September 22, 2023

How to Prepare for an Economic Rebound & Hold on to Talent

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When economic times are tough, research shows people are more likely to view their jobs favorably as a way to stay financially stable. But when economies soar, and businesses grow, more job opportunities and higher salary offerings put your top talent at risk of leaving.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the second half of 2023 is expected to increase in economic output amid falling inflation. Employers should pay attention, as competing firms may poach talent, while more attractive job opportunities could also lure top employees away.

As the U.S. gears up for an economic rebound in the next two quarters, consider these ways to retain your top talent.

1. Pay Employees Competitive Wages

Better pay and benefits are the top things employees want in their next job, according to Gallup research. As an economy rebounds, firms should evaluate employee salaries, especially top employees, and ensure they’re being paid a competitive wage.

You may risk losing your talent if your business can relate to the following red flags.

  • You don’t offer annual raises that keep pace with inflation.
  • You haven’t seriously considered offering your best talent a performance-based raise.
  • You’ve delayed salary increase requests from top talent.

Sites like Payscale and show average salaries for various positions in different locations. You can also look at job listings for similar positions at your competitors to see what offerings your talent might have access to.

2. Ask Employees What They Want

In addition to salary, other factors can keep employees happy at their jobs. These could be flexible work schedules, remote working opportunities, more autonomy, the ability to choose job duties that speak to their strengths, mental health benefits and more. Each type of workforce will be different, so the best way to learn what matters to your employees is to ask them.

Send out an anonymous employee survey that asks employees about their current engagement at work and what could be done to improve it. Ask questions like:

  • What benefits matter to you?
  • How excited are you to come to work each day? If the answer ranks low, what can be done to improve that?
  • What can our company do to make you interested in working for us long-term?

Managers should also have regular one-on-one check-ins or “stay interviews” with those they manage, at least every month but weekly, if possible. These meetings can be used to discuss professional development goals, serve as check-ins for how the employee feels about their work and role, and help prevent employee burnout.. When employees feel heard and see that their feedback is being implemented, that can be what they need to stay loyal to your company.

3. Invest in Your Employees

There are other ways to invest in your employees besides paying them more. Learning and development opportunities are highly sought out today, as workers want to grow their skill sets in evolving industries and advance their careers through continued learning.

Acceleration programs that serve to teach current employees new skills and promote them within a company can help you retain top talent. You can also:

  • Offer tuition reimbursement for job-related education
  • Create a lunch-and-learn program that invites employees to teach sessions
  • Build a cross-departmental program where employees can shadow others around the company
  • Provide team education opportunities through online university programs

A smarter workforce benefits your company. According to research from McKinsey & Company, critical differentiators for “future-ready” companies that will separate them from competitors include “accelerate organizational learning” and “treat talent as scarcer than capital.” Learning and development opportunities at your business show that you care about their professional growth when they stay at your company.

4. Evolve Your Workforce

As the economy recovers, your business may have more options for expansion, introducing  new products/services, and other forms of business evolution. Business growth is another way to motivate employees to stay, but only with the right strategy.

If you plan on adding new roles to your workforce, check in with your current employees about how they see themselves growing with your company. According to Gallup research, workers who use their strengths in their jobs are 6x more likely to be engaged. They’re also more likely to perform better and stay with a company.

During times of expansion, use employee career development plans to identify roles your current employees are interested in and to adjust your hiring objectives accordingly. Current workers are interested in trying new positions at your company, which can help you strengthen your workforce while allowing workers to do the tasks they enjoy and utilize their strengths.

Open the Lines of Communication to Strengthen Relationships

When employees are uncertain about the future of a workplace, that makes them more likely to consider other opportunities, including as passive candidates. In 2023, LinkedIn News reported most workers today crave clear communication, empathy and stability. As economies fluctuate, employers can keep employees informed on where the company is headed and how it plans to navigate changing conditions. 

Talk with employees. Ask for their feedback. Listen to what they want, and work on implementing practices that deliver. Fair wages, competitive benefits and learning and development opportunities can all influence your retention efforts. They could be the difference between talent staying or heading to work at a competitor.

Want to learn more workforce insights? Visit our blog. If you’re in need of staffing solutions, contact the AccruePartners recruiting team for a free consultation.

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