5 Ways to Attract and Retain Young Talent

It’s becoming increasingly imperative that companies do everything in their power to keep up with the needs and expectations, not just of their customers, but of their employees. To attract a workforce that views you as an employer of choice and feels committed to your company is becoming more and more difficult as the demographics of the workforce grows and evolves. This year, over a third of the workforce will be Gen Z, meaning that all the work you did to try to attract millennials is going to need to be reviewed and adjusted.

But that isn’t such a bad thing. Your company should always be working to improve its culture to be the most attractive to new talent. It’s just part of the game. Thankfully, there are large trends that you can follow to help guide you to the best decisions around what benefits and perks you should offer, personalizing them to the distinctive needs of your company.

Personal Development

The lifecycle of a typical career has evolved dramatically over the past 40 years. Where an employee used to stay with the same company for decades and work their way up the ladder, employees now are viewing their career as happening in a series of waves, not linear steps in a ladder. With more and more people expecting to work longer than their predecessors, there is a natural expectation for more variety within a career, with more frequent breaks.

Younger generations are continuing to evolve by prioritizing jobs that offer opportunities to grow and develop their skillset, which will widen their career options moving forward. Four out of five employees consider the opportunity to develop new skills a critical factor when considering employment options.

Giving your employees opportunities to attend classes, conferences, and access learning opportunities is a great way to get the most potential out of your hires while building loyalty and engagement.

Flexibility 

Younger generations are exceedingly interested in employment that allows them to have greater control over their schedules. Consider implementing flexible work schedules, offering flex time, or even fully remote positions at your company. You may find that you can actually save money while increasing productivity by providing remote working opportunities.

Wellness

It’s common knowledge that Gen Z and Millennials have put a stronger emphasis on the importance of a healthy work-life balance, and as an employer, it’s important to factor this into your attraction and retention plans. Younger generations are seeking employers who offer wellness programs that support their needs and show that the company values their health. There is a large selection of wellness perks and programs to choose from, so you can select the perfect-fit programs for your company and staff. Here are a few ideas:

  • Provide a monthly gym membership to employees
  • Offer a monthly stipend to be put towards personal wellness (massages, yoga classes, etc.)
  • Provide educational opportunities for employees to learn about nutrition, sleep, and self-care

Whatever you provide, make sure you’ve talked to your employees about what they actually want. That way, when you make the commitment to offer a wellness perk, you know it’s going to be used and appreciated.

Financial empowerment

Young generations face high levels of financial challenges, such as student loan debt, high cost-of-living, and excessive healthcare expenses. The current financial situation employees are dealing with has them expecting to work longer into their lives to be able to survive. You can support these employees by offering 401K programs, student debt matching, and financial coaching.

More employees than ever report being stressed by their financial situation. By offering them a way to find better financial security and relieve their anxiety, you’re showing them you not only understand their needs but are willing to help them meet and overcome their challenges.

Develop a positive hiring experience and company culture

According to a survey, nearly 80% of candidates consider their hiring experience as a top indicator of whether or not the company values its employees. Over 90% of job seekers research at least one resource to determine the employer’s brand before applying. This indicates a strong emphasis placed on company culture and values.

Make sure your hiring and onboarding process is candidate-friendly, accessible, and easy-to-execute. Do your workplace culture and online presence match up? Find ways to communicate the core values of your company through your hiring process and take pains to ensure they align with the experience of a committed employee. You want your candidates to know who you are from the get-go so they can make an informed decision whether or not to apply and aren’t disappointed when they join your team.

Never stop improving

As our world and culture develop, so do the expectations and needs of employees. Carve out time every year to evaluate how well your company is keeping up. Doing so won’t just make you look more attractive to prospective talent; it will help keep the talent you already have happily working for you.

 

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Photo by ammentorp

Empowering Employees Through Financial Wellness

The heightened frustration around the rising cost of living in the US is unmistakable and likely felt in your organization. Extreme healthcare costs, massive student loan debt, and rising housing costs have put an enormous strain on the American workforce. 

In a study on employee financial wellness in 2019, it was found that the leading source of employee stress across generations stems from financial issues. Despite record-high employment, employees are still struggling to meet rising financial demands across the board. Nearly half of all employees struggle to pay their household expenses on time each month. More and more people are expecting to work into their retirement to pay for healthcare and living costs.

So what does this mean for employers trying to attract, retain, and care for their talent?

It’s an opportunity to find ways to empower and support your employees financially.

But how?

There are many ways to provide financial support services to your employees, but it’s critical you understand the particular needs of your workforce. What might be right for a start-up tech company may not work for a retail store or small insurance agency.

To identify what services are right for your employees, it’s always a good idea to start by asking them! Conduct an internal survey to pinpoint where your employees need help. You can decide how to best address the needs once you know what they are.

There are a few common financial pain points; however, you can expect to find in most communities. Here are some ideas to address them.

1. Offering 401k plans with matching contribution

It isn’t far-fetched to assume that everyone—really, everyone—wants to retire someday. And with 80% of people expecting to work during retirement, you really can’t go wrong by providing an opportunity for your employees to get in (or ahead of) the game. Tax breaks are available to businesses offering 401K matching plans to their employees, which helps mediate the overall cost of set-up and maintenance.

To those employees you’re hoping to attract and retain, offering a 401k plan with matching contribution says you care about their future and are willing to invest in it. Doing so will help build loyalty to your company and will play into a company culture that values the empowerment of its employees.

2. Student loan repayment 

It’s widely known in the US that student loan debt has increasingly damaged people’s ability to thrive. It’s common to hear graduates working extra jobs, moving back home with their parents, and living in poverty to pay off their bills. Here’s what the numbers tell us:

Ok, so these numbers are pretty scary. Thankfully, there are ways that employers can help support those employees who are struggling to pay off their student loans. Two options are Student Loan Replacement Plans (SLRPs) and student loan matching programs. Do your research on the available options to make sure the benefits program you choose is right for your particular employee population. 

3. Short and long-term disability (STD and LTD)

Statistically, a quarter of all adults in the US will live with a disability in their lifetime. Offering long and short-term disability benefits can play a critical part in your employee benefits strategy. However, it’s essential to understand the different programs available and exactly how they provide support. Not all plans are created equal. For instance, STD and LTD programs define disability in a variety of ways. Some follow the definition followed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is more rigid, where some have a broader and more flexible definition, allowing a more comprehensive range of people to access support.

Join the cause

Whatever options you choose for building a financial support system for your workforce, make sure you communicate with your employees about their level of need and interest and do your research accordingly. Providing relevant and easy-to-use solutions will make your employees feel supported and cared for.

Whether you choose a benefits package to help employees with student loans, get the upper hand on retirement savings, or offer financial protection in a time of need, you’re showing employees you’re invested in their well-being and care about their future success.

People want to work for a company that wants to see them succeed. There’s no better way to show you believe your employees are valuable than offering benefits that will provide real value to them. It’s not just good for your company culture and brand image; it makes a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the people working for you. Now that’s real value.

 

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Photo by Wavebreak Media Ltd 

Create a Winning Strategy with Happy Employees

In today’s job market, companies are having to take extra steps to stay ahead of their competition. Prospective employees have more options than ever and are often already employed.

Now more than ever, employees are valuing jobs that support their ability to lead a healthy lifestyle. The Randstad 2019 employer global report found that the demand for employers that support a healthy work-life balance has steadily risen since 2015 and now sits above job security.

Building a work environment that supports a healthy work-life balance and encourages employees to take care of themselves outside of work may sound like a daunting ask for an employer. Here are three ideas to get you started.

Consider a shortened work week

There’s a recent study going around that’s gotten a lot of media coverage—for good reason. Microsoft’s subsidiary in Japan did an experiment over the summer to investigate what would happen to productivity if they cut their work week from five to four days a week. The result was a 40% spike in productivity from the same month of the previous year.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Employees were given less time to accomplish their duties and more time to focus on their personal lives and the result was a massive increase in productivity for the company. Not to mention the savings they had from decreased electricity usage (down almost a quarter from the previous year) as well as a decreased use in office supplies.

Talk about a win-win for both employees and employers.

This may not be a model that works for your company, but don’t worry! There are other ways to offer employees greater personal control over work hours.

Flex time

While remote working options have taken a huge rise in mainstream economy, it doesn’t work for a lot of people for a variety of reasons. Flex time, however, offers employees greater flexibility for the hours they work without having them work at home.

Often, flex-schedules revolve around a set number of hours that are agreed upon, allowing employees to control what time they begin and end their workdays. Companies that offer flex-schedules often have set hours during the day or week where all employees are required to be at the office, allowing for easier scheduling and promoting collaboration.

Employees with children or family members in their care are able to make work schedules that allow them to run errands, drop children off at school, or take someone to a doctor appointment.

The easier you can make it for employees to work for you, the less stressed out they’ll be. And the less stressed out your employees are, the more likely they won’t call out of work. (Which, by the way, contributes to over half of all the lost working days in a year.) 

Perks

Purchasing a benefits package for your employees can be incredibly expensive and isn’t an option for most small business owners. But that doesn’t mean you can’t provide employee perks that encourage self-care.

Consider getting rid of those beanbags no one ever sits in, and instead, offer perks that encourage employees to take time to nurture themselves.

Providing your employees with a gift certificate for a massage every quarter or offering a sponsored gym membership are great examples. If you can, try putting together a number of options for employees to choose from.

When you offer employees a variety of perks and let them choose which is best for them, you’re contributing to a great employee experience. Offering choices increases the chance they’ll use it, allows you to give them autonomy, and helps personalize the work experience. 

You can even take this a step further and create opportunities for team building and development around fun, recreational activities. Just be sure you select activities that are accessible to everyone in your office for it to be a team morale booster.

Encouraging your employees to take care of themselves, to prioritize their mental, physical, and emotional health not only shows that you value them as individuals, but that you recognize a healthy employee is a good employee. Talk about a good loyalty-builder! 

It’s good for everyone

Work-related stress can cause literal death, but it also contributes to lower engagement, lower productivity, and lower job satisfaction. Having stressed out employees does no good for anyone.

So whatever it is your company does to help, be it increased flexibility, decreased hours, or a free massage every few months, make sure your company is doing something. You’ll nurture trust, loyalty, and engagement in your employees.

Plus, it’s just the right thing to do. Care for them, and they’ll care for you.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by ammentorp