B2B Articles - December 01, 2022
2022 was a wild year for the job market. From on-the-spot offers to mass resignations, we saw a seismic shift in how employees articulated what matters to them in the workplace. Companies that offered limited flexibility lost out on talent, while businesses that emphasized employee wellbeing found themselves with a large talent pool.
With a looming recession and layoffs across the country, 2023 may look different for job seekers. We may shift away from the applicant market and into one that favors employers. However, it's unlikely that employees will sacrifice their core wants when job hunting. This dichotomy will make for an interesting year in the job market. Ultimately, will the job seekers win out and force companies to become more flexible and open? Or will rigid businesses gain top talent because of the economic uncertainty forcing businesses to lay off employees? The answer likely lies somewhere in between.
Companies that want to thrive during this uncertainty should focus on building a healthy company culture, employee wellness, and opportunity for growth.
Trisha May, HR Generalist for Ironpaper, and Chantel Hall, Marketing Content Specialist, discuss how companies can keep their employees happy, attract strong candidates, and build a culture that people want to be a part of.
"Company culture" is an often-misunderstood term that, for many people, brings to mind ping-pong tables and kitchens stocked with free snacks. But your company's culture is the culmination of how your employees experience life at work, not just the perks you provide — and it's a critical piece of hiring and retention.
To build a supportive culture, May says, companies must genuinely hold the values they want to be a part of their culture. "You need a leadership team that genuinely cares about employee wellbeing and allows people to bring their whole selves to work. Leadership has to align their actions with their values."
"You need a leadership team that genuinely cares about employee wellbeing…Leadership has to align their actions with their values."
-Trisha May, HR Generalist
May believes articulating your culture is also crucial in hiring; the better candidates understand your culture, the less likely they are to turn over quickly because of a bad fit. "Employer branding is important. You have to be clear on the value proposition for employees and what's great about the culture."
May says that a transformation in how employees think about their jobs necessitates changing employer behavior and expectations. "There has been a shift in the way employees view their work. Work is one important factor in peoples' lives – but not the most important factor."
Companies must invest in and prioritize employee health and wellness to retain strong employees and attract great candidates. "Many peoples' jobs today are fast-paced and ever-changing," says May, "and companies must prioritize team health to avoid burnout." This means ensuring your employees aren't pressured to work long hours or weekends and considering whether you can provide different or better benefits. "In general, the pandemic has had a major impact on people's mental health. Designing benefit packages to support mental health and wellness is going to be important in any industry."
Finally, employees want to have a sense of belonging and community. "Many people are seeking a sense of belonging and social connection. With the increase of remote and hybrid work teams, it's no surprise that people feel less connected to their coworkers. There needs to be intention around creating a strong social connection, which requires creativity, especially when remote work is involved."
A 2022 McKinsey study found that the most common reason employees left their jobs was a lack of career development and advancement.1 Not low pay or uninspiring leaders, but a lack of opportunities.
May has seen that play out in her work and says, "Purposeful growth and development opportunities are critical. It's not one size fits all - growth means different things to people, and growth paths should be tailored to individual goals, strengths, and interests. Identify future leaders early, then provide coaching and training to help them develop."
And companies should have these discussions before an employee is unhappy or has one foot out the door. "Invite discussion about unique career development opportunities and an envisioned future. You may be able to provide the right career opportunity, and then they won't have to look elsewhere for it."
There's no one simple answer for companies affected by the Great Resignation or Attrition because, frequently, company culture is at the root of the issue. Changing company culture requires an investment in transparency, fostering connections, and employee wellbeing.
1McKinsey, The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools?, July 13, 2022
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