This article is authored by Karen Faehndrich, Advisory Member of Career Money Life.
Against a thumping backdrop of narrative and media regarding the Great Resignation, organisations across Australia are grappling with the questions and complexities culminating from the post lockdown recovery which has seen a surge in job dissatisfaction and job-hopping. The leverage employees have is advancing with a growing swell in negotiations around shaping the way they work, how they work, from where they work, why they work and who they work for.
The necessity to adapt and adopt has been magnified and the magic of who we can be and what we can achieve when it really matters has shone brighter than a thousand stars. For years we have been reimagining, reworking, re-engineering, and reframing and now we are re-charging.
Cultivating the good life once appeared difficult to identify but has become clearer for some and has become a keen focus for a significant percentage of our working population. This has given rise to new challenges impacting workforce planning and the attraction and retention of talent.
The war on talent has been front of mind for leaders for years, now it stands screaming theatrically from centre stage.
Alongside this production, there has been a great deal of organisational discussion around the definition and the notion of hybrid work models as an effort to shore up the commitment of their key performers. Organisations are exploring and testing autonomous work structures, flexible workspaces, predictive analytics, wider learning ecosystems and increased role engineering.
Skill acquisition is navigating the requirement to build, buy and co-create capability married with the need to adopt an increased respect and deeper understating of the needs of the employee to ensure sustainable employment frameworks.
Inspiring and ensuring the engagement of your workforce, managing the complexities culminating from the endless lockdowns and testing of virtual work models against the voice of your employees has become a priority resulting in increased risks, costs, and ambiguity; the retention of key talent has just become tougher.
To develop a response might mean creating something different. Irrespective of your experiences to date, the war on talent will need to be pre-emptive, crafting initiatives that are unique for the future and different from what is operational in the present.
So, what can we do to support our talent strategies?
The attraction of talent, job retention, and work purpose must be a human endeavour. The assessment of talent and how to hold onto it must be undertaken from the perspective of the employee alongside the business strategy. Augmenting employees to their roles and stimulating confidence and flexibility speaks to the sustainability of existing and new roles and individual and team performance.
Providing relevant and accessible skill-based development via a dynamic ecosystem, inclusive learning pathways, individual coaching, and confidential avenues for employee reflection to shore up job clarity, all support the notion of the retention and growth of talent and sustainable teams.
My philosophy is holistic, embraces the human experience and begins with authenticity. Shaping the employee journey to foster an authentic connection and optimise job clarify requires personalised and strategic coaching, the use of assessment tools and support data to help quantify and define purpose.
Enriching your own leadership excellence and in turn those of your employees begins with a commitment to discovery and discussion. Recognising and elevating authenticity in the workplace give rise to initiative, honesty, and growth.
I’ve spent a great deal of time with leaders exploring authenticity and building a framework that acts as the foundation for lifelong self-discovery and learning to help shape an individual’s career, fuel inclusive growth, and strategic workforce plans.
So how do we go about building an effective narrative with employees to discuss authenticity, elicit collaboration and ideas to maintain the momentum required to meet business imperatives? Alongside this, how do we invest in the ongoing employability of the workforce landscape?
Providing employee opportunity regarding the nature of the work they participate in and the chance to be involved in change that matters means they will stay and thrive. An engaged critical mass engineers a culture of innovation, accountability, trust, growth, and respect, just to name a few. An intentional and engaged workforce will bring direction, embrace possibilities and take courageous steps.
Giving an employee the opportunity to take the lead in the conversation about work and what is authentic for them is achieved best with the meeting of Heart & Mind. We need to establish an emotional connection, understand desire and appetite, be clear about authenticity and secure our own definition of fulfillment and success.
The following discussion steps are key to giving your employees the gift of career clarity.
- Know Your Values: what matters to you allows you to understand the emotional connection to the choices you make and the things you chase.
- Know Your Interests: when you understand these and of those, which interests matter most, you can make decisions that will be aligned more closely to what you desire and have a genuine appetite for.
- Personality: magnifies what really fits with you, the environment you work in and how you prefer to structure your work, making how you show up each day easier and supports the notion of authenticity.
- Skills: maximise skills & minimise learning gaps along the way as you build your professional pathway to increase your opportunity for fulfillment and success.
With your leaders and employees armed with this level of insight, conversations regarding career, job fit, and advancement will feed into your talent acquisition and workforce planning strategies. The collective and individual voice will be heard and your people will be exactly where they want to be.
You can enjoy the Great Re-engagement instead!