The Year of Talent: how to retain and attract the right people in the remainder of 2022
Since the turn of the decade, our lives have been defined by disruption.
But the impact on our livelihoods has been equally as profound, which is perhaps best summed up by the 47.4 million American workers who left their jobs voluntarily in 2021. Or, across the pond, the one in four of UK employees who are planning to leave their roles this year.
Such is the extent of this vocational switcheroo, it’s even got its own name: The Great Resignation. But whatever you want to call it, one thing is clear: we’re currently living in an era of talent, where organizations are either scrambling to retain it, or desperately trying to find the right people to support their transformation goals.
Employers have ceded power as a result of this. Employees are no longer willing to put up with being overworked, underpaid or undervalued. So they won’t think twice about finding a role that better suits their needs – leading some commenters to see this period as The Great Upgrade, rather than resignation.
Either way, if organizations are to ensure they have access to the talent they need, there are a few areas where they must direct their focus, while avoiding certain pitfalls. Read on to discover some of the ways I think you can overcome talent challenges in the remainder of 2022 (and beyond).
Flexibility, wellbeing and removing the mundane: essential steps to attract and retain talent
Of the many ways the pandemic has shaped our livelihoods, arguably the biggest impact has been the shift to hybrid working – and the flexibility this provided. Employees are now seeking better work-life integration, as more and more, work is no longer something that defines us.
Employers must cater for this flexibility to make personal and working lives equally as fulfilling, because if you don’t, another organization will. It’s for this reason Fujitsu launched Work Life Shift, to help organizations realize the adaptive, agile, people-centric workplaces that are required of today’s fast-changing, increasingly digital world.
Enabling people to succeed and grow in their roles is another fundamental step towards this. Employees are no longer willing to spend their day-to-day in mundane roles – and studies show many would even take a pay cut for greater meaning at work. This is where AI and automation can be key to remove manual tasks, thus enabling people to do what they do best – be it focusing on more creative projects, or devoting their time to customers.
Finally, and arguably most importantly, it’s critical that organizations care for their people and do everything they can to promote better wellbeing at work. Listening to and acting on their needs is a must. But using tools and data to elevate employee experiences, while giving them the freedom to thrive and, is also essential to retain and attract talent.
Look out for these major pitfalls and practise what you preach
Of course, while there are many initiatives you can take to better support your people, there are also some major pitfalls to avoid. Like realizing one size never fits all: hybrid working is unique to an organization’s culture and people (among other factors). Even within organisations you’ll find many different personas and needs. So, it’s vital you engage your people and understand what they truly want and need – for example, don’t demand everyone returns to the workplace when the majority want to work from home!
Similarly, replicating the physical simply doesn’t work. Squeezing in more virtual meetings to maintain connections can actually have an adverse effect and leave people feeling burned out. Instead, it’s about working smarter, with the right tools and asynchronous working (where needed) to ensure people are informed and engaged, on their terms.
That said, it’s also vital to ensure everyone is treated equally and has the same opportunity to participate and collaborate, no matter how or where they choose to work. On top of this, we also need to move away from measuring performance on time spent, looking instead at outcomes to avoid presenteeism. Only then can true flexibility be achieved.
For management, leading by example is also key. If you’re telling your team to work where they want and then travelling into the office every day, chances are they’ll end up following your lead. It’s a similar story for working flexibly and taking time out to go for a walk at lunch, for example. Practising what you preach can have a hugely positive effect, on you and your team.
The Great Resignation is sweeping across the world. But it doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for your business if you take the appropriate action and avoid the above pitfalls, to ensure you can attract and retain the right talent and realize your transformation goals in 2022.
To learn more about becoming an adaptive, agile and people-centric organization, visit Work Life Shift