Futureproofing talent strategies for engagement, retention, and growth

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By Charles Butterworth, Managing Director of Access People

The current talent shortage and movement in the market reflects change across every industry.

At Access People, we captured some of the most pressing topics and ideas from senior HR leaders to discuss talent strategies that flex and change to meet the needs of the modern workforce. People are re-evaluating jobs and life choices at record levels. Employee wellbeing and expectations, including the rise of demand for self-directed learning, are critical priorities for every organisation. How can businesses engage and retain their people through championing learning, skills and talent acquisition? Leveraging technology to overcome challenges and acquire new talent will ensure HR leaders can stay ahead of competitors and make their employees feel both valued and motivated.

Shifting workplace demographics

Organisations can futureproof their talent strategies by hiring based on skillsets, as well as using technology to compartmentalise and view applications more holistically. This ensures a diverse, varied workforce. Many businesses are enticing staff with generous joining bonuses, gifts or competitive salaries. However, these are short-term fixes for retaining staff. Organisations must break down who they are attracting, how they set themselves apart from competitors and embrace current trends.

According to ONS, older workers are departing from careers at a heightened rate, meaning the workforce’s age demographic is shifting to become younger. What is the best way to manage and attract a younger generation? One approach is creating a workplace that promotes accessible and consumable learning, in an environment where people will want to progress and stay at the organisation long term.

Engaging and accessible learning content

Finding ways to improve connections into the flow of work via technology will ensure that employees feel engaged at work. The things that we enjoy about social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Twitter can be translated to our work environment to ensure everyone’s ideas, thoughts and experiences are shared democratically on online. Similarly, making learning resources more accessible and consumable will ensure the growing demand for self-directed learning is adequately met.

As digital transformation shifts our needs to upskill and reskill careers, and lean into new forms of automation and technology, the importance of personalised and intuitive learning will be paramount. In an age of burnout and disengagement, ensure your workforce is growing with your business, with well-rounded and topical learning courses. A key solution is making learning content available anywhere, anytime, and in a short consumable formats such as soundbites, podcasts and short videos.

One size fits all?

People have switched priorities over time – working from home has highlighted the time benefits and productivity changes from the traditional office model. Have organisations ensured they have shifted the way they retain and hire staff in line with these new priorities? As many as 41% of people do not wish to return to the office again, according to a recent Access People poll. Understanding and listening to the challenges people are facing in their personal and professional lives with allow for a conversation that can redesign the employee experience to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

As the world of work rapidly evolves beyond traditional models of working, HR leaders need to be as agile as possible to provide innovative solutions to motivate, retain and uplift staff. Understanding and listening to the way people want to approach their daily work will ensure a positive environment –  which will prove to be a vital and powerful competitive advantage.

About the author

Charles ButterworthCharles joined Access in February 2021, to lead the Access Group’s human resources, payroll, learning & development and compliance teams and solutions. His role includes further integration of company acquisitions into the Access People business for the benefit of customers, partners, and employees.

Charles is an accomplished leader of large teams across multiple locations and disciplines and has over 24 years’ experience in the technology, telecommunications and investment banking sectors, including as Managing Director, Experian UK & Ireland and EMEA. His responsibilities extended across all the data, analytics, and software business of Experian in the wider region.