HR executives are all too familiar with the phenomenon media professionals are calling the ‘turnover tsunami,’ or ‘the great resignation,’ when it comes to retaining excellent talent for their organizations. While some companies have found the secret sauce to keeping employees engaged, many still struggle. After sitting down to discuss top challenges facing HR executives, one thing is clear: human resource professionals need to get creative. Here’s what they had to say.
Recruit from Different Industries
Historically, job descriptions for open roles have targeted individuals who have experience within the company’s industry. Those days are long gone, due to today’s staffing shortages. Instead of making this a preference or requirement, HR professionals have seen success recruiting talent from other industries, specifically those that are experiencing significant unemployment, turnover and burnout, such as restaurants and retail. More often than not, these employees are excellent candidates, as the core competencies of the roles for which they are recruiting are already strongly developed. With some on-site training, these employees are not only up and running in no time but are also happier in their new roles because they often have more predictable shift schedules and less weekend work.
Increase Your Flexibility
As a side effect of the pandemic, some employees value flexibility more than they value pay. A primary cause of the great resignation is that employees would rather have more control over their flexibility and time, especially for those with children. Some employees are willing to take a pay cut in order to achieve this.
For some positions, offering flexible or remote work environments simply isn’t feasible. HR executives discussed providing these employees different forms of flexibility and benefits, such as shorter or more ideal shift times. Some executives at the roundtable found that employees can still meet production demands even when they are provided the desired flexibility of an increased work/life balance.
If you’ve recently received an email from a recruiter, you know that most of them now lead with remote work or impressive flexibility options as their main selling points. Consider communicating with your existing workforce and your new recruits in the same manner to keep up with current recruiting strategies.
Do Your Research
Another hot topics for human resources professionals are vaccine mandates and COVID testing. You may already face vaccine mandates depending on your business, the state(s) in which you conduct business and other factors. Whether you’re required to mandate vaccines for your employees or not, perform your research and make sure to do it as early as possible. There are a number of factors to consider, such as COVID testing providers, on-site or off-site testing considerations, scheduling, pricing and more. As guidance continues to be released, it may make sense for your business to have a testing partner lined up. Many HR executives shared challenges with capacity and monetary constraints with providers, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game as more businesses must comply with the mandates.
Influence Your Management Teams
All leaders have their own management styles as well as preferences on their teams working in-person or remotely. Influence your management teams to not only be flexible in their approaches, but to lead with empathy, as individual team members also have their own preferences that must be balanced with job responsibilities. Managing teams in remote and hybrid environments has come with its own challenges. Train your teams to manage through expectations and accountability. It’s also important to ensure that your management teams deliver consistent messages that are also communicated by the company as a whole to further impart transparency.
Make Your Office a Destination
Some culture-building experiences simply cannot be recreated in a virtual setting. If your company is moving back to a higher population of in-person employees, try making your office more of a destination rather than just an office. Continue with fun and engaging activities, such as lunch-and-learns or pumpkin carving contests, while maintaining safety.
On the topic of safety, always ensure employees are comfortable in the office setting. Rearranging office furniture and instituting policies, such as limiting the number of people allowed in a conference room at a time, will help employees feel more comfortable working in person. Sectioning off areas to ensure social distancing also continues to be an effective best practice.
If your company is struggling with retaining good talent, attracting new employees or finding ways to become creative in the current HR environment, you are not alone. Together, we can share best practices and ideas with your HR executive peers. If you are searching for a peer network to join or need support with any of your HR challenges or initiatives, such as recruiting, your Sikich Human Capital Management and Payroll Consulting team stands ready to assist.