With the Great Resignation disrupting the current hiring climate, company culture is more important than ever in attracting new talent and retaining current employees. According to a recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, 24 million Americans left their jobs between April and September 2021, with toxic workplace culture being cited as a key reason for departure. As founder and CEO of Betts, a nationwide technology and recruitment services firm for revenue-generating (sales, customer success and marketing) roles, I’ve noticed that talent is looking for the right company culture to accommodate the desire for flexibility and better work-life balance, which arose as a result of remote or hybrid workplaces established during the pandemic.
Here are four key strategies for improving company culture and retaining top talent, both with prospective and existing employees:
Use talent-forward hiring strategies. The two biggest things talent is prioritizing are work-from-home or hybrid workplace flexibility and compensation and equity commensurate with experience. They are seeking out opportunities that will give them these things and provide a better work-life balance. Companies have the opportunity to cater to these demands, or talent will take positions with companies that do offer these benefits and more.
Look beyond skill set when hiring. Most companies have a well-developed training program in place to ensure that new hires are up to speed on the skills required to do their jobs. We’ve noticed an increased emphasis on personality, coachability, engagement and humility in new candidates during the interview process. Team dynamics and camaraderie are very important in maintaining a positive company culture, so when hiring new team members, it’s important to take these more personal traits into consideration in addition to evaluating their technical skill set.
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Listen to the needs of current employees. Maintaining a system for consistent workplace employee feedback is a big part of this strategy. It’s necessary to reach out to the existing employee base in order to directly learn about company changes that they would like to see. Implement them if they make sense. Make these requirements your top priority. When it comes to employee evaluations, consistency is also essential. Stick to a schedule, whether quarterly, semi-annually or yearly, so that employees know they can rely on these opportunities to provide valuable feedback. This schedule, in conjunction with the noted positive change that stems from these evaluations, will help to create a thriving company culture and increase employee retention.
Prioritize the well-being and health of employees. We’re seeing a significant increase in attrition among our partner companies. With remote and hybrid working rapidly becoming the norm, it can be challenging for employees to separate the two environments. Employers should accept responsibility for facilitating this separation of home and work environments, as it’s essential to business productivity and employee well-being. At Betts, we’ve accomplished this in a myriad of ways that are translatable to other office communities. To avoid fatigue, companies can encourage teams to take breaks throughout the day and hold “no Zoom” meeting days, or perhaps prioritize Wellness Wednesday, which allows employees to get out and exercise to take care of their physical health, as well as providing a flexible time-off policy and health and wellness and vacation stipends that encourage people to recharge and create that separation from work and home. Overall, employees need to hear from their employers that it is acceptable to take breaks and disconnect in order to take care of themselves.
Overall, the Great Resignation is something that shouldn’t be feared, but rather embraced, as this shift brings positive opportunities for both talent looking for their next position and companies looking to welcome new team members on board. Additionally, it offers companies the chance to innovate and affect positive changes to company culture that will lead to employee retention and continued corporate-wide success.