Keep top talent – make them feel loved

How employers attract and retain talent has changed and according to Melanie Robinson it’s about boosting morale

The great resignation is not a myth. People across many industries are unfortunately quitting in record numbers. In just one-month last year, almost 3% of the US workforce left their jobs. In the UK, the landscape is much the same, with the number of open jobs surpassing 1 million for the first time. 

During the pandemic, workers have been re-evaluating their priorities. There has been a major shift in employee expectations and values. Staff are no longer primarily motivated by money. They want to feel loved. They want to feel that they are making a difference. And they want to work for a company that shares their values and beliefs. How employers attract and retain top talent has changed. It is vital to remain relevant that employers boost morale and give workers a sense of purpose.

An all-time low

Unfortunately, morale is at an all-time low. With concerns around job security looming large, nearly half (46%) of workers have taken on additional responsibilities, either to compensate for colleagues losing their roles or to cope with the extra workload. Unpaid overtime has jumped sharply to 9.2 hours per week, with this rising to 9.4 hours per week for those working from home.

Staff want to work for a company that has a sense of community, trust and a shared purpose

Yet, it is not a case of just throwing money at the problem. Whilst issues around payment accuracy and promptness should be avoided at all costs, retaining a happy and motivated workforce no longer comes from simply paying the best wages. Finding ways to reduce stress, avoid burnout and create a sense of fairness are all just as important in maintaining a mentally and physically healthy workforce that remain loyal and in roles.

Don’t swim against the tide

The pandemic has driven a paradigm shift regarding where workers work and live. Globally, three quarters (75%) of workers have made changes or plan to change their living arrangements. The hybrid work environment is here to stay. According to Gartner, 95% of employers expect that all or some employees will work remotely even after the pandemic has ended. 

To boost morale and retain the best talent, companies need to be more flexible than ever before. They need to put shifting worker needs first. There is no point trying to swim against the tide. Employees today – especially younger ones – want more efficiency and to feel that they are making a difference.  

Cultivate belonging

Of course, staff who enjoy working for you are more engaged and productive. If they feel connected to the corporate culture, hey are far less likely to leave. But how do you cultivate a feeling of belonging? 

Steelcase last year identified five critical needs that, when addressed, will improve how an employee feels about their company. Firstly, staff want to work for a company that has a sense of community, trust and a shared purpose running through its veins. Secondly, they want more choice and control over where, when, and how they work. Next, they want an employer that supports in-office and remote workers more equally. When they are in the office, they want places to rejuvenate and support wellbeing. Finally, they want to feel physically and psychologically safe.

Time to raise the spirits

The biggest IP in any business is its staff and it’s important that businesses recognise this before it’s too late. At a time of extraordinary economic, professional, and personal disruption, workers have largely stepped up to the mark. Yet, morale is at an all-time low. It is important that organisations do all they can to raise the spirits of workers and maintain a healthy working environment for all. 

Melanie Robinson is head of HR at ADP



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