organizational culture, flex time, virtual work benefits, work-life balance, benefits

Talent acquisition and retention remains a challenge this year as employers seek to balance the books while keeping their most talented employees on board, amid fears of a "double-dip" recession and talk of a "jobless recovery." 

Become an employer of choice

Talent acquisition and retention remains a challenge this year as employers seek to balance the books while keeping their most talented employees on board, amid fears of a "double-dip" recession and talk of a "jobless recovery."

What is culture? 
"A pattern of shared basic assumptions invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with problems that have worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems."

-Edgar Schein, one of the most prominent theorists of organizational culture

The culture march 
Believe it or not, an organization's culture plays an important part in talent acquisition and retention. We like to think of organizational culture as the personality of an organization, where job hunters and employees try to find a 'best fit' by matching a company's beliefs, values and preferences with their own personality, before deciding whether to stay put or move on.

Kim Cameron, a leading expert in organizational culture, identifies four main cultural types and the values they tend to hold.

  • Collaborative: commitment, communication and development
  • Creative: innovation, transformation and agility
  • Controlling: efficiency, timeliness, consistency and uniformity
  • Competing: market share, goal achievement and profitability

You can determine your organizational culture using an Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI). This is basically a short employee survey where respondents rate the organization's current state, and then give suggestions as to how they'd like it to be in the next five years or so.

Job Satisfaction 
Even though attracting and keeping skilled employees is, now more than ever, a big challenge, some managers are still not monitoring employee satisfaction levels on a regular basis. Although most "employers of choice" carry out some form of employee satisfaction survey to collect feedback, there are also other things you could try, including monthly catch-up sessions and employee forums.

We suggest that managers and supervisors focus on the following job satisfaction factors when gaining feedback, and don't forget to also provide an opportunity for suggestions to be made.

  • Work content
  • Responsibilities
  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • Advancement

Offering praise and acknowledgement is also an important factor in creating job satisfaction - it's amazing how a simple 'thank you' can make someone feel valued and most of all, appreciated. Many managers only give praise for what they consider to be exceptional work. However, consistent and expression of your appreciation can go a long way towards contributing towards high performance and talent retention.

Managers who know how to manage 
Too often you hear about people leaving organizations due to poor supervision and management. Good managers take a vested interest in their employees, providing opportunities for growth and development.

A recent survey by the Chartered Management Institute has revealed that half of the UK workforce thinks that a dominant management within their organization is negative. Managers who have an open door policy have a better chance of keeping their top talent on board, and for longer. This includes being a positive role model for those who aspire to also become managers in the future.

Flexible Benefits 
During times of economic uncertainty, it is likely that additional pressures are placed upon top performers, who may be asked to work harder and longer hours. You must consider their needs and help them manage work-life balance. Try giving employees control over their reward packages by providing benefits and letting them match their benefits to their lifestyles. Be creative and explore what motivates your high potential employees, from flex-time, virtual work, gift cards.