With the average worker staying 4 years in a role, it’s not enough to simply attract and land top accounting and finance talent. You also need to retain them. Increasingly, progressive organizations are offering perks outside of the norm. Here are 4 strategies you can use to retain your difference makers.
Strategy 1: Make Balance a Priority
In a study of organizations that provide wellness programs, 89% of participants reported improved happiness and well-being, while 69% stated that their engagement in their employer’s organizational mission and goals had increased. And it’s not only improving an employee’s physical health that pays dividends, but also focusing on their mental well-being. With 53% of Canadian and American workers reporting feeling burnt out, taking care of your employee’s mental health is an obvious priority.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review the most successful wellness programs:
- Built company policies and the environment around a singular message of wellness such as prevention. They also ensured that their leadership was on board.
- They connected wellness to an individual’s personal goals – the abstract concept of “getting healthy is the right thing to do” was ineffective in generating motivation.
- Wellness was done in a collaborative way. Employees felt the system was their own and a shared accountability was used to sustain engagement.
Strategy 2: Build Flexibility Into Culture
It’s no secret that trying to balance a vibrant home life with a dedicated work life can exhaust even the most committed employees. With millennials wanting flexible work options, it makes sense to build flexibility into the fabric of your corporate culture. Consider one or more of the following approaches to increase flexibility at work:
- Let employees choose their start and finish time
- Employees can work remotely a certain number of days per week
- Employees who have parenting demands, such as picking up a child from daycare at a specific time each day, can leave early as long as work is completed
- Flex time – allowing employees to bank a certain number of hours to be taken as flex time at a later date
Read: Want some tips for keeping your remote team connected? Read this article.
Strategy 3: Diversity Matters
According to an article from McKinsey and Company called “Diversity Matters,” “companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.” According to McKinsey, “More diverse companies, we believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.”
And while it means an ethnically diverse workforce in part, progressive companies also define diversity as stepping away from a one-size-fits-all approach to offering benefits.
- Giving time off for people to volunteer for a cause they believe in
- Creating resource groups for like-minded individuals to facilitate innovation and create a supportive environment
- Building a strong mentoring program that helps people grow their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses
- Supporting people with different needs and making sure they have the resources to contribute
Strategy 4: Education and Clear Career Trajectories
Provide in-house training programs, or access to continuing education funded by the organization. Clearly lay out an individual’s career trajectory and path to promotion. Top talent, particularly millennials, want opportunities to explore leadership roles, so allow them to take the lead on an initiative, or even system implementation. In addition, organizational performance and retention can be improved by creating a teaching culture. Teaching cultures, if done properly, increase productivity and the sense of team connection.
Read: “Improve Organizational Performance by Hiring Dolphins” to learn why a teaching culture matters.
If you want to retain top finance and accounting talent it’s critical to recognize that the needs of the current workforce are evolving. Flexibility and a clear understanding of the path to progression are both necessary for top talent to stay with a company. Incorporating diversity and benefits that prioritize work/life balance and mental health are also important. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your difference makers stay in the fold, grow with the organization and become your future leaders.
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