January 21, 2022 – 2021 was the year of the employee. Around four million Americans exercised choice and quit their jobs each month in a trend that has become known as The Great Resignation. For 2022, a new report from DHR Global concludes, it is a business imperative for companies to stop the flow of employees exiting and ensure they can hire and retain the best. The report, authored by Craig B. Clayton, Christine Greybe, Jonathan Hoyt, Maryanne Wanca-Thibault and Tim Wiseman, said that leaders who can effectively address employee needs and develop a sticky culture will differentiate their organization from the competition and meet their strategic goals.
The Great Resignation took many companies by surprise and led to a competition for talent. According to the DHR report, to counter additional attrition, companies have turned their attention inward and are focusing on employee retention. “While some employees continue to look for more pay and flexible hours, many desire to work for a company that shows their employees that they are valuable and needed,” it said. “Organizations can demonstrate employees’ value and contribution at the company level by ensuring they have an inclusive culture, and at the individual level through talent development and advancement opportunities.”
Walk the Talk
‘COVID clarity’ is real and showing up as employees seek purpose and balance in their lives. “Many organizations include a strong culture statement on their website, but to attract and retain the best and the brightest, employees need to see those values in action every day,” the DHR report said. “They seek companies where everyone—including the top leaders—are actively demonstrating company values and there’s a spotlight on measuring social and cultural impact. If key employees are falling short, employers should invest in assessment and coaching to help them understand where the weaknesses are and develop a plan to shift accordingly.”
Clean Out the Toxins
A team’s effectiveness is often driven by how inclusive the environment is, according to the DHR report. “A commonly cited reason employees leave their jobs is a toxic environment, including bullying and microaggression,” the report found. “Systemic, derailing behaviors within an organization hinder the ability to retain employees and are costly. To create a more inclusive environment, begin by conducting a culture audit to uncover issues and commit to developing effective strategies to combat toxic behaviors and reduce turnover.”
Linking Culture to Value, Growth and Performance
In the wake of COVID-19, broad and lasting changes to the workplace have advanced a more integrated approach to talent management built around culture. Organizations that once synchronized their talent to corporate vision, core values and strategic objectives are now aligning people around purpose. And for good reason: Building sustainable cultures in the long run will attract, engage, and retain talent – and give organizations with strong cultures a key competitive edge.
To examine how companies are leveraging culture, Hunt Scanlon Media is convening 500 corporate culture leaders, business transformation experts, DE&I leaders, chief talent officers, heads of HR and executive recruiters at The Plaza Hotel of New York on March 16, 2022 to explore the link between culture, value and growth.
Steps to Take
The Great Resignation has led to talent wars and a competitive salary market. It also caused companies to re-think their culture to drive hiring and retention.
DHR offers these five steps to focus on culture in 2022:
- Evangelize your mission.
2. Connect every individual to the mission.
3. Enable people to think as well as do.
4. Never miss an opportunity to make someone feel valued.
5. Purge out toxins and toxic people – make tough decisions.
Build Your Bench
During the pandemic, executive recruiters say many companies paused succession planning. “Now, as we refocus on future growth, organizations are restarting this process,” the DHR report said. “You should look to build your bench strength by developing internal talent and hiring future leaders of the organization. To achieve this, start by determining potential organization talent gaps spanning the CEO to the emerging leader level and developing existing team members. Seek out and hire strong candidates with leadership potential and an ability to drive the desired culture.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media