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5 ways to acquire and retain the best talent

Recruiting and retaining good talent is more important than ever. Here’s how you can take a proactive approach to addressing staff turnover.

The Great Resignation: it’s a concept plaguing organisations globally, and Australia is no exception. In a 2021 survey conducted by PwC, 38% of respondents said they were planning on leaving their jobs in 2022. This tension is reflected on the management end too, with 53% of small and medium business (SMB) employers stating that they are moderately or extremely concerned about their ability to retain staff. 

So, what’s driving this instability? 

There are a few factors at play. For one, many employees are re-evaluating what they want from their careers in the wake of the pandemic. Another contributing factor is around retention. Securing a great candidate is all well and good, but if you’re not working to keep them engaged you risk losing them. 

In fact, outstanding employee experience (EX) has become the competitive edge no business can afford to ignore. Why? Because highly engaged employees improve customer satisfaction and revenue, and now more than ever, a large number of the workforce is considering ditching their employer for a better offer.

Having been recognised for eight years running as one of the Best Workplaces in Australia, we’ve collected a few tips to help you attract the best talent and keep them engaged.

1. Embrace new ways of working

Having a flexible work environment is no longer optional. In fact, as restrictions ease, 85% of employees hope to retain flexible working arrangements. On the other side of the coin, nearly 60% of employers would like their employees to never or rarely work from home. Even more telling, 50% of businesses have not consulted their employees about hybrid work

This disconnect will be a big driver in employee turnover, as flexible work practices become the norm, not the exception. In a tightening labour market, the most competitive talent will demand flexibility. If your business cannot fully support remote work, it will put you at a disadvantage.

Here at Salesforce, we’ve adopted a “success from anywhere” mentality, reimagining the physical office as a digital one. Our employees can cut down on time-consuming commutes while introducing more flexibility to their work and home lives.

2. Workplace branding is critical

Your employee-focused branding needs to be as strong and unique as your customer-focused branding. Just as you attract, engage and retain customers, you need to do the same for employees.

An ‘Employee Value Proposition’ (EVP) is a useful way to define what makes your organisation special to employees. Gartner defines EVP as having five key attributes:

  • Opportunity (for career growth and development)
  • People (quality of managers and coworkers, senior leader reputation)
  • Organisation (market position and social responsibility)
  • Work (high interest in job and work/life balance)
  • Rewards (compensation, benefits and leave allowance)

If you can list meaningful responses to these then you’re close to defining a clear and differentiated message around your employee brand. Gartner suggests that if you get it right you can decrease your staff turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by 30%.

3. Mixing your secret sauce: there’s no such thing as readymade business culture

Much like the sourdough starter you fed during lockdown, your business’s culture isn’t something that will just happen. It’s alive, ongoing and develops with intention. 

Culture comes from actions and is driven by leaders. Sure, you can take all the pieces of culture you’d like your business to have, but, like a bad jigsaw, it doesn’t mean all the pieces will fit together. To acquire and retain employees, culture needs to be differentiated, authentic and, ideally, built on a purpose beyond profit. Culture can cover many aspects of working life, including wellness policies, aligning with employees’ values and fostering development opportunities. 

A positive culture is also predicated on giving everyone a voice. The 2021-2022 Inclusion@Work Index has found that workers in inclusive teams are: 

  • 11 times more likely to be innovative 
  • 10 times more likely to be very satisfied
  • 4 times less likely to leave their job in the next 12 months.

4. Invest in the Employee Experience (EX)

Another important factor contributing to staff turnover is a failure to invest in a fulfilling employee experience. In a hybrid environment, you need to make technology work for you. Your business might be bending over backwards to make your Customer Experience (CX) as smooth as silk, but outdated technology and clumsy processes will leave your employees floundering. 

More often than not, when a business introduces a technological solution for employees it is selected and deployed based on the needs of the business. The employee’s needs are neglected, and adoption is low. Smart use of tech can invigorate your staff, drive value into the business, increase innovation, enable seamless flexible work environments. 

Frictionless productivity improves EX and benefits the business culture. Something as straightforward as giving employees the power to communicate easily wherever they may be is vital in unifying your workforce and building your employer brand.

Get the APAC Employee Engagement Report.

5. Make every day count for staff, not just the first one

And if you’re welcoming new staff into the fold? Congratulations! Hopefully your business provides a stellar hiring and on-boarding experience that sees new employees leaping out of bed to start work.

But what happens after that? The first few days are really just the beginning of the employee retention experience. It’s the rest of the journey that really counts. Just as you map the customer life cycle, the employee life cycle needs similar attention. Managing and planning for the long-term is key to developing and enhancing the employee experience. 

An engaged employee has clarity about their role and how it contributes to the purpose of the business. Don’t leave them guessing. Instead, show them every day how their actions help build your business success. 

Just as customers leverage the power of the connected world to explore their options and express their loyalty (or lack thereof), so do employees. The employee voice, when amplified through employer review sites like Glassdoor, is powerful and smart organisations will create advocates for their business.   

Interested in creating an inclusive and collaborative workplace? Craig Cuffie, EVP and Chief Procurement Officer at Salesforce, gives his unique perspective in our Executive Conversations series.

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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