HomeTalent AcquisitionAttracting and retaining the best talent through appreciation

Attracting and retaining the best talent through appreciation

  • 5 Min Read

Today is Employee Appreciation Day. We look at the importance of appreciating the staff, and how this can help organisations in retaining and attracting the best talent.

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Employee engagement has improved significantly. As many studies have suggested that the key to productivity and efficiency can be found through appreciating their staff, as well as boosting the work performance of their employees, this could also potentially aid the main challenge for businesses in attracting and retaining staff.

Liz Walker, HR Director of Unum, shared her thoughts on talent, saying “Attracting and retaining talent is a challenge for any business, and with a diverse UK workforce, employee needs are becoming increasingly individual. Employee benefits can help in attracting and showing appreciation for employees but for this to be really successful employers need to listen to the needs of their workforce. Whether it’s offering benefits like income protection to support financial security or enabling flexible working, employers need to tailor solutions to protect and support the staff they have and the staff they want, while also ensure those benefits are well communicated.”

As well as productivity and developing efficiency, employee appreciation can also be a key tool in attracting and retaining top talent. Chris Kerridge, Employee Engagement expert at MHR discusses this further, as well as rationalising the importance of Employee Appreciation day saying “It is often forgotten that employees are one of the most important assets a company can possess. It is easy to underestimate all the things they do for their organisations, not just within the scope of their roles, but above and beyond to keep operations running smoothly. Your business could not operate without them, so show you care for Employee Appreciation Day on the 1st March”

To ensure that companies are retaining their talent all year round, in comparison to just 1st March, Chris also commented on creating a consistent vibrant culture. “Having a strong business culture, wrapped around a clear set of values, helps ensure that all employees are brought in to your organisation’s direction and that the right candidates will be eager to jump on board.

Make sure the values that underpin your organisation are available for all to see. Having a set of well-defined values will ensure that everyone at your organisation is reading from the same page, and can be used as guidelines for assessing candidates during the recruitment process.”

Even though many organisations have recognised the importance of employee wellbeing and culture. Research by TUC has found that there are over 5 million workers in the UK who put in a total of 2 billion unpaid hours in 2018. Which results in the average person doing unpaid overtime having worked for a year in overtime in total.

Dean Forbes, CEO at CoreHR commented on these most recent findings, saying “Driven by a passion for what they do, or pressed by their workload, employees can too often be tempted to pull in an extra hour of work. Many might even believe they are doing the ‘right’ thing for the business, but the truth is that such a toxic culture can cause disruption across the entire organisation. Every business will go through times where ‘full on’ mode is unavoidable, but it’s important to realise that this is neither healthy nor sustainable. There is a big responsibility for every leader and HR professional to recognise and tackle such practices before they lead to bigger issues.”

Dean also commented on what tools HR can provide to ensure that they’re getting the best out of every employee, saying “Smart analytics can play an important role here, providing HR and management teams with valuable insights on the needs of each employee. This is crucial for recognising red flags before they escalate and ensuring individuals get the right support in times of need. Unhealthy overtime culture should not be the norm and it is up to businesses to set the right boundaries.”

Although overworking in today’s age is seen as a common thing, not only could this have a negative impact on culture, but this could also affect the employee that is being overworked. Paul enforces this point saying “Stressed employees are likely to be distracted and accidentally click a malicious link, potentially allowing cybercriminals to access and paralyse a network or steal valuable information. In addition, businesses risk losing internal advocates who prioritise protecting the business if employees are overworked and disengaged. The potential for the emergence of insider threats becomes very real the more disgruntled the workforce becomes.” So although many may see working outside of office hours as a positive or norm. This can develop into a significant disadvantage long term.

Another aspect of employee appreciation is financial wellbeing amongst a workforce. As research from Close Brothers found that money worries can have a significant effect on performance at work. Jeanette Makings, Head of Financial Education at Close Brothers commented on ways in which companies can see to this “Financial wellbeing has been overlooked for too long, but business can no longer afford to be complacent. It is integral to unlocking employee performance, as well as attracting and retaining the best talent. But measurement is key as a one-size fits all strategy may seem easy to implement but is unlikely to be effective. In order to ensure that financial wellbeing strategies are impactful and cost-effective, they need to be properly targeted. By pinpointing which of the seven areas of financial wellbeing are the biggest issues and which employees groups are really struggling, employers can ensure that a programme is tailored to employee needs and will provide the best support to get financial health on track.”

If organisations are able to acknowledge and understand the strains of their employees, then this could aid them in unlocking the true value and potential of their workforce.

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