By Oscar Lausegger
It’s difficult to recruit the best people, and just as hard to keep them onboard. Any company that believes its work is done once a new joiner has signed their contract is deluding itself. Your people are your business, and you need to invest in them just as you would invest in serving customers.
How can companies hold on to their best workers in the face of a skills shortage that has seen competition for top talent intensify like never before? Organisations can’t afford to be smug in this regard. A recent Deloitte report found that two-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current employer by 2020.
The most important thing to remember is that remuneration is just one part of the equation. Salary certainly influences a candidate’s decision to accept a new role and will no doubt be a concern throughout their career, but it now factors lower than ever on their list of priorities.
Above all, employees want to feel engaged and motivated in what they do. Our own research found that people who feel engaged at work are more productive, deliver a better service to customers, and feel less inclined to look for jobs elsewhere.
The term “employee engagement” gets thrown around too often, but at its core this comes down to ensuring workers get the support they need from managers. Our research also found that nearly 80% of young professionals want more frequent discussions with their line manager about their career path, as well as the training and tools employees require to keep progressing.
Of course, it’s one thing to drive employee engagement and another for your efforts to make a real impact. Unless HR teams and managers can measure the effect of their engagement tactics on employee performance and the company’s wider success there is little chance for improvement. This is where greater alignment with the finance department becomes crucial.
An open loop between HR and finance will ensure recruitment and talent management strategies align with the business’ resourcing needs and forward planning, which is the ultimate goal of hiring and developing the best people. From the finance team’s perspective, long-term plans hinge on the company’s ability to attract and retain the right people, and a more collaborative relationship with HR is the key to making this happen.
The modern worker’s expectations have evolved, but they are not unreasonable. They simply want to feel they are working with the business, not for the business. The challenge of delivering on this expectation can be likened to sailing. A sailor needs to plot a course and harness the wind to make sure they reach their destination. Otherwise, they will just be pushed about where the wind takes them. Similarly, a business must harness the power of its people to stay on course and achieve its ambitions, and it can only achieve this if its employees are engaged and committed to the company’s future ambitions.
With a deeper understanding of what their employees want from their experience at work, and by working more closely with the finance team to ensure their engagement strategies align with the company’s future course, HR teams will be in the best position to unify their workforce and channel their full potential.
Oscar Lausegger is an Oracle strategic director for HCM in the Netherlands.