Keeping Top Talent at the Top — and on Your Payroll

Organizations today must navigate numerous challenges with regard to changes in the economy, technology, demographics, compliance, and globalization … all while trying to reduce costs, grow profits, improve operations, and be more innovative. In a marketplace where talent is tight, the ability to recruit, retain and engage is critical.

So how do you keep your top talent engaged and productive? You determine what — aside from salary and benefits — motivates them and then you provide it. It could be work-life balance programs, an on-site gym, career development, or training. If you ignore these opportunities, you unleash the risks associated with ineffectively harnessing the power of your workforce: lack of productivity, presenteeism and absenteeism.

Let’s explore several trends that are making it harder to keep top talent.

Recruiting is More Competitive Than Ever and Employees’ Needs are Changing

See me at RIMS 2015

I’ll be speaking on this topic at RIMS, April 29, at 11:30 AM. See me there, or look me up at the Willis Hub.

There’s a shift in power, especially when we talk about high-performing employees with high levels of learning agility. For most organizations, human capital is everything when it comes to organization’s success. Your people are leading innovation, creativity, sales, production, service and more — and talented and engaged people make the difference. So it’s no surprise that those talented people want more options, including workplace flexibility, enhanced development, clear career paths, an affinity with your company culture and values, and more.

Employers’ Needs are Changing, too

Today’s employees need to have skills that are sometimes hard to find, such as the ability to:

  • Think critically
  • Deal with complex issues
  • Learn new technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make high-stake decisions

To retain the talent they have — as well as develop their up-and-coming employees — forward-thinking employers might consider developing practices that include internal hiring, mentoring, leadership development programs, paid training, tuition reimbursement and succession planning.

So Many More Opportunities, so Much Information!

Networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor enable people to easily monitor the market for new job opportunities. Details about an organization’s culture are available at the tap of a screen, providing insights to employees and potential employees alike.

Additionally, the amount of external data about the workforce is growing. Companies like Glassdoor, Careerbliss, RealRref, Indeed, Payscale and dozens of others are crowdsourcing company reviews, salaries, and feedback on organizations, making employer information more public every day. The balance of power in the employer-employee relationship has shifted, making today’s employees more like customers or partners than subordinates.

And Then There are the Millennials…

Demographic changes are also in play. Millennials, who now make up more than half the workforce, are taking center stage. Their expectations are vastly different from those of previous generations, with career aspirations and attitudes about work that will define the culture of the 21st century workplace.

A whopping 72% of Millennials would like to be their own boss but, until then, 79% want their boss to serve more as a coach or mentor. They’re keen on collaboration (88%) as opposed to a competitive work culture. Flexibility (74%) and work-life integration (88%) is their mantra. By 2025 they will account for 75% of the workforce. They want, need and demand more from their employers — even though they plan on leaving your company in little more than three years!

The Cost of Ignoring Changes in the Talent Pool

The odds may be stacked against us as employers. Nearly two-thirds of employees are not fully engaged in their work and the cost of disengagement and loss of productivity this causes is estimated to be between $450 billion and $550 billion per year in the U.S. Companies are finding that offering benefits   that cater to achieving a work/life balance and promoting flexibility were the most attractive to this younger generation of employees.

Talent development and employee engagement account for more than 80% of HR’s challenges today. Your top employees are in demand. So make sure you manage the risk of losing them by providing opportunities to achieve personal and professional fulfillment.

About Jennifer Barton

Jennifer Barton is Chief Operating Officer for Willis’ Human Capital Practice, overseeing all aspects of North Am…
Categories: Employee Engagement | Tags: ,

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