While the pressure to find new employees still lingers, part of the pressure is now to retain existing employees.
According to a study by Lattice, about 40% of HR professionals said talent acquisition will be a priority in 2021. That number dropped to 17% in 2022. Where did this prioritization lead? It seems to have shifted to employee engagement, L&D and compensation.
Compensation is always part of the equation for retaining talent, Adam Calli, principal advisor at Arc Human Capital, told HR Dive, but it’s not everything, especially with younger workers who want to feel connected to their employer’s mission. They think, “Money is still important, but it’s not the only thing that makes me happy,” he said.
Precise focussing of your service packages
Standard benefits may no longer suffice — not when your competitors also offer standards like 401(k) match and health, dental and eye insurance, Calli said. “You haven’t stood out from the crowd unless you expand your approach into and beyond the performance realm.”
Instead, tailoring benefits to your company’s workforce can help both attract and retain talent. If employees have student loan debt, that could mean offering a repayment program, he said. If your employees have children, this may mean offering more robust parental leave.
Amy Stoldt, vice president of people and culture at Snappy, a corporate gifts platform, said the company is reviewing its benefits package and looking at how to make these kinds of precise changes.
One area she is targeting is maternity leave. At the moment that is 12 weeks paid leave for the primary caregiver and six weeks for the secondary caregiver. She hopes to extend that six weeks to 12 for the secondary caregiver, recognizing that “parents as a whole should be given an equal opportunity to have vacation time to spend time with their families,” she said. It would also make paid leave “fairer for all types of families”.
She said Snappy is also considering student loan payoff programs because employees benefit and show that the company cares about them as individuals, not just workers. “It’s about their future,” she said.
Prioritize residency calls
While exit interviews can help HR managers determine why people are leaving, stay interviews can help HR professionals identify what would make someone leave and make changes before they do. Stay-at-home talks aren’t a new concept, but they’ve become a key bonding tool during the pandemic, Calli said. “We know this is a way you can have a positive impact on your culture, by showing that you care, that you’re talking to people. approach them proactively,” he said.
The Society for Human Resource Management has a list of possible questions to consider for an interview, ranging from “What makes you want to work here?” to “What talents are not being used in your current role?”
Residency interviews can also result in great savings by reducing turnover costs. In 2021, C-Suite Analytics began conducting resident interviews for a New England healthcare organization with 7,000 employees. The healthcare system calculated a cost of sales of $315,159 per percent of sales per year. After implementing residency interviews, revenue fell by 22%, saving nearly $7 million.
Consider remote or flexible working an option
Offering remote work for employees has become a necessity for hiring during the pandemic. It’s also becoming a key retention tool, as high-value employees will find another job if they don’t want to lose the flexibility they’ve been given for the past two or more years. Employees who already have a work-from-home arrangement will leave if they’re told that needs to change, Calli said.
Snappy is in a unique position in this regard. In March 2020, the company closed its New York City office and opened positions to applicants across the country. Now about 50% of employees work in the New York City area and 50% elsewhere, Stoldt said. (The Tel Aviv office also closed in March 2020 and reopened in February 2022).
As Snappy prepares to open a new office in New York City, the company has decided to offer employees the option to work in the office, but not require it. “That presents new challenges for the next year,” she said, but is critical to getting employees where they want to work.
Snappy also held a personal “fun day” for workers in the New York City area, where they visited a farm in New York’s Hudson Valley in September. Participants could choose from a wide range of activities, including swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, tennis or basketball; The day included lunch, dinner and a nightly campfire with s’mores, noisy Stoldt. It was an opportunity to “just be together. It’s hard when we’re everywhere,” she said. Events like this “create that sense of belonging even when you’re far away”.