Are you doing enough to keep your current employees?

With a talent-short market, you want to avoid at all costs the need to replace any current employees tempted to move on to another role. By Cathy Hendry.

The Seek NZ employment report for May 2021 showed the highest number of jobs ever advertised, for the third consecutive month.

This will come as no surprise for those trying to recruit in this talent-short market. What was interesting about these results is that there is a notable decrease in applications per job ad.

Feedback suggests that employees are prioritising job security and aren’t all rushing off to seek new opportunities.

Given skill shortages are going to be a major pain point and we are still getting messaging from the Government to show pay restraint at higher level roles, it is worth focusing on your organisation’s internal policies to see if you are doing enough to retain and motivate your current employees.

With a talent-short market, you want to avoid at all costs the need to replace any current employees tempted to move on to another role.

In most organisations, throwing money at the problem won’t necessarily solve it. Wages are typically one of the largest overheads and while the economy is picking up, in this uncertain pandemic economy, we are still seeing relatively modest projections from our clients.

So, what else can you do? We would recommend a shift in focus from just considering remuneration, to a broader Total Reward policy. This isn’t a new concept but it is often overlooked as one tends to only focus on money when making offers.

A Total Reward approach considers the other elements of the benefits package, including both monetary benefits (medical insurance, car parking, etc) and non-monetary benefits (EAP services, flu vaccinations, flexible working, etc).

There also needs to be consideration of what else you are offering as an employer. What is it that makes your employees stay?

Do you have a great culture or perhaps regular shared lunches or informal recognition practices?

What about the opportunity for growth and training and development?

Remember that often the most successful organisations aren’t necessarily the highest paying. Organisations that have a strong employee value proposition will have made sure they have addressed hygiene factors such as fair and equitable pay, but they will have also considered the motivating factors such as a sense of belonging, and growth and development.

The key to such an approach is to ensure you communicate this both within your organisation and to potential new employees.

Promoting your total reward approach externally could also attract new clients. That an organisation is seen to be taking care of its employees can be a strong and marketable selling point, particularly if you were to focus on differentiators such as gender and diversity pay equality.

Ultimately it is going to be more expensive to refill a vacancy than to prevent one occurring, so it makes a lot of sense to consider possible ways of keeping and motivating your current employees.  

Cathy Hendry is  the managing director at Strategic Pay. www.strategicpay.co.nz

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