It’s hard to ignore the number of factors that have impacted talent this year. From variants of Covid-19 delaying plans to return to the office to the movement and resignation of employees, the talent sector is evolving rapidly. In some cases, business leaders find it difficult to keep up.
As 2022 approaches, one thing is clear; companies need to put their talent first. the third edition of the Beamery 2021 Talent Index revealed timely information about what over 5,000 employees in the US and UK really want. But is your organization listening?
Here are four ways leaders can better prioritize employees in the New Year:
1. Lead with empathy
Working remotely offers more flexibility, but according to the Talent Index, two-thirds (65%) said working remotely increased the pressure to work during illness. Worse, one in four people think sick days are a thing of the past.
Sick days are key to reducing lost productivity (on average up to 20%) when employees are working while feeling uncomfortable, according to a study by the National Partnership for Women & Families. Leaders should therefore take more responsibility for being on the lookout for employees who work when they appear to be dilapidated, rather than creating a culture in which they feel they need to continue to work “independently”.
Abakar Saidov, co-founder and CEO of Beamery, says. “Employees work best when they’re productive, and top-performing employees are those who feel supported by their business, especially when it comes to their mental and physical health. “
2. Continue the “face time” (even from a distance)
While video conferencing allows us to “see” each other, it may not be enough to foster the same relationships that employees built with their supervisors when they met in person. Half of Talent Index respondents in the United States believed that the lack of one-on-one appointments with their employer had actually hampered their promotion opportunities over the past year.
Executives should make it a priority to meet with their team to discuss career path goals and growth opportunities, suggests Saidov. “By planning for their future, employees will better visualize what they need to do to get a promotion, [achieve] key steps and [ask] for development support. “
3. Maintain open lines of communication with former employees
Employees can leave a business, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. In fact, younger employees are the most likely to become the “boomerang” generation. At this point, 80% of Gen Z respondents want to keep the lines of communication open with their current employer if they decide to leave. This strategy makes sense; job vacancies jumped to over 11 million in October according to the US Bureau of Labor, which means people are always looking for opportunities and employers should take advantage of this opportunity to rehire old talent.
Saidov recommends that employers look at employees through the lens of the customer lifecycle and establish points of contact with them even after they leave. By keeping multiple doors of opportunity open and building strong and valued alumni networks, leaders will increase their chances of returning workers.
4. Adopt the asynchronous work week
If the pandemic has proven anything, it’s that people figured out how to make the workday work. for them. This includes greater flexibility; When asked what things they wanted their employer to present, the most popular responses were flexible hours (38%) and a four-day work week (37%).
“The asynchronous work week is fast becoming the new normal where employees have the freedom to do their jobs on their own schedules,” says Saidov. “Allowing employees to tailor their schedules based on priorities such as childcare and appointments, while trusting them to do their jobs, helps increase company culture and employee morale. “
Asking and learning what employees most want to happen in the workplace is the first step in meeting their needs. By prioritizing better benefits and flexibility, leaders can ensure their employees feel heard in 2022. This will lead to better talent retention, cross-team productivity and a better work environment.