6 top tips on how to retain talent in 2023

4 minute read
Retaining talent is a top priority for HR leaders this year as the labour market remains tight, despite challenging economic conditions. The People Space asked six people directors and talent experts for their top tips for keeping your vital talent in 2023
Sian Harrington
HR Leaders giving tips on retaining talent
Clockwise: Pete Cooper, Mary Alice Vuicic, Kirstin Hatherley, Monica McCoy, Burcin Ressamoglu and Juliane Sterzl

It’s been a challenging decade so far for HR and talent leaders and 2023 looks to be no different. Despite layoffs and hiring freezes in a number of sectors the labour market continues to be competitive and retention issues are being felt across the board.

According to the UK’s CIPD, “employers are tapping the brakes but are a long way off from heading into reverse”, while LinkedIn research finds that, while hiring rates are slowing globally, labour market dynamics remain tight.

So what can you do to retain your people this year? The  People Space asked six HR leaders and experts to share their top tips.

1. Take a multi-generational approach

A key area for employers to focus on this year when it comes to talent retention is ensuring that all generations of the workplace feel happy, motivated and productive. With Gen Z establishing itself in the workplace and the ‘Great Unretirement’ seeing older generations heading back to work, employers could find themselves managing up to five different generations in the office – each one with their own set of priorities around working policies, employee benefits and more. Businesses, and their HR teams, should invest time in getting to know the priorities and preferences of each of these generations. Then, once armed with this knowledge, they need to work strategically to balance these with the priorities of the business. Alongside this, to retain talent in the year ahead employers must continue to invest in DE&I. After all, as businesses look to navigate a period of economic turbulence, a range of knowledge, experience and perspectives will help businesses to innovate quickly and ultimately come out on top.

Pete Cooper, director of people, partners & analytics at Personio

2. Get your hybrid approach right

In a period of economic unpredictability talented professionals will flock to healthy, stable businesses with proven models. For example, talent that has in recent years gravitated towards the more speculative technology companies, such as cryptocurrency, will look for stability in sectors that have proven resilient during previous times of economic downturn. We will reach a hybrid balance that continues to embrace flexibility but also values the magic of in-person connectivity, with onsite leaders a major office attraction. This will be key to retaining employees who are at the early stages of their careers and will benefit from the knowledge/experience imparted through in-person interactions with senior members of staff.

Mary Alice Vuicic is chief people officer at Thomson Reuters

3. Be flexible

People’s expectations and priorities have changed since COVID. Therefore it is important for businesses to be as flexible  as possible with regards to working hours and shift patterns. Everyone is different and employers need to listen to the individual and not have a one fits all attitude to their workforce. Work/life balance is more important than ever, and people respond well to incentives and benefits. We find team events/socials on occasion work well to bring the team together and help to make people feel included.  As the cost-of-living increases people also need to feel reassured that their job is stable and that they will receive training to develop and progress. In addition to this, mental health awareness is something that a company cannot leave un-mentioned and full support should be offered to all within the workplace.

Kirstin Hatherley, managing director at Hatherley Commercial Services and chair of CEDA

4. Focus on learning and development

Learning and development opportunities are paramount to ensuring that employees remain with an organisation. Some 77% of employees are ready and willing to learn new skills or completely retrain. It’s up to businesses to ensure that they are fulfilling their employees’ appetite for growth. Organisations can do so by offering a digital-first and personalised professional development programme. This scalable approach allows employees to target the topics and challenges that matter most to them in a convenient and seamless format.

 Juliane Sterzl, SVP EMEA at CoachHub 

5. Create a strategy with ongoing benefits for the workforce

The cost-of-living effect on pay is one of the biggest deciding factors on employee retention that business leaders need to start addressing. Organisations must be doing more than simply suggesting a pay review or introducing programmes to increase the purchasing power of employees. Leaders need to be creating a strategy which has ongoing benefits and prospects for their workforce. While benefits are not enough to omit the outcome from the cost-of-living crisis, introducing multiple benefits that vary depending on the needs of every single employee, and reward and recognition programmes are a step in the right direction. Our findings show that 69% of female SME employees would be more likely to stay in their current job if they were rewarded on a more regular basis, so this is a tried and tested method for success.

Burcin Ressamoglu,  UK CEO at Sodexo Engage

6. Articulate clear and consistent company values

Retain talent by having clear and consistent company values and making sure they are part of the interview process. Well-defined values are key to finding the right hires – job-seekers are unlikely to be attracted to organisations that can’t distil their core values. As staff progress in their roles, those values act as a touchstone – a continual reminder that staff and company are aligned, leading, for example, to improved motivation, greater engagement, clearer conflict resolution and a stronger experience of inclusion and belonging.

Monica McCoy, founder of MonicaMotivates

Published 18 January 2023
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