Cultivate a culture of empathy and well-being for workplace resilience

Companies are prioritizing people-centric workforce strategies that provide more flexibility to attract and retain top talent.

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Light and the Great Resignation are forcing employers to transform their talent attraction and retention strategies. Talent is in the driving seat and their expectations of their employers have changed dramatically as they have adapted to new ways of working. Companies have adopted hybrid and remote working models that have accelerated digital transformation, shifted to asynchronous working arrangements offering more flexible work options, and increased the use of contingent talent to address labor shortages. workers at a time when American workers are leaving their jobs in record numbers.

Related: How Talent Development Drives Retention Amid Labor Shortage

The ongoing labor shortage and growing skills gap continue to pose enormous challenges to organizations struggling to attract and retain talent. As a result, companies are prioritizing people-centric workforce strategies that provide more flexibility – from benefits packages to working arrangements – to attract and retain top talent.

Why Talent Management Strategies Need to Put People First

According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2022 Talent Trends Report, one in four human capital leaders say a talent shortage is one of their top issues, and more than half (53%) still plan to hire heavily This year. If they expect to meet their hiring demands, organizations must recognize that they cannot simply revert to the old ways of working. If they want to stand out to talent, they will need to understand what candidates and employees expect of them and adapt accordingly.

Most employers surveyed in the 2022 Talent Trends study (73%) agree that candidates value organizations that prioritize personal well-being when it comes to company culture. This is essential as workers have reassessed the role that work plays in their lives. According to Randstad’s Workmonitor worker sentiment survey, 51% of workers say their stress levels have increased during the pandemic, and as a result, 73% feel empowered to make positive changes to their work-life balance , and 77% say they are looking for more flexibility in their jobs and careers.

Even though organizations know what they need to do to attract and retain talent, there is still a disconnect between theory and practice for some. According to the Talent Trends study, only 45% say their talent acquisition strategy is more focused on creating value than saving money. This comes at a time when 36% also say they are experiencing higher than normal recruiting costs, and 1 in 4 talent managers say the talent shortage has negatively impacted their organization’s profitability.

Understanding talent expectations and investing in their well-being creates long-term value; happier workers are more productive, more likely to stay, and will drive business growth. So how do you meet these expectations?

Benefits and flexible work arrangements are key differentiators

According to the 2022 Talent Trends study, 86% of talent leaders say flexible work arrangements help them overcome talent shortages. This may mean offering remote and hybrid work options, job sharing, part-time options, and more flexible schedules and hours overall.

Additionally, many organizations are recharging and refreshing their talent management strategies by offering creative perks designed to improve work-life balance and differentiate themselves from competitors offering similar salaries. This can include offers ranging from unlimited or mandatory leave policies to less conventional options such as mental health benefits, wellness or lifestyle allowances, childcare assistance and child care benefits. fertility.

Some companies even offer benefits to make life easier for their employees, such as housekeeping and meal delivery services, for example. Grouping these benefits into flexible menus from which people can select their preferred benefits can help employees feel in control and valued within the organization.

Create opportunities for growth and mobility

To combat talent shortages, ensure the sustainability of their workforce, and help employees achieve their own professional development goals, organizations are also taking a more flexible approach to learning. Some are looking for ways to provide stronger reskilling and upskilling opportunities for employees, allowing them to invest in themselves and having a greater sense of purpose and creating greater opportunities for internal mobility. In fact, in the 2022 Talent Trends study, 75% of employers cited reskilling and upskilling as an effective approach to addressing the challenge of talent scarcity.

Employee feedback is essential to a people-centric talent management strategy

It’s crucial that organizations don’t just expand their benefit offerings in a vacuum or assume what people would value most. At the heart of an empathetic and truly people-centric workforce strategy is listening to and responding to workers’ feelings. That’s why 56% of companies say they’re investing in employee feedback and engagement systems this year. Regularly surveying employees at all levels and taking their feedback seriously is the best way to gauge what employees want in terms of working conditions, benefits, and professional development.

Following the major disruption of the past two years, people have set a new bar for how they expect to work and be treated by their employers. Companies that respond by creating a culture of empathy, flexibility, and trust that extends to all aspects of the talent experience will succeed in attracting and retaining skilled, in-demand professionals in the future.

Companies have the opportunity to adapt following the pandemic; this will not be the last challenge they will face. But those who put people at the center of their business growth strategies and create a culture where employees feel truly valued will weather future storms, whatever they may be.

Sue Marcus is Managing Director of Randstad Sourceright North America.

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