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null One size cannot fit all. Are you evolving your development and retention strategies to secure success?

One size cannot fit all. Are you evolving your development and retention strategies to secure success?

You’re securing the skills your organisation needs. But they’re reluctant to stick around.
Soaring attrition rates have forced organisations to consider how they can develop and retain business-critical expertise. Many skilled professionals are swapping outdated notions of loyalty for exciting opportunities across industries, job roles and locations, searching for projects and challenges that enhance or evolve their skillset.

This changing power dynamic has forced organisations back to the drawing board. While salary remains important, flexibility is trumping stability and individuals are looking for evidence of progression and purpose if they are to commit to being part of a company for a prolonged period.
Companies will need to craft development and retention strategies that can span various lifecycle stages and career ambitions, forming an offering that is simultaneously universal and personal.
In the last installment of our four-part introductory series, we challenge generational stereotypes, reinforce the importance of learning and reflect on the shift from ‘ladder’ to ‘lattice’. Experienced individuals from across Hays add their insights on how to secure lifelong success for your organisation – and the people who drive it forward.

‘Up’ is no longer the only way

Workers are dismantling the traditional growth path in favour of alternative opportunities to accelerate their career, with secondments, training and project-focused roles soaring in popularity.
Development undoubtedly remains important, but it’s no longer wholly linear. People are swapping the career ladder for the ‘lattice’, championing the accumulation of new skills and purpose-driven opportunities over titles and promotions.
For organisations eager to bolster their retention rates, promoting mobility in numerous directions can fend off attrition, so long as companies make it easier to find new opportunities within their metaphorical walls than beyond them.
For individuals, a lattice holds the promise of a greater array of opportunities to be challenged to think innovatively, learn quickly – and avoid career stagnation. But it will require collaboration between employer and employee. Multiple career scenarios must be mapped, accompanied by honest conversations that identify skills gaps that may prevent individuals from being successful in these moves, and implementing training and reskilling to close these divides.
It’s a tricky path to navigate, but with 89% of the global workforce reporting they are ‘disengaged’ from their current role, those organisations who succeed in showcasing the array of opportunity available within their ecosystem will be best placed to retain essential expertise.
Elly Boggis, People and Culture Director for Enterprise Solutions, adds:
‘Highly sought-after, skilled professionals are taking control of their careers. They aren’t clocking years in the same organisation or waiting patiently for someone to retire – they are seizing opportunities by switching industries, taking sidesteps into different functions and relocating to different regions.
This is incredibly exciting. The organisations who can capture this passion can build agile teams, eager to learn, adapt and push boundaries’.

Stop searching for unicorns

‘Neither the skills that organisations will need to be able to plan their future growth, nor the way that employees see their careers advancing are travelling along the old linear pathways that we’ve been used to’, states Jacky Carter, Customer Experience Director at Hays.
Jacky adds, ‘We’re now in a dynamic and shifting environment that requires agility around the learning and upskilling opportunities that employers offer; this relies on a deep understanding of the skills they are going to need in future as well as the existing technical and soft skills of their current workforce’.
But pinpointing the skillsets that will be required in as little as 12 months will challenge even the most forward-thinking organsations. The world of work is complex and increasingly volatile, with the pace of technological evolution dramatically reducing the shelf life of skills.
With uncertainty the only certainty, organisations must shape teams who showcase the ability to learn flexibly and efficiently, with the capability to apply these new skills in emerging and unknown situations.
And yet many organisations remain preoccupied with their search for the perfect – or ‘unicorn’ - candidate, defined as an individual with the exact combination of education and work experience required for the role. These companies risk overlooking, and even alienating, existing members of their workforce ecosystem.
In a tight labour market, organisations must balance their desire to ‘buy in’ expertise with a commitment to building from within. Search for evidence of adaptability, resilience and emotional intelligence amongst your existing workforce. It’s these individuals who offer a solid foundation on which you can reskill and upskill in order to bridge the gaps critical to the success of your organisation, and safeguard against rising attrition rates.

Don’t let stereotypes guide your retention strategies

We are all impacted by societal and cultural shifts. Ladders are dismantled, sought-after skills change, and our lives are no longer as synchronised as they once were.
Yet we continue to cram an even greater diversity of human experience in broad generational labels, stretching from ‘Baby Boomers’ to the emerging ‘Generation Alpha’, and this is harming retention rates.
Organisations are vying to attract and retain talent ‘any way they can’ but are basing their polices and propositions onshaky science.
Jon Mannall, Managing Director for EMEA, comments:
‘There is enormous value in breaking down the stereotypes or biases that accompany rigid generational structures. When we shift from numbers to names, we put people back at the heart of every action and decision an organisation makes.
We need to recognise that regardless of which generational bracket these employees are assigned, they fundamentally remain individuals, at different stages in their personal and professional lives and with their own aspirations.
Naturally, this makes things more complex for organisations. The generational ‘buckets’ we have relied on for so long make it easy to assume needs and challenges, but the reality is they are no longer fit for purpose. The dramatic surge in resignations we have witnessed over the last few years proves that companies aren’t creating the necessary combination of culture and compensation for the vast majority of their workforce ecosystem’.
Rather than relying on mismatched assumptions and age brackets, organisations need to focus on creating policies and offering benefits that support individuals as they move through increasingly disparate lifecycle stages.
Indeed, there are little to no significant differences in attitude when discussing the importance of work-life balance, flexible working agreements and the importance of meaningful work that has a tangible impact on the organisation.
In order to retain the skills and expertise needed to power progress, organisations need to ensure they shape a culture that works across a more diverse array of personal and professional needs.

Attract, onboard, develop and retain, together

Sourcing the skills needed for success is just the first part of an ever-changing puzzle. To secure lifelong success, organisations will need to shape development and retention strategies that ensure their workforce remain engaged, invigorated and driven to do what is right.
This will require ingrained assumptions to be overturned, existing systems of reward and recognition to be restructured and a greater commitment to the people already operating within your ecosystem.
We’re here for every step in your journey through the world of work. Discover how Hays can help solve the challenges you face. Contact our team, today.


Did you miss parts 1, 2 & 3?