How Can Employers Attract and Retain Top Talent

When the pandemic hit, workers were being furloughed or laid off in droves as forced shutdowns shrank, if not entirely closed, many businesses. With states having reopened and companies attempting to hire people back, another phenomenon has taken shape: Workers are refusing to go back to previous jobs or quitting the jobs they do have in what’s been dubbed the “Great Resignation.” With so many positions to fill and so many people not working, what’s an employer to do? How can employers attract and retain top talent?

Money Alone is Not Enough

Logic might dictate that the best way to attract top talent is to offer top-dollar salaries. But in today’s world, that is no longer enough. After the insecurities many experienced throughout the pandemic, employees are looking not just to be paid for their work, but to be nurtured by their employers as well.

Health, Well-being, Flex Schedules and Financial Wellness

By offering healthcare benefits, employers show that they value employee health and well-being. And in the current environment, where saving money is more important than ever for all parties concerned, employers have the option to offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and help employees offset deductible costs with a Health Savings Account.

Paid time off shows that employers value employee mental health and relaxation. Add parental leave, and your support for their family life is demonstrated as well.

As offices reopen, employees may still not have the ability to care for dependents, so offering a flexible work schedule, along with hybrid home/office time, show that you value their personal time and responsibilities. A Bloomberg survey in 2021 found that 39% of employees would quit if their employers did not provide flexibility.

By providing ways to help save for a rainy day, employers show they care about employees’ futures. The Federal Reserve estimates that 36% of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency. Emergency Savings Accounts (ESAs) allow employees to automatically contribute post-tax funds into a savings account every pay period, eliminating the opportunity to spend it elsewhere. The balance in employer-sponsored ESAs builds up faster and easier than when employees have to make deposits manually.

Communicate – and Listen

According to CNBC, over 4.4 million American employees quit their jobs in September 2021 alone, the new single-month record. Could employers have seen it coming?

More than ever, employees are seeking positive work environments with openly supportive management. Often one or both of these elements is missing. Especially in a time when everything seems to be changing faster than ever, it’s critically important for managers to communicate with employees. And it’s just as important for managers to listen to their employees. If you are observing a less-productive employee who is reluctant to communicate with you, you may have an unhappy worker on your hands who may soon be looking for employment elsewhere.

By communicating often, openly and honestly, employees can improve their likelihood of retaining talent by creating the nurturing employment environment your employees need and want.

Take Action Now

What can employers do now to encourage employees to stay? Beyond the actions outlined above, Employer Benefits News offers additional suggestions:

  • Review the options offered for personal development and training. Younger employees in particular want to be cross-trained for future job opportunities, not just shown how to carry out their current responsibilities.
  • Consider the amount of time spent in meetings. Long meetings and unproductive meetings often show up on employee lists of things they most dislike about their jobs.
  • Recognize good work and how it contributes to the company’s goals. We all like to be told that we’re doing a good job and hear how we contribute to the success of our employers.

Employers can lessen the effects of the “Great Resignation” with careful thought and action. For expert help with planning and implementing strategies to attract and retain top talent, consult with your benefits broker and third-party administrator (TPA), among other professionals.