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The December 2021 unemployment rate hit 3.9%. I realize unemployment isn’t a total picture of the labor market, we haven’t seen unemployment that low in a long time. Organizations need to realize that this means 1) recruiting is going to remain a challenge and 2) employee engagement needs to be a focus. Because the last thing that organizations want to do is spend a lot of time and resources hiring someone only to have them leave in a few weeks or months.
But employee engagement is a bit more complicated right now. Candidates and employees want to know that their employer can be flexible as changing situations dictate. Yes, I’m referring to the pandemic. But other things too – like scheduling and time off.
As organizations think about their talent strategies, here are a few articles that might help spark some conversation.
New hires deserve our attention. Building a working relationship helps them start their careers on a positive note and moves them towards success. It helps to create employee engagement and retention. But there’s one last thing. The work doesn’t stop after the new hire is settled into their role. Managers need to invest time and energy into managing their onsite/remote teams.
Organizations are very focused on economic recovery right now and I totally recognize that. The best way to make that happen is by having employees who are ready to deliver high performance. Employees will do that when they feel safe and have the tools to do the job. Think about the best plan for making that happen. The hybrid workplace may just be what we need to transition in a safe way. Even if your organization doesn’t love the hybrid work model as a long-term strategy, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make a good transition plan.
Creating hybrid workplaces is a big job. Think of it like creating an employee experience strategy. Or changing company culture. But it can be done. And it can be done well. The organizations that make the commitment to creating equitable hybrid workplaces will be the ones that are able to attract, engage, and retain the best talent. Because those organizations will have figured out how to maintain company culture with a hybrid workplace.
When the pandemic started, organizations made a lot of decisions with very little information … and that’s okay. It’s what needed to be done. We have more information now. It’s time to use it to create better employee strategies. That means it’s possible organizations will be managing more non-desk work than originally anticipated. So, if we want employees to be engaged and stay with us, we need to have clear guidelines about the work and how it will get done.
The pandemic has changed the way we work. And the right compensation strategy is just one of the many decisions that organizations will have to make in the months to come. Organizations need to take a hard look at their culture and what they want the employee experience to look like when making these types of decisions.
As organizations plan for the future, workplace flexibility will be at the center of the employee experience. Hybrid workplaces might not be forever, but my guess is it will be around for a while. And the key to delivering a successful employee experience is going to require benefits, policies, and procedures that work whether you’re in the office or working remotely.
My thought is that organizations can and should change all the time. They change because business dynamics change. Before organizations decide that their culture can’t survive a hybrid workforce, I think it makes sense to get the workforce involved. Employees maintain the company culture. More accurately, employee engagement maintains company culture.
Candidates and employees want to know that the organization they work for is going to support them regardless of where they’re located. I mentioned in a previous article the Reddit antiwork subgroup and if what I’m reading is true…OMGosh, companies have a long way to go in supporting their workforce.
But let me add, the companies that figure this out…meaning companies that figure out how to treat employees well…they will not be challenged to hire excellent workers. The word will get out where the great employers are, and talented people will apply. We all know this is true.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Miami, FL14