Just because the calendar flips to a new year doesn’t mean last year’s challenges have gone away. New and changing issues have also presented themselves. Employees are experiencing increased burnout. Organizations are losing key workers and struggling to fill new and existing positions. Individuals want the option to move around a company and not necessarily in a traditional career path. And employees now expect organizations to have a culture that addresses the humanity of each individual worker.
So how can you be a successful employer with so many challenges?
1. Offer a suite of benefits that addresses the whole employee journey
The candidate experience
Address the lingering issues of talent acquisition by improving your candidate experience. How individuals experience your brand throughout the application, interview, and negotiation processes can affect your brand reputation. You can attract stronger candidates when your reputation is strong and applicants have a positive experience throughout the hiring process, helping you to be a more successful employer.
- Make your job descriptions as thorough as possible while keeping out unnecessary requirements that may screen out highly qualified candidates.
- Communicate next steps with every candidate and keep contact in a timely fashion every step of the way so that they can manage their expectations
- Consider how your employer brand is experienced by all candidates—not just the ones you hire. Offer tools to help them strengthen their candidacy and current and future applications, and you’ll nurture your talent pool for tomorrow’s opportunities.
A successful employer doesn’t forget about employees’ interests, talents, and ambitions after hiring them. As employees gain experience and build their skills with you, they may wish to grow in their current path or find a new one within the organization. Nurture your internal talent pool by providing resources and opportunities for upskilling, mentorship, career coaching, cross-departmental training and projects, and more.
By creating a strong internal talent pool, filling open positions within your organization will be much easier. Hiring from within also increases company morale and helps with retention. Be sure to post open positions internally first, to give current employees the first chance to apply.
- Recognize that your workforce is made up of individuals with different interests, skills, needs and ambitions. Give them an opportunity to explore their passions and then put their learnings to work for you.
- Offer opportunities for training. Only about 1 in 4 employed Americans (26%) say they have many opportunities for growth at their company. You can increase the chances that your employees will stay by giving them the chance to build upon their knowledge and skills.
- Offer career coaching that addresses the whole person. Each of your employees brings with them experiences, both professional and personal, to the workplace. An experienced professional who is hired to lend personalized support and guidance can help an employee identify what work would be the most fulfilling for them, and then guide them through a strategy for the most rewarding career path with you.
Even in the age of The Great Resignation, there may be times when layoffs are necessary. These events affect not only those employees who are let go, but also those who remain, as well as the organization as a whole and its corporate and employer brands. Offering a strong outplacement program as a benefit helps everyone involved. This is because outgoing employees have a path to move forward and remaining colleagues see how you’ve cared for them. This can help preserve morale and reduce negative blowback and reviews resulting from the layoffs.
- Be selective when choosing an outplacement provider. It’s not enough to simply offer the benefit; it should be one that offers flexibility (such as virtual coaching by video, audio, or text) and convenience (for example, seven days a week).
- Choose a vendor with experienced career coaches who can provide personalized support, addressing every aspect of the jobseeker experience. Unemployment can lead to burnout. The right coaches will know how to help jobseekers with not only their job search, but also with managing the stress that comes along with being unemployed and the sometimes grueling aspect of job hunting so that they can look forward to the opportunities ahead rather than focus on the past.
- Make sure the vendor you select has a strong outreach program and that they can quickly get your outgoing employees registered and onboarded. A good vendor will be able to get impacted individuals started within two business days, so they can make the most of their program and be on their way to new, meaningful employment.
2. Create a positive organizational culture
While many elements go into creating a strong corporate culture, these aspects will get you off to a great start and are particularly important in the current work environment.
It’s important to be transparent about many things: your policies, the way in which employees may get promoted or apply for another job within the organization, and the general health of the company. Being open promotes trust and will encourage your workforce to be loyal and dedicated to you.
Have a recognition program
Recognize and reward employees for their achievements. Allow employees to recognize each other’s accomplishments to create an environment of support and collaboration.
Offer opportunities for growth
As mentioned above, allowing internal candidates the first opportunity to apply for open positions helps to create an environment where employees feel their futures are nurtured and talents recognized. Giving them resources to learn and grow with you creates loyalty and motivates your workforce to contribute to your ongoing success.
Aim for diversity
A diverse workforce will have varied experiences, skill sets, talents, and ideas to contribute to the company’s growth. Appreciating, valuing, and celebrating the differences of your employees helps to create a culture of tolerance, acceptance, and support.
3. Listen to your employees
Survey your employees
Regularly survey your employees about their experiences and feelings about their job, management, opportunities for growth, the company culture, and the organization as a whole. Allow them to remain anonymous to encourage candidness. Then, aggregate the results and use them as an opportunity to make improvements and/or changes. And let your employees know you’ve heard their concerns.
Have an open-door policy
Often problems are brewing but employees feel that they will be punished for bringing their concerns to you. Make sure managers are properly trained to encourage open communication with their reports and have a clear company policy for employees to be able to speak with HR when they don’t feel comfortable going to their manager. Be an active listener to help employees feel understood. The more comfortable employees are in speaking about their concerns, the more quickly problems can be addressed, which will contribute to a more positive morale and work environment.
Conduct “stay” interviews
Too often, problems in the workplace aren’t discovered until it’s too late and employees resign. Instead of waiting to learn about the issues during exit interviews, conduct regular “stay” interviews to gauge employee satisfaction. Encourage employees to share feedback, whether positive or negative, so that any problems can be remediated at their early stages, and improvements can be made to keep employees engaged and productive.
Put These 3 Ways to Be a Successful Employer to Work for You
Get department heads involved with your efforts to be a successful employer. Create small goals for each month to make progress with researching and choosing benefits, implementing changes to your organizational culture, and strengthening your processes to encourage employee feedback. In return, you can achieve better retention, stronger engagement, and a better employer brand.