Creating a Work Environment
that Inspires Employees to Stay

Current State

The evolving work environment is difficult to navigate for everyone. Few employers believe it will significantly improve in the near future. 92% of organizations are prioritizing investments to improve the employee work experience. At the same time, 92% of organizations also believe their top talent is at risk for leaving.

Complications

80% of organizations are operating under some form of hybrid work arrangement but leadership sentiments about this arrangement are mixed. About 35% of respondents to Brandon Hall Group™’s HCM Outlook 2024 study believe that as long as employees are meeting expectations, it doesn’t matter where they work from and an additional 35% believe that employees need to be in the office two to three days per week. Further complicating the work environment are 16% of organizations whose work or industry does not allow for hybrid work. Hybrid or remote work puts pressure on every aspect of the employee experience.

Consequences

As the graphic above illustrates, employers have many people priorities. As the saying goes, if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority and employers can only pay attention to so many priorities at once. It is important to focus on a few critical objectives and assess progress over time before determining next steps.

Critical Question

  • What are the key components that have the biggest impact on talent retention?

Brandon Hall GroupPOV

Each employee is unique, which makes it difficult to focus on improving experiences because there are so many of them and employees value each experience to varying degrees. But one factor that our research reveals as critical to employee engagement and retention is providing an environment of psychological safety. If employers can provide that, they have a foundation for driving engagement and retaining talent.

Continuously Listen to Employees

Many employers still rely on annual employee surveys to understand the level of engagement. Technology enables you to connect with employees in a variety of sophisticated ways and target employee segments for deeper understanding of what motivates and demotivates and what they care about. Continuous listening is critical to understand your workforce and build an environment of psychological safety.

Act Quickly on Employee Feedback

Employees must feel heard. But, more importantly, they must believe you are taking what they say seriously. The only thing worse than not listening to your employees is to listen and do nothing — or listen, do something, but not communicate what you are doing.

Employers can’t address all concerns employees have, but they can analyze where the biggest problems are, address them, then design communication campaigns to inform the workforce. Even when you act, engage employees to be part of the solution and get their feedback so you can adjust as needed.

Recognize Employee Contributions More Frequently

Everyone likes — and many people crave — recognition. It’s human nature; we want to be appreciated. Brandon Hall Groupresearch indicates that recognition is important or critcal for driving business results.

Praising or providing positive reinforcement to an employee once a month does not seem like a high bar! With the aid of technology, there are countless ways for leaders and peers to praise, recognize and even reward employees for a job well done, making progress on a goal or overcoming a challenge.

Act Quickly on Employee Feedback

About seven in 10 employers believe leadership development training is needed for the entire workforce, according to Brandon Hall Group’s study, Creating Leadership Development for Every Employee. But only about 40% do it.

There are significant benefits to leadership training for all:

  • At least 80% of employers say it promotes a clear vision and direction, fosters collaboration and improves trust, coaching and emotional intelligence.
  • Employees gain the opportunity to form good leadership habits early and become better decision-makers. It also demonstrates the organization’s commitment to employee and career development.

Empower Employees to Own their Career Development

Your employees want to know they can grow and prosper in your organization. If not, why stay? Historically, career development has been a blind spot for most employers. That is beginning to change as talent retention becomes a larger issue and organizations see the errors of their ways.

But busy managers and HR teams can only do so much. There have been great strides in technology that matches employees to opportunities (such as teams, projects, temporary assignments) to develop their capabilities in alignment with their aspirations. Invest in technology and other resources to give your employees more responsibility for career development. Empowerment provides a sense of belonging and feeling valued.

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Claude Werder

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Claude Werder

Claude J. Werder Senior Vice President and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group Claude Werder runs Brandon Hall Group’s Talent Management, Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices. His specific areas of focus include how organizations must transform culturally and strategically to meet the needs of the emerging workforce and workplace. Claude develops insights and solutions on employee experience, leadership, coaching, talent development, assessments, culture, DE&I, and other topics to help members and clients make talent development a competitive business advantage now and in the evolving future of work. Before joining Brandon Hall Group in 2012, Claude was an HR consultant and also spent more than 25 years as an executive and people leader for media and news organizations. This included a decade as the producer of the HR Technology Conference and Expo. He helped transform it from a small event to the world’s largest HR technology conference. Claude is a judge for the global Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards and Excellence in Technology Awards, contributes to the company’s HCM certification programs, and produces the firm’s annual HCM Excellence Conference. He is also a certified executive and leadership coach. He lives in Boynton Beach, FL.

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