Small business owners and executives are coming up with innovative new strategies to compete as long as unemployment is below 4% and there are at least a million more job vacancies than unemployed people. In order to maintain a competitive edge, business owners must reinvent and remake the workplace environment. The talent battle goes far beyond hiring procedures, staff retention, and acquisition strategies. Avoid waiting for the war to find you. Here are some fresh suggestions to push your business forward.
1. A work-life balance is a new ask of employees today. Answer it.
The pandemic significantly altered the life of the workers. Employees were required to manage their careers, children, and every other element of their lives simultaneously. Norms and established boundaries became forgotten in the confusion. Almost all of the employees' expectations and beliefs about their jobs, as well as their preferences, were spread out on the dining room table.
Don't blame your employees: Employers often point the finger at staff members for today's talent battles and the so-called Great Resignation. The workforce is worn out, stressed, and burned out. People have come to recognize that they want to have a say in where they live and raise their families. They don't want to expend time or money on commuting, which were once considered normal.
Recalibrate the company's metrics of success: participation is not the key indicator. Companies that manage for effect are less concerned with how their people use their time and more concerned with how well they meet deadlines and produce outcomes. Organizations that relax regulations (such start time or the amount of personal days) have interesting results as long as the task is completed and the job is done.
Accept that hybrid working arrangements are here to stay: Every company has to find the appropriate balance of in-office and remote work. Successful hybrid work arrangements will not come from some magic formula or artificial intelligence algorithm.
2. Rethink your approach to talent acquisition and retention
Doing more of the same in the new workplace, regardless of what your company has done in the past to develop and keep employees, won't be enough to build the talent pipeline you require. Strategies and pre-pandemic mindsets need to change.
Tap into wider talent pools: Businesses used to compete for talent with other businesses in their industries and locations. Reorient your business to reach out to underserved and diverse communities as a starting point for non-traditional talent sources. With the gig economy, employees, particularly those who are skilled in their field, can work on a contract basis and switch projects and employers as their interests and schedules dictate.
Replace exit interviews with "stay conversations": Speak to team members who are still there about the things that motivate them to stay rather than waiting until someone decides to leave. then take action. Although compensation is always a factor, there are signs that employees' perspectives on it have also changed. After a certain point, it's possible that other job characteristics become equally or even more crucial.
Review your role descriptions for barriers to entry: Is a college education necessary? Can five years of experience be replaced by a certificate of specialization? Could employing a young offender benefit your business? Many cities and counties have employment programs that organize training and support. How about the elderly? It's time to reconsider who you hire and how.
3. Change the way that work gets done
Coworkers, teams, and employees came up with novel ways to get things done during the pandemic and the absence from the office. It is crucial to identify the checkpoints that directly result in increasing revenue, enhancing customer satisfaction, and boosting margins with fewer defects in a newly configured workplace where teams will continue to be dispersed and results will serve as the metrics of success.
Change the hiring approach: Define traits hiring managers have overlooked — or that didn't matter before — that are now important. Define roles using skills and experiences rather than degrees and years.
Define the work in terms of individual tasks and collaborations: Does a project best begin with a multi-day collaboration of multiple team members, then sectioned off into individual or small group tasks? Or does the project need a small team or individual contributors to start, with collaboration coming later? Why don't we have more options for flexible work? Maybe leaders should ask this question first instead of waiting for employees to do so.
Make recruiting and interviewing for new talent a sustained aspect of every manager's job: The talent wars will continue, regardless of how the economy performs. Be present and attentive at work. These days, many workers are asking themselves questions. You had better be asking them as well if you are an employer looking to keep or hire, now or in the future.
Pick your battles. Return to the basics, and don't focus so much on winning any individual skirmish that you forfeit the larger campaign. Remember: Employees seek community. Relationships are an important reason that people work — that is one thing that hasn't changed.