How to retain talents in a changing world?

Retaining talent has always been a necessity for companies wishing to ensure their future performance.

In a context of societal upheaval full of changes and uncertainties as we know it, it has even become a challenge.

Barely out of the health crisis that has alienated employees from the office, 2.4% of Americans leave their jobs each month in the United States according to the US Department of Labor..

Today's talents are eager for autonomy , meaning and recognition. Their confidence is such that many leave their company without the guarantee of a new signed contract.

Companies, for their part, sometimes seem overwhelmed by these brutal changes in culture and expectations. With the procession of impoverishment that this implies: turnover, loss of know-how, recruitment costs which soar.

Have they really taken the measure of the issues related to the flight of talent and the levers on which to act to reverse the trend?

If the question has already been addressed many times, here are some solutions still largely unexplored in this article.

Why has it become urgent to retain talent?

The Covid-19 crisis, the great resignation and on-demand work have fueled the new aspirations of generations Y and Z, which are more focused on pleasure, autonomy, flexibility and personal development. Companies must therefore operate an awareness necessary for their survival. 
Especially since by 2025, around 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials (EY figures).

Remote work has become a norm

In its a very recent study on the future of work (The Working Future: More Human, Not Less), Dynata interviewed at length 20,000 workers and hundreds of managers in 10 countries. The survey highlights strong trends:

“58% of workers believe that the pandemic has forced them to rethink the balance between work and private life

Covid-19 has therefore played an accelerating role in the desire for flexibility.

What was an adaptation reflex is now a norm. From hybrid working to remote working, companies must now deal with distance.

Because employees already in search of balance between professional and personal sphere before the crisis will not go back.

As highlighted in a recent study by Opinion Way for Microsoft France, 60% of French workers would like to choose their own working hours.

Generations seek values ​​of development and humanism

Living standards have evolved considerably over the past 150 years. Automating tasks through robotic or computer technologies allows you to eliminate routine and focus on creativity. The possibility of individualizing one's work through the platforms offers more choice and flexibility than before.

This context, reinforced by the crises, encourages the younger generations to seek more and more meaning at work. Millennials (Generation Y) have aspirations that no longer fit with traditional performance management focused more on HR than on individuals. They want more freedom and autonomy in their personal development. Meaning and recognition for their work. They want to grow and be happy. Not kill yourself at work. Even for a salary in gold. They no longer need it to survive. They want to spend time with their family and place less importance on work than on leisure. Finally, at work and at home, they are used to connected tools that go quickly and provide them with flexibility and autonomy. 

This tendency towards personal development is exacerbated among Generation Z, which favors pleasure at work. And do not hesitate to change as a company without any scruple if it does not find its account.

From the war of talents to labor consumerism

In the wake of the Big Resignation in the United States, DARES noted no less than 620,000 resignations and contractual terminations in Q3 2021 in France.

It now seems clear that the attachment to the company as well as job security are called into question.

In addition, these unprecedented phenomena further harden the existing tensions on the labor market already plagued by the war of talents and contribute to dispersing skills.

There is a real risk of seeing the development of a consumerist relationship at work with mercenary individuals who will leave without warning.

With the harmful consequences that companies are already experiencing:

And above all... the lack of commitment of employees.

A Gallup survey already pointed out in 2017 that “worldwide, the percentage of adults who work full-time for an employer and who are engaged at work is only 15%”

How to meet the expectations of these talents so that they do not function as free electrons but rather as activators of creativity, innovation and performance within a committed collective?

Big companies like Apple have pulled off this feat. Make their brand that of employees by empowering them to reach their individual performance potential.

The dysfunctions existed before the crises

The dysfunctions already existed before the crises. Originally, management practices and tools that are now outdated.

Performance management tools that hamper agility and communication

Current performance management tools are for the most part unsuited to the new world of work and the expectations of employees.

> With lengthy validation modules and procedures.

> The annual practice of individual interviews makes it almost impossible to identify and analyze skills and generates a feeling of injustice.

> The data taken from such tools is irrelevant and unusable

> Employees who would like to express themselves more often cannot do so.

Results, both on the management and HR side and on the employee side…

Counterproductive and outdated management practices

At the same time, managerial practices are too often out of step because they suffer from a lack of alignment with the needs of employees who demand more autonomy and a sense of responsibility.

Micro-management as we have known it (scrupulous control, hunting for insignificant details, interference in work) no longer works in companies.

What solutions to retain talent?

The repeated crises therefore only exacerbated already existing dysfunctions. Organizations and their leaders must no longer consider retaining talent as optional and must now find concrete solutions. Some have already taken up the subject and made changes. But are they really enough?

Solutions already explored: good but not enough

The theme of retaining talent has been at the heart of HR and managerial issues in recent years. Many articles have been written on the subject. Lots of advice given too. Here are the solutions frequently proposed to retain talent in the workplace:

Teleworking, flexible hours, collaborative tools, etc. allow more fluidity between professional and personal life. The employee who gains in agility also gains in productivity.

Value calls for value. Remuneration commensurate with the value brought by an employee contributes to his commitment.

Thanks to a QVT policy, the improvement of the work environment, the recruitment of a CHO to encourage a benevolent and friendly atmosphere…there are plenty of ideas.

Surveying employees on various topics (organization, employer image, satisfaction) helps to listen more closely to their expectations and frustrations.

Do what we say and say what we do. This is the principle of consistency. The match between its corporate values ​​and its actions meets current CSR requirements and generates trust. Initiatives within associations (donating part of the turnover or collective actions), allocating free time to employees for a personal project... many ideas can be implemented.

All of these avenues are useful levers to explore. Beware, however, of the illusion of lasting change with a lot of foosball tables, fruity breakfasts, plants and animals in the offices… or sporting or cultural activities around the protection of the environment. Believing that everything can be solved with money is also an illusion. If the remuneration is a motivating factor, it is not everything.

We must go further: towards the adoption of a Talent Marketplace

The adoption of a Talent Marketplace is a growing loyalty lever in organizations and tends to replace the traditional People Review. The Talent Marketplace is an internal Talent market that works like a social network. Leveraging powerful AI, it aligns employee skills and aspirations with an organization's development opportunities that include full-time roles, projects, gigs, or mentoring, for example.

To adopt this internal market place, the company of tomorrow must initiate profound changes.

Before technology, a whole corporate culture (HR and managerial) must evolve. This involves:

The benefits of such a choice are numerous:

They regain control of their skills, their knowledge and feel more empowered in their careers.

It increases its visibility on the skills and abilities of its employees and can align them with more relevance to its real and future needs.

To do this, organizations can rely on two major areas of development:

Encourage listening and continuous assessment of talents through continuous constructive feedback, allows them to better understand their desires, their emotions, their frustrations and their opinions.

In this new organization, the manager-controller must give way to the manager-coach. A manager trained in communication who will know how to dialogue but also detect the skills to be developed and strengthened to develop the talents of his team.

Talents will become actors in the development of their skills and will be able to constantly feed on new learning to improve and stimulate their commitment.

They will then have the means to become fully involved in achieving their objectives, to develop solid recognition and a tenfold sense of belonging.

A collaborative 360 ​​feedback tool such as the Flashbrand promotes human development.

> it allows everyone to send and receive continuous feedback in order to improve

> thanks to AI and e-learning, it offers everyone concrete avenues for developing skills that can be actioned all year round

Discover Flashbrand