Written by Kiki Stannard, Managing Director at ZEDRA
Employers have had a tough time over the past few years. The impact of the pandemic has been varied and even extreme for many industries.
Some employers have benefited from the situation, and others have not fared quite so well. However, they all now share the challenge of hiring and keeping the best people – whether in Europe, North America or beyond. And it’s not just about appealing to the highly skilled. We see issues right across the employment spectrum from farm workers to accountants, from barristers to airport baggage handlers. Employee turnover seems to be at an all-time high during what is now being dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’.
Gen Z and younger Millennials take an entirely different view of how to approach and manage their careers. They are typically looking at creating a portfolio of achievements, often staying in a job for less than three years, changing tack with the type of work or industry sector, and progressing through their career with a more diverse and strategic perspective.
Employers are typically looking for longevity and loyalty from employees. Regardless, the balance of power between employer and employee has certainly shifted.
So, what can employers do?
Doing nothing is simply not a viable option. As with all social issues, the world constantly moves, develops and shifts, and as it does, what is acceptable, appropriate or expected also changes. Employers need to be as commercial, agile and flexible with their people strategy as they do with their products or services.
Authentic corporate culture
Much has been said about the culture of an organisation and the impact on its people but corporate culture can be misunderstood. It’s not about internal policies, mission statements or published values. It’s the way employers and employees treat and support each other in the workplace. It’s about mutual respect, diversity, and how we speak to each other.
Business leaders must take the time to care about people from different backgrounds who are often managing their own challenges and ensure they feel a purpose and connection with the company and their colleagues.
Ok is never enough
It is also about aiming to be and do the very best – produce the best products, provide the best service, take the best approach to environmental, social and governance issues (ESG) – whilst also having some fun.
These seemingly small ticket items can create a collective support system and make employees more likely to stay loyal or leave in a really positive way and recommend others to join the company. Cultivating the ideal culture has to come from leaders who encourage an accepted style of behaviours throughout the organisation.
You can’t make a first impression twice
Beyond training, development and a clear career path (which are all key to being an employer of choice), you also need to consider the motivation of each new hire.