emails with the understanding that the team member receiving the email has no requirement to review or respond outside of business hours.”
Take measures to push employees to take breaks and ask them to switch off.
Employee bonding with virtual events:
With the shift to remote working cultures, it is natural for employees to feel disconnected and isolated. To bridge this gap and to build relationships among your team, opt for virtual events.
For instance, every few months, Commercient creates a virtual event for its employees to foster team building and connection.
Similarly, you can also push your employees to play games virtually. “You could do a Virtual Scavenger Hunt and try to find as many things as you can around your home from a list. Or do something a bit simpler such as Two Truths and a Lie. Games like these help you get to know your team better; and are a fun way to connect,” says Kayla Hasler.
Another great way is to help new team members in online orientation and have prompts for existing employees’ birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Kayla further adds: “If your team has Slack, use the Slack Donut integration. The Donut integration will prompt quick introductions between colleagues with pre-designated conversation starters to help you get to know your team remotely. Additionally, you can set up Donut to acknowledge team members’ birthdays and work anniversaries as well as holidays, making everyone feel more recognized and connected.”
Focus on results:
It’s time for companies to pivot toward measuring outcomes. Drive your employees to performance and reduce stress by rewarding them for working smarter, harder, faster, and more efficiently than ever before. While still enjoying their lives outside of work! Boost their morale and make them feel valued— two things that will make your employees less likely to resign.
In an interview on LinkedIn, IBM CHRO Nickle LaMoreaux, states: “Companies are going to see a pivot around measuring outcomes — not activity — and that’s going to play a big part in company culture.”
Moreover, long working hours do more harm than good.
As noted in a study by John Pencavel, Economics Professor at Stanford University, productivity declines sharply when a person puts in more than 55 hours at work.
Empower your employees
By making them feel respected:
Employees are more likely to stay with an organization if they feel supported and appreciated. When people don’t feel valued by their employers, it erodes trust among co-workers. It feels more like a “what’s in it for me?” situation rather than an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Use tools and technology like Commercient’s SYNC to let your employees see the bigger picture. Make them feel – trusted, valued, and connected by giving them access to their and other departments’ data they need to create the results they want, whether it’s in Sales, Accounting, Customer Service, or Marketing.
By involving your employees in policy setting:
Conduct surveys and understand the needs of your employees to adjust policies accordingly. Couple this with addressing their issues. Ask for feedback once the changes have been made. This kind of involvement and open channels of communication will result in generating a sense of empowerment among your team.
For instance, in deciding on the new normal of the hybrid workforce, give your employees a chance to discuss what they want and how you can serve them better.
Or as Kayla Hasler says, “employers can utilize Google Forms to collect answers among the team; it can even be customized to allow for anonymous feedback to help encourage their candor.”
“It’s the concept of servant leadership, [where] you are there to support your team, not for your team to support you. We really believe and practice that at SoftBank,” says Softbank’s CHRO Francisco Sorrentino in his interview with Webex by Cisco.
Create a sense of purpose:
Be a people’s leader:
Gone are the days when employees left their personal perspectives at home. They now bring their whole self to the workplace along with their views on societal and political issues. Thus they expect the same from their employer. So, it is important for you to talk about your stance on political and societal issues.
A Gartner Inc analysis found that three out of four employees want their senior management to talk and take a view on current issues.
Be authentic in approach:
To foster a culture of purpose, be more vulnerable than invincible. Take it upon yourself to create an environment where everyone can associate and feel part of something bigger than themselves. Institute weekly or monthly meetings where anyone could speak up about anything that needs attention. And be a conversation starter in those meetings. Share your personal struggles and weaknesses and turn those scenarios into opportunities for learning and growth.
As Amy Schultz, Global Talent Head for Canva, says in her interview on LinkedIn: “Leaders need to inspire folks in new ways.” Be more human and earn the trust of your team.
Allocate training budgets and time for upskilling:
In a survey conducted by the PEW Research Center, 63% of respondents said they shifted jobs due to a lack of career advancement opportunities. This clearly indicates you need to provide your team with integrated learning solutions – not just for technical roles but for every job profile across your organization.
Take Siemens, the technology giant, created an in-house learning platform for its 300,000 employees – My Learning World, which uses AI to monitor each employee’s interest and suggest accordingly. “We jokingly refer to it as Netflix of Learning,” says Jill Zahm, Siemens’ director of talent management, as quoted in an HR Executive Article.
Conduct more webinars for Upskilling:
If you do not have a huge budget to spend, then try organizing webinars for your team. You can call in an expert from the outside of your organization; or ask one of your own senior management to conduct a session across departments. For example, you can ask your CMO to conduct a webinar about the marketing basics for your development team.
Take care of your employees
Consider new policies:
Companies like Kickstarter, Bolt, and CIB Group have adopted a 4DWW model, and many companies are joining the league.
Take Buffer, a social media management platform company that adopted this policy in 2020 and says 91% of their team is happier and more productive in their State of Remote Work 2022 report. “We put a lot of trust in our teammates to accomplish their goals and manage their schedules accordingly, and the four-day work week has proven to be a powerful benefit in also attracting talent. We believe the four-day workweek is the next evolution of human-centered workplaces.”, says Nicole Miller, the Director of People at Buffer.
Or adopt a mandatory shutdown policy like LinkedIn, Thomsan Reuters and Nike, unlike vacations that happen asynchronously. Ask your employees to put their laptops down and focus on their well-being; at the same time company-wide.
“The best is to lead by example by key leadership taking off a full week to rest and recharge. Furthermore, teams can even reward employee loyalty with extra vacation time, which in turn can help retain your team members,” adds Kayla Hasler.
Train your managers to do continuous check-ins to recognize any symptoms of stress or distress. Provide your employees with access to virtual therapy sessions through companies like Lyra Health. Encouraging such practices and providing emotional support, you can “build culture and create a sense of belonging[ness amongst your team],” says Danielle McMahan, Wiley’s Chief People and Business Operations officer, in a LinkedIn report.
“Companies can help teams manage stress and mental health by providing financial assistance such as a monthly wellness stipend to help pay for co-pays and/or fees for therapy services and/or other avenues of mental health wellness.”, says Kayla Hasler.
She adds, “They [Employees] could use it towards any number of routes to mental health wellness, including a gym membership, home exercise equipment, cycle classes, in-person or virtual therapy, and more; the choice is ultimately up to each team member.”
Another way is offering peer-to-peer counseling because it helps to talk to a coworker. Supporting employees with challenges outside work can also help them feel more valued and loyal.
It’s not all bad; rather a time when you as an employer can benefit from it.
How can employers swing the Great Resignation to their advantage?
Huge Talent Pool to access from:
As employees consider other benefits a priority, you can pull some great talent to your company without paying extra or even at lesser pay. To hire such employees, create a strong EVP (Employee Value Proposition) based on your values, missions and the experience and opportunities you provide as a company.
Recent research by Gartner backs it up, “Employees no longer want the traditional employment value proposition; instead they want a more human deal with their employers where they are recognized as people, not just workers.”
More responsibility creates more accountability:
Employees seek more meaning from their jobs. They want to have a charge. Giving your employees autonomy to make decisions at their level means they are proactive. They take the initiative to learn new skills and expand their knowledge base. Because they feel heightened performance pressure to do the job well. There is a caveat to this – striking balance.
24/5 working companies:
With the growth in remote culture, more companies have cross-border employees. Due to this amalgamation, your business never sleeps. The benefit for you and your company is twofold. On one hand, you have established the DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity) culture as more employees seek it today. On the other, you have created a team that can answer your customers’ queries at any time of the day.
Movement, Moment, or Trend in time:
It has been a debatable notion ever since it came to light. Some economists argue that great resignation was only a trend or a moment, and it would settle down sometime, especially with a recession lingering. While there are others, you contend with it as a movement. However the case might be, one thing is certain – the pandemic re-shaped ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ perceptions of a job, and employees want more benefits beyond better compensation.
So, it is paramount to use technology like Commercient’s SYNC to integrate systems, modernize processes, and involve your employees in the activities across departments by making their jobs less monotonous and more value-driven. Moving forward – start by using analytics and taking a data-driven approach to decision-making.