Tag: Workplace Flexibility

Companies offer or re-commit to championing parental leave

A resource from McKinsey and Company entitled Women in the Workplace 2021 has shared data suggesting that women were even more burned out as of late 2021 than they were in 2020. The research also revealed that burnout was ramping up faster among women than in men with childcare-related worker attrition remaining a human resource issue.

Around a third of women surveyed stated that they “have considered downshifting their career or leaving the workforce this year,” compared to the one-fourth of women who told McKinsey the same early on in the pandemic.

In a market that is talent-strapped, employers have had to be very creative when conjuring up ways to better retain parents. Many companies have offered or re-committed to championing parental leave so that workers aren’t forced to choose between caring for their families and nurturing their careers. Labor experts also have called attention to the nuance involved in such considerations, including regard for LGBTQ+ parents who need leave and further attention paid to mothers who are black and their higher rates of burnout.

According to the survey, some companies have taken a step further by offering stipends for in-home childcare or daycare. Others still have implemented “returnships” for caregivers — primarily, women or birthing parents — to become reacquainted with the workforce after a years-long childcare hiatus.

But flexibility in their workflow and scheduling remains one easily implemented solution that managers and HR teams can offer parents today.

McKinsey commented in its 2021 report: “More than three-quarters of senior HR leaders say that allowing employees to work flexible hours is one of the most effective things they’ve done to improve employee well-being, and there are clear signs it’s working. Employees with more flexibility to take time off and step away from work are much less likely to be burned out, and very few employees are concerned that requesting flexible work arrangements has affected their opportunity to advance.”

The one caveat? Ensure that employees are given clear boundaries along with their flexibility, to thwart an “always-on” approach to work. It’s important to not only offer flexibility but also to support staff wellbeing in order to avoid burnout.

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The roar of the war on talent continues as employees are switching jobs at record numbers and workforces continue to shrink. Together, these events have created an environment in which business and HR leaders are having to play catch-up. Today’s labor market, regardless of business type or location, is now faced with more job openings than available workers.

These market pressures are creating never-before-seen urgency around talent.

And for now, most businesses are reacting with the one tool that they can easily access: money. While wages in general haven’t skyrocketed as much as they have in hospitality and retail, a high salary remains one solid way to entice key employees to stay and to lure employees to their organization. And once you change that, there’s no going back. Unfortunately, the money bucket is not bottomless and SMEs don’t have access to the funds to support such high increases. The current cycle in the market can only go on for so long and leaders will need to act for the future in addition to reacting in the present. Here are three things to help drive retention in your organization.

Here are three key ways to attract and retain talent in the current marker:

  1. Ensure pay equity.
  2. Increase workplace flexibility
  3. Create a high-attention culture.

In the short-term, many organizations will continue to address talent shortages by increasing wages. At some time in the not-so-far-off future, the organizational tolerance for digging into the checkbook will wane. We don’t need to wonder what to do next. We know we also need to invest in proactive, long-term solutions that keep people from even entertaining leaving. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Start with embedding the practice of check-ins into your organization. Check-ins aren’t the only thing, but they are the fastest thing when it comes to creating a culture where people feel connected and less compelled to leave.

 

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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