How To Win The War For Talent

The war for talent is well and truly on, but, if you think you’re going to win simply by giving your current and prospective employees extra financial incentives, you should gear up to lose the fight.

Of course, it’s true; people want to be compensated fairly for what they do, but whilst generous starting salaries may be enough to get someone through the door, that alone won’t be enough to keep them engaged and motivated in the long run if they feel unsatisfied and under-appreciated at work.

We saw some evidence of this in the height of the pandemic. Despite the economic uncertainty across the globe, it was reported that nearly a quarter of employees voluntarily left their jobs in the past year.

And there are no signs of this changing anytime soon. In fact, in a recent Job Optimism Survey by Robert Half, 41% of respondents said they have plans to leave their current job in the first half of 2022.

Therefore, attracting new talent and holding on to your existing talent in 2022 is going to require some smarter thinking about how to improve employee engagement in your organisation.

So what actions can you take to become the winners in the war for talent?

Improve Manager-Employee Relationships

The relationship between employees and their managers plays a critical role in employee retention. A survey by Gallup suggested that a whopping 50% of leavers cite ‘getting away from their manager’ as a reason for leaving their job which is not only a shocking indictment, but also a terrible advertisement for prospective employees. Improving the way your managers communicate and collaborate with their teams will be a key success factor in any talent retention strategy worth its weight.

Train your Managers

While many organisations made the difficult decision to freeze their training plans in order to reduce costs and sustain their businesses during the pandemic, this situation is untenable in the long run. According to a survey conducted by Digits, 38% of managers are thinking about leaving their jobs due to a lack of training, so if you want to keep hold of your best managers, you must train them, give them the relevant operational skills they need to support others (thereby increasing engagement), and enable them to see how they can advance their careers without leaving your organisation.

Cultivate A Culture People Don’t Want To Leave

A lot has happened over the past couple of years and organisations have had to make rapid changes to survive. Consequently, the cultural markers that once defined your organisation before the pandemic may no longer be relevant in a post-Covid world and, if nothing changes, unsatisfied employees are unlikely to hang around for long. Being able to quickly cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture where employees are empowered to express themselves openly, contribute their best strengths, learn new skills, grow, and take ownership of their jobs and careers is the only sure-fire way to keep your talent engaged. 

These three factors will be crucial in the war for talent in 2022.

If you want to win the war and stop your competitors from swooping in and stealing your best employees you must engage your managers in these processes wholeheartedly; your managers are your secret weapons.

Help your managers to help others by firstly giving them the training they need to embed the sorts of behaviours that generate high levels of engagement, performance and productivity and low levels of employee turnover.

Replace the traditional ‘tell and yell’ style of leadership that we know so many managers rely on for more of an Operational CoachingTM approach to leadership that can be used in everyday situations, ‘in the moment’ and ‘on-the-fly’ because it’s in these everyday situations where people really experience being at work and make decisions about whether their place of work is somewhere they really want to be.

Luckily, there’s a proven way for you to help your managers to develop more of a coaching style of leadership through a simple shift in their behaviour which can create a ripple effect throughout your organisation in less than six months.

UK Government recently sponsored a study (independently evaluated by the London School of Economics) to establish the impact that introducing a new style of management could have on overall engagement and productivity levels. Managers from 62 organisations in 14 sectors were selected to be part of a randomised control trial of a new learning programme designed to change their behaviour.

The result? 

Put simply, the organisations whose managers had access to the STAR® Manager programme retained more of their talent than the organisations that didn’t. This was due to the impact of adopting an Operational CoachingTM approach on improving employee engagement.

LSE evaluated thirty-five different learner outcomes and a further fourteen organisational outcomes to discover an overwhelmingly positive trend that could help organisations to retain talent.

Despite the relatively short six-month measurement window (conducted at the height of the pandemic), the organisations with the STAR® programme showed positive trends where they employed MORE people, IMPROVED staff retention and had faster growth than those without access to STAR®.

For the control group, the reverse was true. In fact, the organisations that adopted an Operational CoachingTM approach experienced almost a zero loss of staff compared to much higher attrition rates in the control group.

Interestingly too, almost half of the successes experienced by the group with STAR® were concerned with improved productivity and engagement.

So there’s all the evidence you need; if you want to win the war for talent in 2022, STAR® Manager is a quick, easy and academically proven way to give your managers the skills they need to come out on top.

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We’d love to team up with strategic partners to help achieve our vision of transforming 1 million STAR® managers by 2025.

We partner with organisations all over the world, combining our unique experiences to create mutually beneficial and collaborative relationships. If you’d like to explore teaming up with us on this journey please do say hello and we’ll schedule an informal call.