4 min read
Since the pandemic, the transactional relationship between workers and businesses has fundamentally changed. Covid has forced many organizations to adopt working from home and shifted workers’ priorities from purely financial gain to addressing the balance between their work and personal lives. As a result, the deal between workers and businesses has expanded. Instead of being focused solely on salary, workers now look to the support package that businesses offer to make their employment decisions. With 73% of workers actively considering leaving their current jobs, this has put huge pressure on the resources of companies.
Talent engagement has become the hottest recruitment topic of 2022 as organizations scramble to develop the latest techniques to draw top talent to their brand. But this never used to be the case. Talent engagement was previously measured through an annual survey and comprised a once-a-year Christmas meal or activity day alongside standardised appraisals. Engagement was certainly not seen as the make-or-break factor in workers’ job decisions.
Expectations have changed
However, the shifts in the talent market since the pandemic have caused expectations to change. With workers increasingly focused on their own personal and mental well-being, those employers that do not offer a complete 24/7 support package look outdated compared to those that do. In an increasingly competitive talent market with a low supply of skilled workers, this makes all the difference. It has forced companies to grow a social conscience and to play an active part in the well-being of their workers. Organizations have been forced to stop treating the workers as cogs in a machine and instead as something that needs to be cared for and nurtured.
Why is this important?
Research proves that there is a direct link between the success of talent engagement within a business and the overall productivity of the workforce. Indeed, a study by Gallup found that a highly engaged workforce was 21% more productive and therefore more profitable than those who are less engaged. This shows that times engagement is not something that employers can ignore. While it may at first seem an expensive outlay to engage talent much more frequently, that cost is paid back in increased productivity and thus a lower need for total workforce spend.
But businesses are not only losing out on profit due to unproductive workers. The process of hiring new workers to replace those that have left is a huge burden on businesses. Research suggests that as many as a third of workers are actively casually searching for a new job. As a result, US employers spend $2.9 million per day on hiring replacement workers. This is undoubtedly a huge financial burden on businesses and shows that effective talent engagement can be a prudent cost-cutting measure.
What does good talent engagement look like?
Many executives may realise that they need to improve talent engagement, but they may not know how to achieve it. In truth, there is not one process that businesses can take that will act as a silver bullet toward engagement. Instead, effective talent engagement involves a variety of processes that together form a complete welfare and well-being package. This may seem daunting to achieve at first, but some key steps that can help build your package have been outlined below.
Maintaining an appealing online and social presence
The first, and perhaps easiest, step employers can take is to ensure that they have an active and appealing online and social media presents. While this at first may seem conducive to talent attraction rather than engagement, it can also help to communicate the attitudes and values of your business. By providing topical and insightful social media posts as well as a clear and slick website, businesses can ensure that their workers do not feel that they are out of touch with workers’ needs. It can show your brand to be dynamic and responsive and provides the tools needed to create an engaged workforce culture.
Championing mental well-being
Another key step that all employees should be championing is the mental well-being of their workers. This is a step that has become even more important since the pandemic. In a UK Government study, work-related stress, anxiety and burnout were found to have increased just under 40% since the pandemic. The most notable increase was found in the public sector and female workers. To tackle this and to help to promote a positive culture around mental well-being employers should encourage workers to talk and communicate about any trouble they may have. This means giving workers the time and space to talk about their well-being alongside a flexible understanding of their needs.
Developing an inclusionary culture
Beyond this, business leaders also need to create an open and caring culture toward those groups that may feel marginalized in the workplace. While there has been a huge push in recent years towards increasing diversity at work, more can be done. For example, creating spaces for female and neurodiverse workers can help them to thrive in the workplace. This includes adapting work policies and practices to ensure that their needs are fully met. Only then can you achieve a fully inclusionary workplace culture.
How can technology help?
While the steps help to suggest the kind of measures organizations should be taking, it is not an exhaustive list. To develop a comprehensive support package to improve talent engagement, there are many more steps that businesses should take. Luckily, technology can help. Technology providers, such as USTech Solutions, have developed talent engagement techniques within their platforms for hiring contracts. This includes the training and onboarding of new workers as they join your organization, alongside the continued support through the duration of the contract. While this does not eliminate all the work that executives need to take, it can provide a helping hand towards the creation of a complete support package.
With talent engagement more important than ever, business leaders need to look at new ways to nurture their workforce. While it may seem daunting at first, the technology exists to help support businesses create a caring and cohesive work culture. This is fundamental to business outcomes and promises both increased talent retention and overall profitability.