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4 Tips to Engage the Modern Workforce

Liam Butler, AVP at SumTotal, a Skillsoft CompanyCulture2018 09 05
4 Tips to Engage the Modern Workforce
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It’s people that make a company, and their drive helps the organization stay competitive and flourish. The trick lies in effectively motivating and retaining the talented staff that HR teams work so hard to hire. The question is, how can these members of staff be best attracted and retained? What’s the secret to engaging the modern workforce that’s made up of so many different generations?

Many different reasons contribute to why an individual may want to leave a role. Lack of opportunities, high stress and boredom are certainly all factors. If you’re aware that there’s a high churn of employees leaving on a regular basis, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your employee engagement strategy. The cost of constantly hiring and training new people will soon add up — a high employee churn is not a cost-effective way to run a business. It’s much more worthwhile to nurture your employees and keep the talent you already have.

With that in mind, here are four steps that can help any business improve talent management and ensure employee engagement.

Help Your Employees Grow

Valuable employees are going to be valuable no matter where they choose to work. It’s important to ensure that employees are constantly learning — that they’re increasing their value to the company in addition to building their career skills. Ambitious employees will want to remain innovative and grow their skill sets. If they can develop new skills at your company, an offer to work elsewhere will be less appealing.

Stay Flexible

A study by Owl Labs found that companies that offer remote work experience a 25 percent lower employee turnover than companies that don’t support these initiatives.

Many employees are trying to find ways to balance their personal time and relationships. Allowing employees to work from home, or to work different hours, helps foster a friendly working environment and drives a more positive attitude from staff. In turn, this increases employee productivity and retention.

Communication is key to make any flexible working policy succeed. Regular phone meetings can be used to maintain visibility of employee actions on a daily basis, while e-learning and electronic resources can provide a useful method to ensure staff have easy access to the latest training and resources — regardless of their location.

Show the Career Path

When employees — especially those from the younger generations in the workforce — don’t feel a company is supporting their progression, their eyes will start to wander toward the job market. That’s why companies are offering more career mobility opportunities that support employees who want to move across different departments or even change their occupation. A study by Future Workplace found that lateral mobility helps increase engagement, productivity and teamwork. Employees want new challenges and opportunities to stay engaged in their work, grow their skills and advance in their careers.

Meaningful career growth needs to be enabled for each individual employee. The best-performing businesses place learning at the center of their employee experience, providing opportunities for individualized development and closing the gap between what employees are offered and what they actually need. They craft frameworks that align with the precise skills and capabilities their employees need to prepare for career progression. Offering the right tools and technology makes it easy for employees to continuously develop in the direction of their goals, without sacrificing performance in their current roles.

Invest, Invest, Invest

A growth-based culture rewards learning and creates talent agility. High-performing organizations treat employee satisfaction as a business objective, so they link their employees’ development and career progression to business results. Building a growth-based career culture means focusing on continuous growth, supporting employees in developing new skills and encouraging them to move laterally and vertically across silos and functions. Where personal development is a regular part of the conversation and careers are designed around experiences, employees are more motivated, equipped and engaged to take on new challenges and roles within the business.

Following these simple practices will help make your employees feel valued and increase their job satisfaction. Showing your employees a clear career path and how to get there keeps them focused and hungry to progress. Ultimately, creating career tracks, providing flexible working opportunities and giving employees access to job training and skill-building assets all help to engage the modern workforce.

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