As a part of the Columbus Chamber’s talent team, I always take note of common themes out in the field. Most recently an issue that pops up is retention.
So what’s the key to not letting them slip away? Become an irresistible employer.
With the ever-evolving employee-work contract, business leaders must engage in these three major elements that will help any employer retain top-level talent and make their organization “irresistible.”
1. Provide meaningful work: Providing meaningful work helps your employees to feel empowered. Select projects that are fit to them and let them feel comfortable working autonomously. By providing that sense of individualism, the employee reaps the benefits of the individual responsibility, feeling pleased with the results and hungry for more opportunities.
DSW, Inc., a Columbus Chamber member, prides itself on creating opportunities for their employees to feel empowered, including their entry-level interns. When they hire a cohort of interns they encourage them to take advantage of the open, transparent environment to meet and talk with VPs of any department, or ask to take on projects that interest them. This cultivates a team that takes initiatives and includes everyone in meaningful work.
2. Provide opportunities for growth: Potential employees find it critical that there’s an opportunity to advance through the ranks. Without it, there’s little incentive to stick around. What separates the cream of the crop from the rest of the batch isn’t just whether there are advancement opportunities, but other chances to learn and develop professionally within the workplace.
Things like providing training and support on the job, and a high-impact, high-reward learning culture are persuasive aspects of any job that can convince in-house talent to continue on the up-and-up within the company as opposed to looking at other avenues.
It’s no secret job hunting is a diligent, time-consuming exercise, so why not make employees’ lives easier by facilitating mobility within the workplace and showing that positive results leads to earned recognition.
At LuLuLemon Distribution Center, a member of the Columbus Chamber, they incorporate opportunities for growth within their everyday interactions with their team through the creation of goals. All employees, from entry level to VPs, are encouraged to think of ways they want to grow and share them with their team. These goals can be health related, personal objectives, or professional plans as long as they are actively thinking about how to better themselves. This directly incorporates everyone at the distribution center and creates an empowered workforce. It also gives managers a way to check in and help employees reach their goals, which in turn creates a more engaged and effective team member.
3. Provide a unique company culture: There’s nothing quite like working in an office that, well, doesn’t feel like you’re at the office. Creating a positive work environment is a key component of retaining employees. By providing a workplace that recognizes a strong work ethic and facilitates inclusiveness in the office, it makes it difficult for anyone to want to give up that sort of culture for another job opportunity elsewhere.
One of our Chamber members, Portfolio Creative, fosters a positive work environment through an individualized approach to ensure their employees are happy and healthy. A couple of ways this manifests itself is in a paid time off day to celebrate your birthday (Ferris Bueller anyone?) and a gym membership to a local fitness club. This shows how they take an interest in their team members as a whole to create an environment that is pleasant and productive.
Creating an irresistible workplace fosters productivity, creates a sense of community, and helps retention. There are countless ways to be an irresistible workplace–these are just three ways local businesses here in Central Ohio approach it.
So that begs the question: How are you irresistible?