The war for talent is on. In a time when employees can work from anywhere, you’re not just competing with employers in your in your own geographies, you’re competing with employers in every geography.
Basics such as competitive compensation, solid benefit packages and good training are now considered the price of admission. It’s becoming increasingly more challenging to gain a competitive edge using the standard levers — especially with a younger generation that values intangibles like a strong company mission and purpose and an employee culture that prioritizes mental health, wellness, diversity, social equity and corporate accountability toward people, communities and the environment.
And while people used to spend entire careers at one company, they’re now jumping to new opportunities quicker than ever. That means that getting them is only a first step; retaining them is where the real magic lies. Finding, nurturing and retaining top talent has and will continue to allow this rocket-speed growth to continue.
So how do you win the talent you want — and then keep them? Spoiler alert: It’s not about the ping-pong table. It’s about a whole lot more. Here are five effective keys to drawing, nurturing and retaining top talent.
- Inspire people. Employees today want to be inspired by what their company does and the role their company plays in the community and the world at large. Make sure you have a strong mission, a clear vision and an articulated purpose. Then ensure you clearly link to how each individual employee contributes to that bigger, meaningful picture.
- Get personal. Employees do not want to feel like a number or a “human resource.” They want to know that they are personally cared for by their company and its leadership, and they want to feel connected to a supportive team. Provide high-touch, flexible and even individualized options to nurture people of different demographics, life stages and desires. Identify what lights people up, get them in the right positions and then fuel them for growth with coaching, mentorship and leadership development.
- Serve the whole person. Your employees bring their whole selves to work every day. They are parents worrying about their children, children caring for elderly parents, romantic partners, favorite aunts, dog dads, determined marathoners and more. Focus on their holistic well-being to help them be their best selves both professionally and personally. That means meeting their needs from a financial perspective, a physical perspective, a mental perspective and an emotional perspective.
- Listen. Talk with your employees regularly to ensure they feel connected to the mission, vision, goals, leaders and team. And in those conversations, listen more than you talk so you stay connected to their needs and they know they have safe spaces within your organization to address their needs.
- Practice gratitude. Pause to celebrate your wins and the people who make those wins possible. Company parties, free lunches and fun swag are all wonderful. But, most important, empower and encourage your leaders to celebrate their people daily, in big ways and small. A short, thoughtful note goes a long way.
People are the key to any strong organization and championing them is how the best leaders succeed. ●
Veronica Knuth is Chief People Officer at Quantum Health