At the end of last year, Dublin Chamber carried out a survey of 210 companies to identify their biggest concerns as they headed into 2018. You can read more details here.
Brexit and GDPR were among the concerns but, by far, the number one concern (for more than two thirds of businesses) was attracting and retaining the best people.
So, what are some of the things companies can do to address that issue? Here are just a few key ones that I've selected from the hundreds of articles you'll find if you Google 'attract and retain talent'. You can thank me late ;-)
To attract the right people
Strong Employer brand / EVP
What do you offer as a business and what do you expect from your people in return? They’re important questions from two perspectives. One, you want to have a brand that people aspire to work for and, when they join, are proud to be a part of – you want to be THE brand that everyone wants to work for. And two, as a result, they’re significantly more likely to be advocates for your company – both as a place to work AND a place with which to do business.
Mission and Purpose - a strong corporate story.
More than ever before, today's generation really needs to understand the "why" behind what the company does (worth having a look at Simon Sinek’s book, 'Start with Why' and TED Talk). They need to know the purpose behind their work and believe in the mission. They want to know their work matters and how it benefits something greater than just themselves.
A strong set of company values underpin your mission and purpose though they can be a blessing and a curse!. They’re basically ‘how we do things around here’ and, to be truly impactful, they need to be co-created so that all your people feel they, not just the company, own them. They also need to be real and achievable and, above all else, they must be seen to be lived. Think of an organisation where they have ‘trust’ and ‘honesty’ as two core values. If it’s NOT OK to get things wrong, NOT OK to call it as it is, NOT OK to speak your mind, not OK to give feedback up and down the line, then you’re simply undermining your own company culture.
To keep them once they’re in
New job candidates want to know who they are going to be working for and aligning themselves with. The founders. Senior executives. Managers. Anyone with authority. That means you need great leadership that exhibits integrity and upholds the values of the company on and off the battlefield. Having worked for good and bad bosses I can totally relate to the old ‘people leave managers, not companies’ line.
You need to show your people that there’s somewhere for them to go. This isn’t necessarily about ‘through the ranks’ promotions, but more about helping them to round out their careers. Job swaps, secondment, project work, shadowing all really help as do things like volunteering, mentoring programmes (both them as a mentor and a mentee) where they are gaining skills that are applicable to their work lives
Recognition and Reward
This is at the bottom of the list because, time and time again, research has shown that it’s pretty near the bottom of people’s lists of why they’d stay or leave. Yes, we all need to be paid a fair salary for a fair days work but often, ongoing recognition that generates a sense of pride and purpose can be significantly more powerful.
It’s definitely easier to keep an employee that to find a new one so make sure that when you’ve invested all that time and effort in finding the right people , you invest the same (and more) holding on to them!
30 Jan 2018
I’ll be running another masterclass on ‘Creating a Culture of Change’ on 21st March in the Irish Aviation Authority in Dublin. You can find out more and book tickets by clicking here
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