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10 HR Strategies for the Retention Crisis in 2022

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Throughout 2021, we at HelloTeam spoke with plenty of Human Resources experts through the Culture Corner Podcast and company testimonials. From personal stories to innovative ideas, we heard an incredible amount of wisdom from some of the leading minds in the HR space. In particular, we heard a lot of advice on curbing turnover and improving retention – enough to compile a list. Here are 10 of the best tips we heard from our guests.

What’s top of mind for HR depts in 2022? – “Certainly remote engagement, I think the tool becomes that much more important when you have most of your employees dispersed… I find it difficult. I’m sure our managers find it difficult. We’re talking to them all the time about what we can do, to manage your employees, to monitor your employees, to engage your employees, I don’t know any other way to do it, other than technology.” – Focus Technology’s Chris Caprio

If 2020 was the year we improvised hybrid work models, 2021 was the year we truly adapted. As 2022 arrives, Chris notes that committing to technology that engages your remote workers is paramount to business success. From onboarding to engagement, remote management platforms are equipped to help any HR department assist their organizations from their computers. The sooner people-leaders adopt new remote technology, the sooner they get a head start on the future of work.

Managing a hybrid workforce – “We’re not one of those companies that’s going to say, yes, every single person has to be in the office, we’re not going to tell our employees that. We’re also not going to tell them where and how to work, we expect them to tell us that and let’s make sure that we’re supporting them that way.” Corvus Insurance’s Stacey Richey

While the hybrid model of work can be quite effective, it can actually be counterproductive if your employees don’t end up working from the locations they prefer. Some may want the freedom that working remotely provides, while others look for the peace and quiet found in the office. So, it’s a good idea to survey your team first to see what type of work they prefer, and then move forward by making accommodations where you can.

Turning a company into a talent destination – “...recognition and feedback; and achievement and growth. I like to say that we have a “feedback on the fly” culture. The goal is that we’re always providing feedback as things happen. But we do have formal feedback sessions every 90 days. People crave feedback. Of course, everyone loves a pat on the back. But people really do want to know where they can improve as well. And taking the time for recognition and ongoing feedback is critical.” Refine Labs’ Megan Bowen 

Tanya Bakalov asked Megan Bowen on the Culture Corner Podcast about how she turned her company into a talent destination, and Megan spoke about the efficacy of feedback. A culture that puts an emphasis on feedback, especially with formal sessions, not only attracts outside talent but refines their inside talent. Recognition and feedback are some of the most vital ingredients to creating a winning culture, which is the very element that top prospects look for in a company. Attract top talent by curating your own.

Career advice for young HR professionals – “It’s not just what you love as a person, but sometimes, especially as young people who are just starting out in their career, take some chances on at least the company that you feel good about. Get your foot in the door, do whatever it takes, work hard, and then eventually that hard work pays off and you get to choose something that you really love.” – Alumni Ventures’ Veronica Curran

Alumni’s Veronica Curran joined us on the Culture Corner Podcast and offered some advice for young professionals looking to get started in human resources. Find the job and company you love by being active and taking all sorts of chances. Even if you don’t find your dream position among the first few organizations you work with, you’ll quickly build up enough experience to figure out exactly what you want to do and make that intentional choice a little later in your career.

Corporations standing up for social justice –I think social justice reform is not a fad. I think it is something that is here to stay. And it’s something that we’re going to continue to fight for each and every day. Now far as companies are concerned, I think it’s the trend right now, for them. But I think as long as we continue to have the conversations, as long as there is commitment, and as long as we continue to push for change, then this can become something evergreen… As we fight for social justice as we fight for the right to share our voices for the right for us to be our authentic selves at at work and in our careers. That’s what it’s about.” True Synergy’s Dr. Gena Yuvette Davis 

While we should all strongly value social reform, some wonder whether it’s an organization’s place to take an active stand on the social justice issues that arise in the American zeitgeist. True Synergy’s Dr. Gena Yuvette Davis, expert in DEIBA, believes that’s the direction we should take. It’s not enough to just hire a diverse staff or create an accessible work environment, but companies should amplify the voice of their teams and make it clear what they stand for. It’s not just a trend – don’t treat it like one.

Fostering great remote teamwork – “In a remote workforce, having employees communicate with one another, and again, just keeping the culture alive, making sure that people get to know one another, having that collaboration is really important.” BORN Group’s Jamie Weisberg

It’s never good to have any kind of schism in your workforce, but that’s often what hybrid models end up unknowingly generating. The team that works in the office may end up only talking amongst themselves instead of with the remote team, which results in the remote team not making an effort to reach out either. Avoid this dilemma at all costs by making sure your on-site and remote workers connect with each other just as they would if they were all on the same floor. Communication is absolutely essential to both profit and culture — don’t overlook it.

Improving Retention – “Having a compelling vision and mission. This goes back to the why. Why does the company exist? What are we trying to do? Even in the context of Refine Labs, we’re a marketing consultancy. We provide services to our customers to help them get more customers. But our broader vision and our broader mission is that we want to have a huge transformational change on how startups think about going to market and completely transform the way that they’re thinking about it. That bigger vision is compelling and exciting for people to get on board with.” Refine Labs’ Megan Bowen 

One of the most important intangibles a company can possess is a compelling vision. People are smart enough to know the difference between an organization that has an innovative mission with a drive for success and an organization that’s stuck treading water. When employees feel that their company’s running efficiently and has potential for greatness, they’re much more likely to commit to the mission and stay dedicated to the team. That mission is key to retention, and retention is key to real success. Make your organization’s vision more than a goal — make it an inspiration.

Solve internal inequities – “It started by really listening to and learning from the experiences of the female associates at this firm… the people who observe and experience inequality in the workplace are the people with the greatest insight for how to solve those problems, really, and the problems that they face are going to be unique from one business to another.” Tidal Equality’s Dr. Kristen Liesch

It seems like a no brainer — ask those who experience inequities in a work environment what can be done to fix it. However, all too often managers try to diagnose inequality  by looking at their company from a bird’s eye view instead of directly investigating. No matter how socially conscious a leader is, they can’t get the full picture from their own perspective. Get feedback from both your current staff and prospective employees as to how your culture can be made more Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive.

Diverse hiring – “We made the decision to hire a diversity equity inclusion partner… And again, in this virtual world, I think hiring top talent that is diverse talent is extremely hard, and so we wanted to double down on that and hire somebody that could make sure that we are creating equity and making sure all of our policies, processes, the way that we’re approaching things is equitable. So that’s the team, but I feel like we’re pretty well poised for the growth ahead.” Hi Marley’s Stefanie Bishop 

Similarly, every company should build a winning, inclusive environment by ensuring the talent they hire is diverse. Don’t attempt it casually, though; there’s more to diversity than hiring someone of each race. If you don’t feel that you have a total grasp of good DEIBA practices, Hi Marley’s Stefanie Bishop recommends hiring a third party partner to help you take an equitable approach to everything your organization does, from hiring to managing.

Hybrid work strategies – “You can’t be too flexible. If it’s a hybrid, it has to be everybody’s in the office those two days or those three days, because if you end up having it that certain people can come in & certain people don’t come in, then what happens is that it’s not equitable, because if I’m a working mother, I might not choose to come to the office, and because I’m not having face to face with the rest of my colleagues or my manager, that people are having more face to face are the ones that get promoted. In the first six months, it may be okay, but down the line, we’re gonna start seeing that people are not getting promoted the way they should be, because they’re not having the same opportunity to have face to face conversations with their manager. So it has to be something that’s very, very intentional.” HelloTeam’s Tanya Bakalov

Finally, we have advice from our CEO Tanya Bakalov on hybrid work strategies, a concept she’s well acquainted with. When managing a hybrid team, it’s essential to make sure those who work from home get the same opportunities that those who work on-site and get more face-to-face time with management do. A disconnect between the advantages of remote and on-site teams will lead to disengagement, frustration, and often different treatment as time goes on. The only difference between the two halves of a hybrid workforce should be the places they sit; treat them equally, message them equally, and you’ll have a productive, satisfied team.

We’re not done yet!

We’ve got plenty more resources on building the best workforce from the bottom to the top. Take a look at our e-book on Mastering the Employee Experience, or our analysis of Gallup’s 12 Elements of Employee Engagement. All of our resources can be found in our Library – check them out here! To see HelloTeam in action, click here — and to set up a meeting with us, go here!

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