Creating a Culture That Attracts and Retains Talent
Stress. Isolation. Burnout. These are just some of the reasons why more and more workers are rethinking their career paths. The pandemic provided an opportunity to reexamine priorities and their relationships to work, which led many to leave their positions. PMI’s Global Megatrends 2022 report offers a detailed look at how Labor Shortages are making companies retool their work cultures to sustain a more engaged and productive workforce.
Here are five shifts organizations should consider making to address current employee attitudes and help create a successful retention culture:
- Normalize flexibility. After a prolonged period spent working from home—and experiencing the benefits it can offer—many employees refuse to return to a situation that demands long commutes and a full day in the office. According to PMI’s Return to the Office survey, 49% of workers surveyed said they would rather find a new job than return to the office. And while employers may be concerned productivity is at stake with the increase of remote work, employees disagree. PMI research shows that 76% of employees said they feel more productive than they did six months prior.
- Pay employees what they deserve. A change in position or organization almost always results in a salary increase. With the current increase in open positions, there’s a backlog of employees at all levels eager to make a move. This motivation will be especially strong for women, who globally continue to earn just 77 cents for every U.S. dollar men earn, according to the United Nations. This gap becomes even wider when talking about women of color. Businesses that do not offer higher compensation risk being overlooked by many job seekers.
- Decrease burnout. A survey from career site Indeed found that more than one-half of workers felt burned out, with a Gartner survey revealing that 40% of employees have reported a decline in their work–life balance. The desire for a better situation will drive many employees to search for a new role. This is especially true for women, 31% of whom report feeling unable to “switch off” from work since the pandemic, with just over one-half saying that doing so will affect their career progression, according to a recent Deloitte survey.
- Address diversity and inclusion issues. Labor shortages are empowering persons of color, women and LGBTQ—many of whom have often felt undervalued or discriminated against in their organization—to pursue positions that prioritize diversity and inclusion, and understand the benefits it has on job satisfaction, creativity and overall performance. According to a report by Wiley, for example, 50% of the more than 2,000 tech workers ages 18 to 28 surveyed said they had left or wanted to leave a tech or IT job “because the company culture made them feel unwelcome or uncomfortable,” with a higher percentage of women and Asian, Black and Hispanic respondents each saying they had such an experience.
- Invest in training and development. There is a skills gap between potential employees and open positions, for which they may lack the right training and education. According to a global report of more than 200,000 employees, over two-thirds said they would learn skills for new roles that offer more job security and opportunity. Companies that offer these incentives and initiatives will have access to a larger—and highly motivated—pool of candidates.
If managed well, organizations can turn present challenges into an opportunity to create an environment that makes employees want to remain, while attracting new talent.
Baker, M. (2021, June 24). 3 lessons to sustain workforce resilience through disruption. Gartner.
Business Wire. (2021, August 10). New survey by Wiley looks at diversity deficit in U.S. tech workforce.
Deloitte. (2021). Women @ work: A global outlook.
DePrisco, M. (2021, July 20). Back to the office: Why employees are resistant to return. Project Management Institute.
Threlkeld, K. (2021, March 11). Employee burnout report: COVID-19’s impact and 3 strategies to curb it. Indeed.
UN Women. (n.d.). Equal pay for equal work.