Employee priorities have shifted permanently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the question is, what do we as talent leaders do about it? We adapt. To get and retain the best talent, we must showcase our employee value proposition (EVP) through compelling recruitment marketing content. If your employees have a true work-life balance and flexibility; make sure you promote this. The last few years have not been kind — people want time with their families, and they want to work for companies that empower them to balance all the areas of their lives.
There are strategic ways to approach culture in a way that expands upon what employees are looking for in a job over the long term. It’s only the cohesiveness of these parts all working together that creates the total package for jobseekers.
Top 5 employee priorities
- Improved benefits
- Work-life balance
- Learning opportunities
- Total rewards
#1: Flexible working is the future
Challenge: There’s a rubber band effect from the pandemic where some organisations expect their employees back in-office — but increased commuting costs, long hours and a lack of choice is creating resistance and objections from employees from doing so.
Solution: Giving flexibility in the workday has been shown to pay off. Some firms are offering hybrid solutions or options where employees can choose the days they go into the office, while others are offering incentives to persuade workers to go in such as snack boxes, activities and gym classes.
#2: Rethinking benefits
Challenge: Healthcare benefits weren’t equitable pre-pandemic. Baseline benefits are no longer sufficient to employees’ shifting priorities and needs for them and their families.
Solution: Benefits are now expected to expand beyond simple health coverage to include wellness and mental health care. Employees are now questioning if and why medical plans are different between different levels of employees and types. To help present more transparency and equity within your company, expand your benefits to include family policies and inclusive language. Include additional options, including IVF treatment, in your maternity leave policy. Offer coverage of all vaccines for employees and their families for ongoing wellness.
#3: Work-life balance
Work-life balance trumps salaries for job seekers globally, with 63% of professionals saying it is their priority, ahead of pay and benefits (60%).
Challenge: Being on the clock with 996 hours has been the telltale expectation for full-time workers. The challenge with this now lies in remote work and the inevitable result; that longer hours and a lack of boundaries between professional and personal settings are making many workers unhappy and at the risk of burnout.
Solution: A culture that gives employees control on how and when they work — within reason — has considerable reward for earning loyalty. Be a workplace that leads with empathy and champions diversity and belonging by having regular candid conversations on schedules and what’s needed. Your top workers, no matter when they work, will do quality work. This trust goes a long way and relives the pressure from employees to overwork or pull extra time after hours.
#4: Learning opportunities
Challenge: Not offering learning opportunities is a quick way for employees to feel they’ve arrived at a dead end in their job. In fact, it’s the number one reason people leave their company according to LinkedIn.
Solution: Career development is a top motivator in APAC (and in the rest of the world), so offer options for employees to study, upskill, time swap with other department employees and have tuition reimbursement to inspire them to learn new things on the job.
#5: Total rewards
Challenge: Pay equity didn’t exist in APAC pre-pandemic. This lack of visibility has created many conflicts over the years and led to a workforce with high demands on salary.
Solution: Compensation talks, but keep in mind this won’t hold salt long term unless the improved culture and benefits goes along with it. This is what total rewards means. Be upfront about career development and what employees can do to take more ownership and earn incremental increases and new roles within the firm.
Culture begins at your purpose and beyond
Talent leaders should work with HR teams to help ensure companies foster a culture that’s attractive to both candidates and employees. The role of TA leaders is to draw out employee stories and showcase these through recruitment marketing. TA leaders and HR working closely together ensures employee value proposition (EVP) is aligned with employment brand and tells the stories that should be showcased to attract the right talent to the business.