This post is in collaboration with Xoxoday, the number one rewards, incentives, benefits, and payouts infrastructure for businesses. It is a companion piece to a joint webinar with Xoxoday, 'Hybrid Work and the 2023 trends in recruiting'.
Hybrid work can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be a barrier to talent retention. Learn the key considerations crucial to attracting and retaining top talent.
The hybrid work environment soon gained prevalence - and preference - post the COVID-19 pandemic. With employees greatly preferring flexibility, it quickly became crucial that companies offered it to ensure higher productivity. But while the new system proves beneficial on many fronts, unique challenges, including attracting and retaining talent, have become a growing concern for employers.
Amid an immense number of competitors offering similar hybrid work opportunities, it is crucial that you differentiate yourself to prospective workers and gain an edge over those offering similar benefits.
So, here is a comprehensive analysis of the critical factors you need to consider to attract and retain top talent. Whether you are a start-up or a large organization, these insights will help you design a work environment that sets you apart in the talent market.
The rise of hybrid working
The vision of the workplace is constantly changing, compelling employers to explore how they can bring the most out of their workforce's talent. While the pandemic brought the concept to the fore, it was long considered how the work was done was more important than where the work was done.
Driven by multiple factors, including the need to comply with social distancing requirements and the need for increased flexibility, here are a few major reasons why hybrid work models have become popular:
Rise of remote work due to the pandemic
The pandemic compelled employers to adopt a remote work approach in full force. While remote work was necessary due to social distancing guidelines it came with a fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
Remote work brought in cost savings due to the minimal usage of office resources, but it also led to employees feeling disconnected from the workplace and disrupting communication channels.
Employers identified that, when implemented correctly, remote work had unparalleled benefits that could be maintained even after the pandemic.
Re-evaluation of work-life balance
While fully remote work can isolate and distance employees completely from the workplace, social distancing regulations made fully on-site work unattainable.
As a result, hybrid working emerged as a favorable middle ground that enabled both. It allowed a select portion of the workforce to report to the office on select days while allowing them to work from wherever they wanted on the others.
When working remotely in this hybrid model, it is easy for the lines between work and personal life to get blurred. Unlike on-site work, where employees are required to log out at a particular time, switching from the online to the offline mode is much more challenging when working remotely. This can lead to burnout unless managers and leaders impose strict directions for employees to stick to their working hours.
Four-day work week
Another initiative that has emerged in recent years to provide a much better work-life balance is the concept of a "four-day work week." Intended to provide employees with better work-life balance and improved productivity, it has proven to be highly effective for many organizations worldwide. You can further introduce alternate days of on-site and remote work to enhance the results, helping employees achieve better work-life balance.
However, to avoid the "Shiny Platform Syndrome," - the idea that people focus on a new idea before dropping it in favour of the latest trend - a thorough assessment is needed to ensure an effective four-day workweek. This needs to be carried out considering the services the company provides and whether it can afford to not have its workforce available for 3 days. Furthermore, thorough planning must also be carried out to ensure the workforce is prepared to complete all the work for the entire week in four days.
New ways of collaboration and working
The rise of remote work has disrupted previously proven communication and collaborative work methods. With the rising popularity and preference for hybrid work, companies are experimenting extensively with establishing new collaboration and work processes.
The digital transformation of virtual meetings using project management, communication and collaboration tools, is forcing organizations to change the way such basic interactions take place.
Key considerations to attract and retain the best talent
With the keyword being "culture," here are some key considerations that can help you secure the best talent for your company:
Attracting new talent to your company requires you to create a strong and favorable first impression. In the current work culture, where the focus is on employee welfare and benefits, candidates will be willing to join your company only when these factors match their expectations.
Benefits and rewards programs
Benefits and reward programs have become a crucial factor in attracting new talent. You must offer a healthy balance of monetary and non-monetary benefits to your prospective employees.
These can improve your value proposition as an employer. These are in addition to a competitive salary, ample opportunities for professional growth, learning opportunities, flexible work conditions, and healthcare benefits.
While ensuring that your company culture matches employees' expectations, you must also check if the candidate is a perfect fit. For this purpose, background checks can help you get the right candidates with the necessary verified credentials. You need to ensure that such checks act as enablers rather than obstacles to attracting and onboarding top talent.
You can take steps to deliver a positive candidate experience with transparent communication about your expectations from the outset. You can adopt the following pointers to get the most out of your background check processes:
i. Clear communication:
Set out your expectations regarding the skills of the candidate and what they can expect from the role and the process. This will keep you both on the same page and your candidate informed and updated, making them more open to cooperating.
ii. Mobile-friendly experience:
Many candidates may prefer to go through the recruitment process using their mobile phones, instead of just desktops and laptops. Optimizing the process to be more user-friendly will help you reach out to a much larger pool while making the process less frustrating and more efficient for all involved.
iii. Using Verepass:
VerePass allows candidates to discreetly share their credentials and qualifications, which can speed up the background check process. As a result, you can use this system to reduce the time you would usually spend to confirm the candidate's credentials, speeding up the hiring process.
In this regard, recognition, rewards, and incentives can help increase retention rates by maintaining employee morale and giving way to a more engaged, satisfied, and productive workforce.
Having a clear vision, values, and goals
Your employees will feel more engaged and motivated if they understand and align with the company's vision, values, and goals. In this regard, creating multiple opportunities for employees to experience your culture and values, and frequently highlighting your vision and goals can help them develop a clear direction and make them feel more connected to the company. Tying values and positive attributes to recognition reinforces the right behavior needed to meet the company's requirements leading employees to feel accomplished when they succeed.
Fostering a culture of listening
A listening strategy to gather feedback at important stages across the employee lifecycle makes them feel valued and heard. Training leaders and managers to be approachable and compelling them to make time to listen to their teams can make employees feel eard. Feedback sessions and regular surveys provide a productive channel for employees to highlight what’s working and what’s not so you can fix problems before they affect your culture.
Sharing frequent recognition
Lack of acknowledgment and appreciation is a surefire way to demotivate even the highest performer. Recognition programs are a public acknowledgment of an employee's exceptional work. This can make your staff feel appreciated and motivated to work harder.
A modern recognition program that leverages technology is especially beneficial if you have a hybrid work model. Social peer-to-peer recognition helps foster a culture of appreciation, helping colleagues celebrate each other's achievements and milestones, even when working remotely.
Designing a "Total Rewards Strategy"
A "Total Rewards Strategy" involves creating a culture of wellness that encapsulates physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being. Especially in the case of hybrid work, a total rewards strategy can help you offer benefits that help employees achieve holistic well-being and wellness, even when working remotely.
Encouraging co-workers to prioritize work-life balance and overall wellbeing can help improve employee satisfaction, and in turn, improve retention rates.
Ultimately, hybrid work can be beneficial for both employees and employers, as it offers the flexibility of remote work while still allowing for some in-person collaboration and interaction.
For employees, hybrid work can provide a better work-life balance, reduce commuting time and expenses, and offer a more comfortable and customizable work environment. It can also allow for greater autonomy and productivity, as employees can work when and where they are most productive.
For employers, this model of working can lead to cost savings on office space and utilities, as well as reduced absenteeism and turnover rates. It can also increase employee satisfaction and engagement, leading to higher productivity and better results.
However, hybrid work also presents some challenges, such as maintaining team cohesion and communication, and ensuring equity and fairness among in-office and remote workers.
Overall, the benefits of hybrid work can be significant for both employees and employers, but it requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that it is implemented effectively and fairly. A focus on improved methods of communication, recognition, and rewards is paramount to support employee engagement and long-term success.
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