Business Insights

How To Retain Top Talent

Attracting and retaining top talent continues to be one of the main challenges businesses face as we enter a post-pandemic environment and a large number of existing employees continue to seek out new opportunities in 2022.

According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the number of resignations averaged 3.9 million per month during 2021 —all with a record high number of job positions still available. As an encore, we continue to see this trend in 2022 with 4.4 million employees resigning their jobs in February.

group of happy employees at a table on computers

We Know Why—But What’s Behind the Why?

It’s easy to say the pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the way people want to work and live, but does this get to the root of the problem? Why are workers so unhappy where they are? Only by understanding this can employers truly start to address employee retention during a time of such unprecedented attrition.

Competitive studies found that the most common factors driving job change are:

  • Competitive Pay
  • Growth opportunity
  • Flexible work arrangements

Other studies have found that the high productivity that stems from remote work is masking an exhausted workforce where 54% of employees feel overworked, with 62% of meetings being unplanned, and the average meeting lasting 10 minutes longer than usual. Even more indicative of the heightened workload, the average user sends 45% more chats per week and 42% more chats after typical work hours.

The New “Worth It”

The disruption experienced by employees in the past two years is reshaping their priorities, especially around health and wellbeing. From when to go to the office to why work in the first place, employees have a new “worth it” qualifier. According to Microsoft’s March 2022 Work Trend Index report, 47% of participants said they are more likely to put family and personal life over work compared to before the pandemic.

Not surprisingly, the study shows that hybrid work is up seven points year-over-year (to 38%), and 53% of people are likely to consider transitioning to a hybrid work environment in the year ahead in response to the need for more family or personal time as well overall flexibility.

What Can Your Business Do to Respond to This Shift in The Workforce and to Aid Employee Retention?

1. Give them what they want even if they want it all. Right now, the future of your business will dictate a longer-term strategy, so focus on short-term doables. Studies show that 70% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while 65% of workers are also craving more in-person time with their teams. The solution? Something 9 out of 10 organizations are already planning on implementing: a hybrid on-site and remote work setup.

2. Go beyond traditional incentives to make your company stand out. Hot job markets can start to look the same when everyone is offering the same bonuses, work from home option or ping-pong table in the breakroom. And with 60% of HR professionals opening new positions for entry-level hires, you can bet everyone is looking for ways to stand out. Consider offering a company culture that aligns with your hiring goals. For instance, 72% of college seniors would only consider employers who are committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hiring practices. So, don’t just talk the talk—walk the walk.

Long-Term Employee Retention

You are more likely to retain engaged employees. Approaching retention from an organizational commitment perspective can have a direct impact on employee engagement — some good ideas to drive commitment and a sense of belonging is to boost transparency, create opportunities for networking, mentoring and idea sharing, and following the example of the 67% of productivity-leading businesses that report an increase in improved connections among employees. Simply put, fostering opportunities for employee connections positively impacts employee engagement and productivity.

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They’re Really Into You

1. Continuance Commitment. Employees stay because of compensation.

2. Affective Commitment. Employees stay because of the people, culture, work and emotional attachment.

3. Normative Commitment. Employees stay because they feel obligated due to length of employment or how much the company has invested in an employee.

While Continuance and Affective Commitments are great motivators during hiring, Normative Commitment plays a large role in retention. Therefore, Normative Commitment is a long-term goal, and if you’ve experienced a high-turnover rate before the pandemic, this could be why. Ask if you’re investing enough in an employee to the point where they feel a sense of loyalty to the team.

It may also help to think about your business in a whole new light and consider if it’s the type of place people not only want to come to—but to stay. One company that snatched success from failure with this method is Recruit Holdings, a tech and ad company from Japan.

When the CEO of Recruit got caught up in shady share selling that also took down the prime minister of Japan and his entire cabinet, the world thought Recruit was done for. As the company braced for the worst, it realized it had let all of its employees down, so the company started developing and training its workers in ways that would help them get jobs after the demise of Recruit—in short, it became a good company to come from, which made people want to go work for Recruit.

Employee innovation, flexible work and a focus on letting workers follow their passions helped Recruit maintain its top talent—against all odds—and grow to be the $20 billion tech company they are today, as well as owners of Indeed and Glass Door.

The bottom line is that there’s no one right way fix employee retention right away—it’s many strategies working together as one, learning from the past and moving ahead together. We’re here 24/7 to help you navigate your journey. If you have questions about the financial side of employee retention, or want to know more about digital solutions simply use the form below to speak with your local banker.




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