How To Hone Organizational Talent Management? (+ Best employee retention practices)
The 'Great Resignation' shook the industry almost as badly as the COVID-19 pandemic. An alarming 48 million people quit their jobs in 2021, and the attrition trend continued through the first three quarters of 2022. This mass attrition was caused mainly by high-stress and inflexible work conditions in industries like retail, education, healthcare, information technology, and consumer goods.
But while these industries struggled most with a shrinking workforce supply, others were affected too by the changing talent landscape.
Recent studies show that 22% workers who quit voluntarily had no other offer. More than 40% had no intention of returning to traditional jobs and employers.
In a scenario like this, talent managers are under immense pressure to understand and play this new talent game. In addition to designing lucrative compensation and benefits packages, they must also understand the relational factors, such as community, flexibility, diversity, and inclusiveness.
This article will discuss how comprehensive talent acquisition and retention strategies can be designed to win back workers and effectively check attrition.
Reasons for high employee attrition
It's imperative first to understand the underlying causes of low employee retention and how the talent game is transforming. While there may be several reasons for pushing workers out of the workforce, the most important ones are:
Ineffective leadership and management
Employees often leave because of their bosses rather than because of the work itself. If leadership is ineffective and uncaring, employees can't be motivated to stay loyal to the organization. Leaders need help to create work-life balance and provide meaningful work to retain many workers.
Poor scope for career advancement and growth
Over 35% of the workers left their jobs in the past year due to dead-end jobs. Employees are switching roles or domains without any scope for growth and advancement. Alternately, many are going back to training for better opportunities. Jobs that don't pan out into sustainable and impactful careers hold no interest for today's workforce.
Unrealistic performance expectations
The pandemic changed how customers buy products and services. As a result, it forced companies to change how business is done. However, those organizations that failed to adjust expectations and continued to put unsustainable targets and performance pressure on their employees faced worse attrition.
Insufficient compensation packages
Most of the younger workforce is burdened with student loans and the rising cost of living. Outdated compensation packages have forced millions of workers into seeking side hustles and well-paying gigs. For many workers, these side hustles opened up new and financially viable opportunities, leading them to quit their full-time jobs.
Inflexible workplace environment
Although many companies switched to remote and hybrid working models during the pandemic, not all continued with these new practices. Companies that returned to their original work format and forced employees back to the office lost a major chunk of their workforce. Employees, however, realized the benefits of working from home, flexible work hours, and savings accrued due to lesser travel.
Stress and exhaustion
Many workers underwent extreme stress and anxiety during the pandemic, even while continuing to deliver their top performance. It led to high burnout, exhaustion, and deteriorating mental health. On all other fronts, workers who were satisfied with their employers still exited the workforce to destress and work on their mental well-being.
A more open and accessible job market
With remote work culture catching on, the job market has grown exponentially for workers. Workers can apply to better paying and meaningful jobs as remote talent and rely on multiple social media sites and job boards to get the best offer. The talent shortage also meant that more opportunities were available per capita, prompting workers to quit if they were unhappy with their status quo.
Best Practices to retain talent
Given all these factors that drove millions to quit the workforce voluntarily, real change could only motivate them to return. For talent managers, that means addressing the critical pain points and playing the new talent game as per the new rules. Key factors that can motivate latent talent to reconsider joining mainstream jobs are:
More than 40% of returning workers have accepted traditional jobs only if offered workplace flexibility. Flexible hours and work from anywhere culture have become vital relational factors for candidates while assessing a job offer. Workers are also keen on non-traditional job roles with contractual, part-time, or remote engagements.
For talent managers, that would mean relooking at their work structure and communicating workplace flexibility during recruitment.
Meaningful work and performance expectations
For many workers returning to traditional employers, realistic performance expectations and the promise of meaningful work is non-negotiable. If they feel they can sustainably perform in the job role being offered and add value to the business, they are more likely to apply. At the same time, workers value their time and well-being. Overly-enlarged job roles that can cause burnout are not attracting seasoned talent anymore.
Therefore, talent managers must clearly define job descriptions and communicate performance expectations. Additionally, the onboarding experience and objective setting for recruits must match these promises to avoid future attrition.
Well-balanced compensation packages
As important as the work environment and quality of work is to attract talent, compensation packages have to undergo market correction as well. Workers who voluntarily leave poorly paying jobs are reluctant to return to similar jobs with abysmal earning potential. They are now looking at fixed and variable pay components and pragmatically assessing their gross pay before accepting any new job offer. Several on-premise benefits previously offered by employers have also lost relevance in the increasingly remote work culture.
Talent managers must revisit the compensation structures for in-demand roles and make market corrections wherever needed. In addition, some creativity is required with benefits being offered. Sponsored mental healthcare plans, child-care support, and attractive leave policies could mean more to return workers than open pantries and gym memberships.
Realistic career progression and professional advancement
Jobs with little or no scope for career progression can not bring back workers who left the workforce frustrated. Employees are only reconsidering traditional roles once again if they can visualize their career trajectory and the potential for professional advancement.
Learning and development opportunities have to be tailored to the job profiles. Talent managers must factor this into defining job roles to attract quality talent. At the same time, workers should be able to see two or three levels above the role being offered and map a path for internal growth.
Caring and inclusive work environment
Diversity, inclusivity, and employee well-being no longer remain aspirational concepts for employers. Workers prefer to return to traditional job roles if they feel that the work environment is inclusive and that leadership is caring. Apathy and high-pressure workplace culture are considered obvious red flags.
It means talent managers and strategic business leaders must build a more supportive culture. To attract and retain talent, leaders must undergo sensitivity training and establish practices that promote more human work conditions.
In conclusion, the new talent game is forcing business leaders to relook at archaic talent management practices and realize what drove high-potential talent out of the workforce. By recognizing critical pain areas that diminish employee workplace experience, talent managers can win back workers and check future attrition in place.
As workers feel valued and envision a sustainable career even in conventional job roles, they can be motivated to return. Designing more empathetic recruitment and talent management processes can be a great starting point.
Balanced compensation packages, intuitive benefits, a flexible workplace environment, and realistic performance expectations can communicate sincerity to workers who are still hesitant to return.
Cogent Staffing solutions help talent managers play the new talent game in today's volatile economy and effectively hold on to valuable human assets. Talent managers can hire the top 5% of tech talent with the help of expert recruitment teams and AI-powered staffing tools.
In addition to supporting the direct hiring of full-time employees and independent contractors, Cogent Staffing also offers end-to-end Payroll Process Outsourcing (PPO) and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO).
AI and ML (Machine Learning) based recruitment platforms are deployed for seamless cross-functional recruitment and complete digital transformation of talent management. Partner with Cogent Staffing solutions to bring back quality talent to your organization and retain them with unparalleled value.
To read more insightful content about diverse aspects of business, visit the Cogent Infotech website.