Employees are deciding what they value at work. Talent leaders must step up rewards and benefits that attract and keep talent.
September 9, 2021
As job postings fill your employees’ inboxes and recruiters pound the virtual pavement for skilled workers, it’s time to actively consider the competition for talent — through your employees’ eyes. Companies are facing a growing skills gap and a struggle for talent across all industries. How can your rewards program help attract, win and keep the people you need?
In moving the post-pandemic employee experience forward, the c-suite needs creativity to be successful in the war for talent. We’re in a fascinating place; employers are starting with a clean slate. There is no better time to reconfigure the future employee experience.
The fight to fill roles is fundamental to maintaining a competitive advantage — but so is employee retention. How does your organization measure up? By evolving your rewards to align with employee preferences, your company will be ready to change — all while cultivating an environment that shows people you recognize their value.
Culture and well-being
Supporting people holistically means offering programs and fostering an environment that supports employees’ well-being. Among the many issues exposed, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a stark disconnect between what employers believed they were providing around well-being versus what employees perceived. While the overwhelming majority of CFOs (84 percent) agreed their company has successfully addressed essential issues such as well-being, only about a third of employees thought so.
Many employers are investing in programs such as paid time off and technology, such as apps designed to address well-being. However, they often overlook the importance of culture to create an environment where employees feel empowered to focus on the everyday behaviors necessary to improve well-being.
Global culture statistics highlight that 72 percent of leaders agree culture helps successful initiatives happen. And it’s critical to attracting new talent. It’s no surprise employees want to be happy at work. So how are your leaders, managers and peers contributing to a positive culture of caring for themselves and one another?
Managers who set boundaries are an enormous value, avoiding employee burnout by being proactive. But watch out for managers who feed an unnecessarily stressful, demanding culture — it can be a leading factor for employee exodus. Don’t risk pushing talent away — the time to actively promote inclusion, empathy and innovation is now.
Proactive upskilling programs are another solution to attracting new talent and employee retention. Upskilling programs across all areas dismantle employment insecurity rooted in automation, replacing it with new career paths and increased enrichment. First-quarter 2021 stats show a majority of workers are concerned about losing their jobs to tech and 77 percent are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain.
As business crossed into employees’ living rooms, workers effectively managed their jobs and became empowered to make decisions. These soft skills translate neatly to digital upskilling. Your firm most likely invested in tech infrastructure for remote access — leverage this investment by implementing upskilling programs that create new career opportunities.
Attracting talent through recruitment is about presenting the total rewards package. While compensation alone may contribute to successful poaching, it’s ultimately short-sighted. Organizations need to present new talent with the long game — opportunities to grow a career by building and/or enhancing skill sets.
Hybrid work, flexibility and paid time off
PwC’s Pulse survey showed as industries leap-frogged from limited hybrid work availability into fully remote access, more than half of employees want a mix of in-office and remote work once pandemic concerns recede. People want to love not only what they do, but also where they do it. Availability of hybrid work and flexibility is make-or-break for talent. Some have gotten used to staying home and more than half would forgo higher salaries for more flexibility. Those numbers are higher among women (53 percent) and experienced professionals (56 percent). Giving people a say in how frequently they come into the physical office fosters loyalty and trust.
Leaders are quickly learning there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hybrid work. Although Gen Z and millennials just entering the workforce would give up future earnings for the chance to work remotely, that’s not the entire story. Transitioning smoothly to remote work doesn’t necessarily mean new workers want to dismiss office culture completely — Gen Z and millennials in urban areas may look forward to building professional relationships on site. Trust your talent to excel based on where they work best.
Now that a new level of work-life integration has arrived, boundaries are often blurred. Paid time off has been top of mind for employees: 44 percent said they would give up more than 10 percent of their pay raise for unlimited vacation time. And of employees surveyed, 33 percent said they would give up a portion of their salary from a new job offer in exchange for PTO to volunteer for a cause of their choice.
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusivity extend far beyond the walls of work. According to our most recent Pulse survey, 62 percent of job seekers said they are more likely to apply for a job where a company is openly committed to improving diversity and inclusion in their workforce.
When you consider a staggering 3 million women have dropped out of the workforce since the pandemic, it reinforces that businesses aren’t doing enough to support gender equality. Recent social justice movements have also given many employees a voice to express their concerns, hopes and opinions on these issues. It should come as no surprise that many will consider the alignment of their values with that of their current or potential employer when choosing whether to stay or go.
Businesses in nearly every industry can differentiate themselves. As you evolve employee experience, create a stable environment where employees are confident management cares about them. Ask your employees what they want — then listen and be open to change. It’ll go a long way to winning the top talent you need.