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Fuelling business growth through a focussed employee experience

As 2022 draws closer, HR leaders everywhere are still reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the landscape of HR, ushering in a much-needed evolution, a new mindset on flexibility and a heightened focus on employee communication and recognition.

With this change, it's important to reset, realign and ask: where does employer and employee sentiment stand? 

remote employeeA recent study conducted by Reward Gateway surveyed 3,809 employees and senior HR decision-makers across the UK, U.S. and Australia, revealing more about the expectations and intentions of HR leaders and their employees in this unique time, highlighting employees’ plans to leave their current jobs and what HR leaders are willing to do to keep them.

The data suggests that the next 12 months will define how employers can balance healthy employee churn while attracting, retaining and engaging top talent. 

Overall, the research reveals key themes to a positive employee experience:

Reward and recognition
Trust in leadership
Positive managerial relationships
Fair pay
Company culture
Open and honest working environments  

HR leaders, on the flip side, are aware they’ll be required to adapt to employees' newly revealed needs, redefining what they offer as a company to attract and retain the best talent in the wake of COVID-19. Many plan to increase the amount they invest in key areas such as employee benefits, reward and recognition, employee feedback, employee communications and wellbeing. 

talent poolThe war for talent is acute now, with the number of job vacancies rising over 1 million for the first time on record in August 2021, across a number of different industries but particularly in the hospitality and food services. This statistic further solidifies what we already know to be true about the state of the workforce: The war for talent is here. Coupled with Brexit limiting or completely eliminating the EU talent pool for many organisations, it’s apparent that there is a dramatic need for workers, and not enough of them to fulfill this need.

The data and trends are clear: The upcoming year will be a time for HR leaders and employees alike to reset, reconsider their goals and priorities, and realign. Every company has been forced to change, and many are in the process of reinventing themselves once again. 

Attracting and retaining employees through 'healthy churn'

The pandemic put many organisations in a uniquely challenging position. Many felt uncomfortable letting go of workers because of the world’s negative state, while others were forced to reduce their staff to keep the business afloat.  

Now, they are trying to play catch-up. Many HR leaders surveyed noted they are currently hiring, while many employees shared they are currently looking for a new job or will be this year, and would consider different opportunities than before the pandemic, given the opportunity to work remotely.

balance of healthy churnNearly every HR manager surveyed (98%) agreed that there are benefits to a healthy amount of employee churn, including 'the ability to bring in new talent' (52%) and 'an opportunity to enhance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) in [their] organisation' (46%).

But regular, ongoing turnover is not sustainable, nor healthy for an organisation looking to succeed, as it undermines teamwork, creating a culture of instability and a need to frequently re-train workers, while compromising intellectual property. The data suggests that the next 12 months will define how employers can balance healthy employee churn while attracting, retaining and engaging top talent. Our survey shows: 

  • 61% of HR leaders have held back on firing because of COVID-19
  • 66% of HR leaders report their companies are currently hiring
  • 59% of employees note they would now consider careers they might not have before because location is not required
  • 42% of employees surveyed report they are either currently looking for a new employer, or will be this year
  • 52% of UK employees surveyed note that they are not looking for a new job currently because they are happy, but would leave if a better opportunity presented itself

There are several different factors that are driving new hiring, and the widespread commonalities among several different industries further highlight the need for talent. Our survey showed that the top reasons companies are looking to hire include: 

Filling new positions due to company growth – 57%
Replace jobs lost during the pandemic – 41%
To obtain new skills needed for the new world of work – 33%

To attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive, unprecedented market, companies must reinvent their toolkits and maximise on strategies that will make them stand out as an employer of choice. 

In our COVID-19 Reset Report, we explore these topics in more depth to give leaders the information and tactics they need to survive in today’s war for talent. Download your free copy today to learn more:

covid-19 reset report cover

Download Report »

Chloe Thompson

Chloe is the Head of Content Strategy at Reward Gateway. She has a strong penchant for great food, better wine (especially if it sits alongside a cheese plate) and dancing around her kitchen to musical theatre tunes.

Head of Content Strategy

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