TalentCreating a retainment life cycle at BP

Creating a retainment life cycle at BP

Turbulent times in business have caused career paths to constantly fluctuate. Could creating an employee life cycle be the missing formula for winning the war on talent?

Many businesses today have woken up to the perks of creating a retainment lifecycle amongst its workforce. How can business leaders solidify an effective employee retainment strategy? Insightful words by Julia Harvie-Liddel, Group Head of Talent Acquisition, BP, helped HRD Connect to find the answers. 

Employee retention has been recognised as an important agenda for businesses today, especially in times of uncertainty. Studies by Perkbox found that 60% of HR and recruitment professionals anticipate that in the next three years they will experience increased difficulty in recruiting senior and skilled employees as a direct result of Brexit. To manage shifts in turbulent scenarios for businesses, retainment is critical for the future of an organisation.

“It is of paramount importance. For years, we have been working to promote the uptake of STEM skills to reduce the skills gap,” said Julia Harvie-Liddel, Group Head of Talent Acquisition, BP.

“At BP, we are witnessing the results of our hard work and emphasized keeping our best and brightest employees. We are immensely proud of our talented and diverse workforce, and we value every employee – after all, a business is only as successful as its people.”

Through effective talent strategies, BP has successfully managed to create an effective retainment lifecycle amongst its workforces around the globe. How can businesses replicate this form from BP? Julia believes that it’s more about just receiving feedback from employees, but continually finding creative ways to empower the people at the organisation.

“We conduct an annual survey to better understand how employees feel about the company. These results impact the decisions made concerning our retainment lifecycle. In 2019, 75% of our employees felt “pride in working for BP”, but we’re still chasing a higher figure,” continued Julia.

“Importantly, we realise that it isn’t enough to just know what your employees think – you also have to drive change forward. Thanks to the results of our 2019 survey, we realised that we could do more to create a positive and empowering work environment.”

“Since then, we have launched Energize! an initiative which encourages employees to recognise their colleagues via a new online platform – it has been a big success, with 77% of employees receiving recognition via the tool.”

BP are reaping the benefits of having an empowered and engaged workforce. The lifecycle of BP employees are much more likely to stay and grow within the organisation due to the effective talent strategies that BP heavily prioritise. Despite the positives, there are many challenges behind building a retainment and development strategy.

Uncertainty is the biggest issue for businesses today. PwC’s latest annual global CEO survey revealed that “uncertain economic growth” is considered the biggest threat to businesses. What’s more, 30% of business leaders expect more than one crisis to hit their business within the next three years. Julia believes that HR professionals have a central role to play in thriving through tumultuous times.

“For me, the unpredictability of people is the biggest challenge. You must accept that sometimes your staff will move on and turnover is inevitable. As an HR professional, the focus should be on getting to a position where you feel confident that your team have tried to do everything, they can to keep staff happy,” continued Julia.

“When implementing a retainment strategy, there may be setbacks, and on occasion, employees may move on – especially when working with people who have the drive and ambition that we all share at BP.”

Despite flourishing in its retainment lifecycle, BP has many HR strategies to further enhance the experience of every employee.

“Looking across the board, I feel excited by the impact that technology is having on HR processes. Tech is now touching every stage of the retainment lifestyle, from recruitment (where the retainment process starts), all the way through to the promotion/review process,” continued Julia.

“We believe that positive employee culture is fostered from the ground up. Recognising that the actions we take as individuals often affect those around us, we seek to embed a mindset that ensures people recognise and reward their colleagues.”

Giving employees a voice is critical to creating an effective retainment lifecycle, once this culture is understood amongst workforces, it can heavily benefit businesses in uncertain times. In a survey by Glassdoor, 81% of employees felt that they would work harder if their managers appreciated them more. Consequently, reward and recognition are key to enhance a business’s retainment lifecycle.

Finally, Julia believes that diversity is vital to an engaged workforce. “Diversity of thought is also crucial – we are a global organisation and so this needs to be reflected across our business,” explained Julia.

“We recently ran a month-long respect and inclusion campaign. This included our #itstartswithme initiative to encourage employees to share a commitment to be more respectful and inclusive. It is initiatives like these that help give every employee a voice, a sense of purpose and a feeling that they belong in this organisation.”

Creating a retainment lifestyle comes with a plethora of benefits. However, doing so requires tuning in to the demands and expectations of employees. Businesses must be able to adapt to sharp shifts in work demands to experience the benefits of managing an effective employee lifecycle.

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