Bold Moves Leading the Way for Employee Retention

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Written by: Jess Podgajny, Co-founder & CEO of LLUNA

Never have the topics of talent engagement and retention been so critical to the long-term viability of organizations. Fifty-five percent of working Americans will look for a job in the next year. While some companies are still resisting this opportunity to transform, others are leaning in and embracing new pathways to better outcomes.

The key themes? Compensation. Time. Location. Development. Let’s dive into each a bit further.

Compensation is the foundation for livelihood. We all need it, so it is not a surprise that this one is a big topic, especially now. Here are three key predictions about compensation as it relates to the future of work:

1.     It will become increasingly transparent – on job postings and across organizations.
2.     It will become more fluid – changing more frequently than our typical annual increases
3.     People will command their value, but compensation will not be the #1 priority for employees

Here are some of the ways this is playing out:

Microsoft has nearly doubled it’s salary budget for employees.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington all have or will soon require salary ranges to be available upon request or explicitly shared as part of a job post.

In tech, a few companies have begun to institute pay raise for current employees when a peer is hired at a higher market rate for the same role, a true up of sorts. This eliminates the loyalty tax (or compensation compression) for existing employees.

Time is finite and in the last few years, many have asked themselves the question – how am I spending my time and is it how I want to? This has led to the great reassessment – where people are looking for more meaning, flexibility, and happiness in their jobs – and some companies are stepping up to meet the moment and realizing that one-sized-fits-all policies are just not working. Key themes:

1. Knowledge workers would like to refresh their schedule preferences at least quarterly to match their work/life needs. There is seasonality to this and like the compensation prediction, it’s fluid – what people need changes over time.

2. Choices and options go a long way, even if the employee does not take advantage of it. Knowing that their company is open to different models generates engagement from employees.

3. The overview effect, has resulted in a lower tolerance for employer control. People sense the fragility of life and want to make the most of it.

Twitter is one company offering creative working options such as the 9-80 schedule; 80 hours across 9 working days. Many others are beginning to offer 80% pay for 80% work. Additionally, the 4-day workweek has many companies considering a permanent 32 hour week, 100% pay.

Popular with LLUNA customers, organizations and teams are getting creative about scheduling flexibility: hours in the day, days in the week, and even the calendar year (10 months on, 2 months off).

Without a doubt, creating choices for employees to better align their working times with their non-working times, will lead to greater attraction, retention, and engagement.

Location, location, location. Okay, so this phrase typically applies to real estate, but I would argue it’s true for workers today as well. While hybrid will likely be the way forward for most companies, it still can’t be a one-sized-fits-all approach – and employees are speaking with their feet around this – Apple’s Director of Machine Learning left because of Apple’s policy and in recent news, Elon Musk’s return to office mandate has many others looking for new companies to join.

Other innovative policies:

1. Publicis' Work Your World gives employees to work anywhere there is a Publicis office globally for a period of time each year. They’ve even set up housing swap opportunities for employees.

2. Several organizations are considering phase back’s for employees after parental leave, such as work from home for 3 months after your leave ends. A great way to support working parents.

3. LLUNA customers often offer location choices – asking for preferences around days to work in the office vs remote, vs. mandating them and at times offering perk choices such as access to co-working space or new home office tech accessories.

Development continues to be a key trend. If we spend all this time at work, making it engaging and rewarding through growth makes sense. Gen Z and Millennials are especially focused on growth opportunities.

Yet, organizations are struggling with how to proceed in a new distributed or hybrid working environment. The key here: dialogue! Development must be an ongoing conversation between managers and employees – what are the goals? How will you get there? What support do you need to do it? Managers can help match employees with mentors in or outside of their organization and find ways to support employees to upskill and reskill to achieve personal and professional development goals.

Booster, the last mile mobile energy solution for fleets, businesses, and consumers, prioritizes skill development and career progression from inside the organization – utilizing unique training programs and focusing on skill development, not job duties, to create opportunities for employees in the organization.

Booster’s Chief People Officer, Ron Storn, joined me on a recent podcast, listen to hear more examples of how upskilling in the workplace can be highly successful.

Investment in development and specifically upskilling is rapidly increasing. JP Morgan Chase has allocated $600 million, Amazon $700 million, and PwC a whopping $3 Billion to upskill existing employees.

Retaining talent today, is a multi-faceted challenge and opportunity for organizations. We all must embrace the human side of work, the fact that change is certain (and will persist), and that people’s priorities differ and will evolve. Meeting people where they are is “hard” but also not…it takes a new mindset, but with some reimagining, so many possibilities are unlocked. If you’re stuck, reach out to the team at LLUNA and we’ll get you unstuck in no time!