2022 has yielded an unprecedented battle for talent. As the UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in almost half a century, there has been an undeniable power shift in the jobs market. Employees now have greater control over their respective destinies. With more vacancies than there are unemployed people, top talent quite literally has the pick of jobs in their respective industries.
There is another problem for business owners too. The current economic climate makes it hard for them to throw money at the problem. Surging inflation and overheads mean hefty pay rises are by no means the easy answer for companies.
Consequently, businesses are having to get creative to sustainably retain their most valuable employees. As City A.M report, it’s increasingly challenging to keep employees happy in such a competitive jobs market. Below, we explore some of the alternative steps businesses are taking to ensure their employees are content in their roles.
Adopt a flexible approach where possible
During the last two years, the majority of people living in London (57.2%) worked some of their contracted hours from home, according to the Office of National Statistics. Although research has indicated that home working does not suit everyone, there is a growing contingent of professionals that have grown accustomed to the flexibility that remote or hybrid working offers.
Fully remote or hybrid working roles may be the perfect balance for top talent, particularly those with childcare to consider. Ultimately, it’s all about bringing out the best in your employees. If flexible working allows staff to adopt a healthy work-life balance, the chances are they’ll be all the more productive for it.
Strive to improve employee autonomy
Another way that businesses can tease an extra 5%-10% out of their staff is to make them feel empowered and emboldened. Give your most trusted staff the autonomy and freedom to make big decisions. Not only does this demonstrate your trust in them, but it can also ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the business.
A growing trend in granting employee autonomy is to award valued staff with company cards if the business requires it. It’s easier than it used to be to organise company credit cards. With options like Moss corporate cards, for example, it’s possible to allow every employee, regardless of their level in the overall hierarchy, to take control over their spending for the business. This is because there is total oversight of every penny spent, with line managers and bosses able to get real-time updates on spending. Virtual corporate cards can even be utilised, which allows remote workers to make regular or one-time payments when needed.
Invest in your current workforce and promote from within
Employee retention is crucial for the long-term sustainability of any business. Long-serving staff are embedded into the ethos of a company, which can help it to grow and succeed. Businesses should therefore invest in their existing talent before looking elsewhere.
It can be cheaper to promote from within and give an in-house employee a chance at stepping up to the plate. There are no recruiting costs owed to intermediaries, which equates to important funds saved.
It’s also quicker to promote from within too. There’s very little onboarding required, with existing staff attuned to how a business works and what it expects from its employees.
Although top talent will be keen to earn as much as possible in a cost-of-living crisis, the three approaches discussed can go a long way to motivating professionals and helping them to feel valued. In many ways, this is worth so much more than a modest pay rise.