Five Steps To Win The Hearts And Minds Of Employees
There’s a reason they call it a war for talent. And it’s not always the organizations offering the best pay and perks who win the battles.
The relationship between employees and employers is changing. Where once talent management was approached as a top-down endeavour, employees are now expecting organizations to put their experience first. Organizations that recognize this are reaping the benefits – including higher productivity, engagement, customer satisfaction and profitability.
But many are struggling to keep up. According to the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report, 84% of employers surveyed acknowledged the importance of delivering a positive employee experience, yet only 9% believed they were ready to address this issue.
Employee expectations have changed. Employees want to bring their authentic selves to work, be inspired and supported by leaders and managers, and have the opportunity to learn, develop and advance their careers.
Here are five ways to win the hearts and minds of employees.
1. Put the employee at the center of your talent management
To stay ahead, organizations need to adopt an employee-centric approach to talent management. But what does this look like?
Enter the Ultimate Talent Management Framework to deliver great business outcomes and an outstanding employee experience.
Beginning with the employee at its core, this talent management framework expands to the key HR processes – such as recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and career development. These processes are anchored by core cultural factors, including well-being, diversity and inclusion, engagement, leadership and flexibility. Tying it all together is technology – which should support HR processes at every stage of the talent lifecycle.
This may seem like a very simple talent management framework. From an employee’s perspective, it should be.
Talent management processes should be straightforward, transparent and never siloed. This approach ensures all company processes are linked back to the individual, with information and data flowing seamlessly from one process to the next.
To ensure your organization is delivering a great employee experience, there are four key considerations that should underpin each aspect of this ultimate talent management framework:
- What do employees want?
- What are the organization’s goals?
- How can technology better support these goals?
- What processes need to be put in place to support the employee and the organization?
Answering these questions ensures your organization is reinforcing an employee-centric culture, where work-life balance, diversity and inclusion, and strong leadership is a living, breathing reality. It also drives organizational goals and keeps business KPIs at the forefront.
2. Deliver a great experience from the beginning
The employee experience should be a focus at every stage of the talent lifecycle, beginning with recruitment. Job seekers have more choice than ever before, and the recruitment experience they have will determine if they choose to work for you – or a competitor.
Job seekers expect a seamless, hassle-free experience. On average 14% of Millennials and Gen-X candidates, and 26% of Gen-Z candidates, say they would decline a job because of a lack of technology throughout the application process. Incorporating technology such as AI, autofill capability and conversational chatbots can remove friction and make applying simple.
To attract the best talent, employers need to communicate a strong and authentic employer brand. Candidates want to know why they should work for you – and they want an alignment between their values and your organization’s mission. It is no longer enough to highlight salary and benefits – organizations need to showcase (and deliver!) opportunities for learning and development, career progression, rewards and a positive, inclusive culture.
But what happens to candidates who don’t go on to become employees? The story shouldn’t end there. While only 9% of job candidates will be hired by an employer, it’s important you treat the other 91% with the same care – after all, they could be a customer now, or in the future. Their experience during the recruitment process may influence their purchasing decisions far down the line.
3. Start with leadership
For companies to unleash the potential of their workforce, they need to create an environment that retains talent and entices others to join. This starts with leadership. Transforming talent management and shifting the focus to the employee experience requires strong vision and support from the top.
In the ultimate talent management framework, we see the expectations of a manager’s role transformed. As organizations become flatter and more agile, managers become coaches, focused on developing talent at every stage of their career.
4. Move beyond quotas
To embed a culture of inclusivity where every employee has the potential to succeed, organizations must move beyond quotas, compliance training and diversity reporting. Imagine the power of a culture where diversity of thought is not only valued but encouraged. Employees not only feel like they have a voice – but that their voice is respected.
With the increasing focus on finding workplaces that align with personal values and interests, having a representative workforce in which employees from all backgrounds are encouraged to bring new ideas, and share their perspectives is critical. For employees, feeling confident their effort is valued and they have strong career opportunities is key to engagement and retention.
5. Enable flexible team and work design
To support health and well-being, organizations are creating greater flexibility for both where and when people work and how the work is done. Both permanent flexibility (e.g working from home every Friday), and on-demand flexibility (adjusting hours and location as needed) should form part of your talent management strategy. HR professionals in conjunction with senior leaders and managers need to address the real barriers to flexible working: they may include culture, trust or a lack of technology to support remote work. Careful, thoughtful design of roles, teams and work is crucial to deliver effective flexible working arrangements.
Embedding the employee experience into talent management is crucial in today’s job market, where jobseekers and employees are expecting more than ever before. Getting it right will ensure you attract and retain the best talent for your organization.