5 ways to boost talent attraction and retention

Rather than focusing solely on sales goals, help your employees feel that they, as individuals, can make a big difference in the lives of their customers. When they feel invested, your organization will feel more like a family than an employer. (Image: Nuthawut/Adobe Stock)

Across the United States, businesses large and small and organizations are struggling to attract and retain quality employees. Of course, some of these people are primarily interested in a higher salary. But employees also say they want to work for a goal-oriented organization.

According State of the Gallup Global Workplace: 2021 Reportthere was only a 20% to 34% employee engagement rate in the United States and Canada in 2021. Gallup also found that it would take more than 20% salary increase to attract the most employees away from a manager who hires them, while it was very easy to convince disengaged workers to change jobs.

So the obvious solution is to hire your workers. But what are the best ways to do it?

Here are five ideas to energize your applicant pool and make your current employees worth sticking around for.

#1: Clearly state your values ​​and purpose. Every organization exists for a reason — and it’s not just to make money. If you work in the insurance industry, the well-being of your customers is important to you. You understand that calamities can happen and you want to help them prevent, prepare for and, if necessary, react to adverse situations.

Your employees should all have a clear idea of ​​how important customers are to your organization. In fact, you can help them feel a part of what you do by involving them in efforts to make a difference. At Church Mutual®, for example, our employees work side-by-side with their customers and roll up their sleeves to help places of worship, schools and other nonprofit organizations prevent and recover from devastating hurricanes, forest fires and violent events. They see firsthand how we help serve and protect customers whose missions are vital to their communities.

Not only do the people who work for you want to feel like your organization is making a difference, they also want a say in how it happens. Show your employees you care by creating committees that will focus on reinforcing the good work you do. Rather than focusing solely on sales goals, help your employees feel that they, as individuals, can make a big difference in the lives of their customers. When they feel invested, your organization will feel more like a family than an employer.

Provide employees with opportunities and experiences to advance the company and give back to the community in meaningful ways through their work and the company’s charitable foundation.

#2: Provide career paths, especially for Gen Z talent. Some employers find it difficult to recruit simply because they expect their candidates to have unrealistic accomplishments on their resume. Rather than insisting that your employees have some experience on a specific topic, focus on making it easy for them to acquire those skills.

It starts at the college level. Church Mutual has partnered with several historically black colleges and universities and professional organizations. We recognize that having a diverse workforce creates value for our business. We have created innovative partnership and internship opportunities for students that include scholarships and a clear career path.

Once new employees join your organization, provide them with ongoing training so they can develop their knowledge and skills. Make promotion within your company a priority so employees have goals they can strive for. Provide coaching opportunities so they can gain a clear understanding of their specific strengths and support mentoring programs to build relationships.

#3: Introduce the unique impact of perks and culture. Your employees spend much of their waking time working for you, and they crave community. You can create that sense of belonging for them, so they feel surrounded by trusted friends and neighbors instead of co-workers. Cultivate a company culture that encourages people to want to work for you. The specific types of benefits you offer depend on your environment and the type of people you want to attract. Maybe you want to allow business casual dress on a certain day of the week, or you decide to organize social events for employees. Be sure to involve your current employees in planning what your business can do to build community.

Potential employees also consider it a plus when you offer unique perks. Highlight these benefits: for example, make sure they know if they can give another employee paid time off or if you have an employee assistance program that can help them through difficult times. Other benefits such as paid bereavement time for the loss of a pet may also set you apart.

#4: Provide flexibility. The COVID-19 pandemic has made working from home a regular occurrence, and potential employees now often expect it to be an option. A hybrid schedule could be what sets you apart from other companies. Many people also prefer a job that gives them flexibility with their schedule. Demonstrating that you understand and value work-life balance is key to attracting and retaining talent in this job market.

#5: Recognize your employees. It’s hard to engage your employees if they never get positive feedback from you. Rather than relying on individual managers to provide this feedback, make it part of your culture to regularly recognize employees for their work. For example, have ways to share public kudos on internal company channels or opportunities to earn freebies or gift certificates for above-average work. This can go a long way in securing connection through recognition.

Today, employees have many choices when deciding where they want to work. You can make changes to your organization that will put you at the top of the list.

Pam Stampen is Director of People at Church Mutual Insurance Company, SI (a stock insurer). To reach this contributor, send an e-mail to [email protected].

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Keith P. Plain