The global pandemic reshaped the way we work. Not only did it expedite the shift to remote teams, it also highlighted the importance of work-life balance and allowed many workers to re-think their personal and career goals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2022 alone. This trend, known as the “Great Resignation,” came to the forefront in the second quarter of 2021, roughly a year after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So how do employers hire and retain quality employees and develop engaged leaders in the face of this workforce transformation? By prioritizing people.
“One of the most important things not to do is make assumptions about what you think you know because today is a new day and business has changed,” said Tara Chrisco, director of People and Organization Development at HORNE.
An Engaged Workforce
U.S. employers spend $2.9 million per day looking for replacement workers. That’s $1.1 billion per year. Chrisco said focusing on what leaders need to know in order to drive culture and navigate these times of transition is key.
“We’ve observed that the skills needed today are different than the skills needed yesterday,” she said. “We have to be engaged with our workforce. We need to understand.”
Chrisco said employers can realize success in hiring and retaining talent through investing in them. With new employees, onboarding is critical in helping them feel empowered and set up for success. Once employees are established, whether as individual contributors or in leadership roles, coaching and leadership development can facilitate positive growth and help develop skill sets that engage others.
“I think that we can’t put enough emphasis on growing our leaders — and leaders at all levels, honestly,” she added. “There’s power in coaching when we’re making pivotal changes within our careers or navigating new seasons of life.”
Planning for Your Employment Needs
Having living, breathing plans that grow along with employees and leaders are advantages when it comes to development, rather than plans that are visited just once or twice a year, Chrisco said
While there are several platforms available to create such plans, she suggests one like TeamVantage™, a service offered by HORNE. Not only does it allow the user to build profiles and a skills inventory dashboard showing strengths and gaps, it also can help develop specific strategies for growing individual, team and organizational capabilities. This can give leaders a clear picture of where employees are and where they should focus their development efforts.
“It helps leaders tune in where they need to tune in,” Chrisco said. “First and foremost, it gives each team member what we call an accelerator plan. I think that’s unique because in many organizations, we talk about goals and we talk about ideas on how to develop people, but we don’t have anything specific in place.
“The other differentiator is, it rolls up for leadership a full picture of all of the talent on their team or within their department or division,” she said. “It allows us to quickly be able to identify who are the experts at certain skills and competencies that we require and can be used to match mentoring relationships. It also can help in the formation of project teams or client teams.”
Chrisco said such a platform really helps employers meet employees where they are. And that can make the difference between retention and resignation, achieving business growth or adjusting targets now and in the future.