According to a recent report from accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly Consulting, the improving economy is both “a blessing and a curse.”
In the report, the authors write that although business is resurging, “the best and brightest workers now have options as to where they want to work,” causing “avoidable job openings” as workers leave for “more flexibility” and “greener pastures.” This “war for talent” has caused companies both large and small to rethink their strategies for attracting and retaining employees.
A great example is Yahoo, which has implemented many new retention strategies in 2013. Some of these, such as extended parental leave and free food and smartphones for employees, received enormous praise as actions that would increase employee engagement and loyalty. However, other Yahoo initiatives, such as banning telecommuting and, most recently, a policy requiring employees to be rated on a bell curve, earned a great deal of criticism as harmful to innovation and employee morale. We can probably expect to see additional engagement strategies from Yahoo and many other companies moving into and through 2014.
However, is it necessary to reinvent the wheel (and potentially strain your budget) to attract and retain top talent? We don’t think it is, and we’ve listed out several simple and inexpensive ways to drive employee engagement and morale below.
How many of these has your company tried?
- To promote philanthropy and connectedness, offer a charitable matching program or allow employees time to volunteer during work hours.
- As an employee gains more responsibilities, allow for more autonomy in how the employee performs their job.
- Get creative with benefits by offering health club discounts, iTunes gift cards or flexible spending accounts.
- Schedule frequent one-on-one coaching sessions with individuals and ensure that it’s a two-way conversation. Find out what the individual’s career goals are and how they can accomplish those goals within the company.
- For Gen X and Gen Y employees, who have low tolerance for political bureaucracy and the “chain of command” approach, consider re-structuring your organization with less hierarchy and rewards based on merit and performance, instead of tenure and title (David Zinger).
- For maximum work/life balance, embrace new technologies. Consider video teleconferencing or online collaboration through tools such as Chatter, SlideShare or join.me.
Is there anything you would add to this list? We’d love to hear about it!