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As the workplace is now more employee-centric than ever, companies are realizing that higher pay and extended benefits are no longer enough to attract and retain talent.
Today’s employees are looking for employment opportunities that are exciting yet provide both financial stability and emotional well-being. This priority shift calls for leaders to reevaluate traditional workplace practices and keep a close eye on workforce trends to create new strategies to strengthen and retain modern-day teams.
Many companies have already taken notice; Globalization Partners’ 2022 CFO survey revealed that talent retention is a top concern for 78 percent of CFOs across the globe. Numerous companies are ready to go the extra mile for their workers, but not everyone knows where to begin.
This topic was discussed in depth during a session at the 2022 HR Tech Festival, where Charles Ferguson, General Manager of Asia-Pacific at Globalization Partners, and Peter Hadley, President of Asia-Pacific at ADP, revealed five key practices to help keep team members engaged and happy. Here are the main takeaways from the event:
1. Prioritize employee wellness
According to ADP’s People at Work 2022 report, stress at work is at an all-time high. Sixty-seven percent of workers claimed to experience work-related stress at least once a week, and one in seven — 15 percent — claimed to feel stressed every day.
Although factors outside of the office also cause emotional strain, there are a variety of initiatives companies can deploy to help alleviate stress at work — creating a happy and healthy work environment can have a trickle-down effect and positively impact employees’ personal lives as well. Some effective wellness strategies include:
- Setting up one-on-one meetings with employees on a regular basis
- Allowing well-being days — designated time off employees can use to recharge
- Providing stress management breaks, e.g., access to a Zen room, meditation classes, or additional breaks throughout the day
- Offering access to special counselling
- Promoting the right to log off after working hours
2. Understand employees’ needs
One of the leading reasons behind work stress is job security. ADP’s report showed that over 57 percent of workers deemed job security as important; however, only 25 percent felt that their employment or industry was secure.
Research suggests that job security is achieved when employees earn a living without compromising essentials, such as health, emotional well-being, family time, personal beliefs, and values.
To address this matter, companies can help by developing initiatives based on what employees consider important. According to ADP’s research, employees prioritize these three aspects the most:
- Schedule flexibility
- Work enjoyment
- Career progression
While each worker is different, employers can balance these three priorities to better connect with their teams.
3. Promote work-life balance
Whether in-office or remote, fostering work-life balance is key to retaining talent. According to Globalization Partners’ 2021 Global Employee Survey, 50 percent of employees agreed that work-life balance was directly correlated to happiness and job satisfaction.
Additionally, G-P’s survey also revealed that most workers would accept a pay cut if it meant improving their work-life balance or gaining more flexible working arrangements.
Companies can promote work-life balance by:
- Giving employees more control over how and when they work
- Normalizing meeting-free days
- Adhering to a log-off policy on weekends, holidays, and days off
- Enlisting managers as “work-life balance ambassadors” to lead these initiatives
4. Redefine workplace visibility
Another measure companies have taken to promote work-life balance is offering remote and hybrid setups. However, managers must keep an eye out for proximity bias to create a cohesive and fair workplace.
ADP’s Employee Sentiment on the Workplace report revealed that 57 percent of workers think their managers prefer on-site employees over remote workers. Managers share a similar sentiment, with 59 percent saying they favor on-site employees when making decisions on hiring and promotions.
Companies can redefine workplace visibility with initiatives such as:
- Develop programs and activities that encourage equal participation from remote and on-site workers
- Constantly improve communication channels to ease collaboration between both worker types
- Limit the level of micromanagement for both parties
5. Streamline communication processes
Communication is a key component of successful leadership. As teams are spread across different cities, countries, and even time zones, new challenges have emerged in terms of collaboration and team synchronization.
It is estimated that remote employees have experienced a 26 percent decrease in communication with management since the pandemic began.
There are several reasons for communication bottlenecks. As dispersed teams work from a distance, communication is mostly asynchronous — exchanges do not happen in real-time, and responses are often delayed due to time differences. While there are opportunities for synchronous communication — such as phone calls and video conferences — these are often counterproductive and cause work interruptions, burnout, and Zoom fatigue.
Building structured communication policies and processes can help remote employees feel more visible and heard. Tips for streamlining communication include:
- Establishing a rotation system for meetings to accommodate different time zones
- Embracing both synchronous and asynchronous communication methods
- Checking in with team members regularly to discuss work progress and their overall well-being.
Revamp workplace practices to empower modern-day teams
Employees now demand more from their workplace — whether it is more flexibility, increased job security, or a better work-life balance, employers must truly listen and cater to teams’ needs to create effective workplace policies.
Gathering employee feedback is an important first step. According to a global study by The Workforce Institute, 74 percent of employees feel more effective at their job when they feel heard. Companies should view these insights as opportunities instead of mere demands. Through a people-centric approach, leaders can successfully adapt to the ever-changing needs of today’s workforce.
Attracting and retaining modern-day talent can be complex, which is why Globalization Partners is with you every step of the way. Our fully compliant Global Employment Platform™ streamlines and automates recruiting, onboarding, payroll, and hiring. Our technology makes it easy to swiftly diversify your talent base and build international teams, so you can focus on keeping your workforce happy and engaged.
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