How to Improve Retention: 3 Strategies in an Increasingly Global Talent Market
Technological advancements have made it easy for HR departments to take advantage of globalisation and expand their recruitment strategies to include the worldwide market however this can introduce new risk – as it makes your existing employees more aware of the wealth of new opportunities available to them abroad.
Why Are They Looking Abroad?
In addition to the obvious possibility of higher earnings, employees who accept a position overseas may increase access to niche roles, providing career growth within specific verticals. They also often gain better work-life balance and more opportunities to visit new places and develop diverse communication skills.
3 Retention Strategies for a Global Talent Market
For HR Leaders who prioritise talent, there should be minimal difference between business and talent strategies, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (1). An effective talent retention strategy should take into account both risk management and employee reward. Here are three simple strategies to consider.
1. Support Work-Life Balance
According to the Independent (2), common perceptions that European firms offer superior “resistance to working long hours” and personal time off are true – with Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway offering the shortest work weeks and best accommodation for family life.
Reasonable performance metrics for teams, clear annual leave policies and positive parental leave programs can ensure that employees don’t feel overwhelmed to the point they consider leaving for an international organisation.
Studies by WorkPlace Trends (3) indicate that 45% of U.S. employees feel they lack time for “personal activities”. Consider implementing policies that promote positive work-life balance at every level of your operations, including limiting access to technologies outside of work hours.
Flexible work schedules or telecommuting can also be an effective tool. According to a study by the ADP Research Institute®, The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workforce (4), 81% of employees surveyed associated positive emotions with the ability to work from anywhere in the world, and 78% felt positive toward the idea of creating their own schedule.
2. Value diversity
Your youngest employees are most likely to prioritise the types of challenging, multicultural experiences associated with working for an international firm, so it makes sense that 58% of Millennials consider themselves “global citizens,” according to WattTime (5). That generation has a clear desire to seek out authentic travel experiences, international education and cross-cultural experiences.
That’s why it’s important to understand what the Harvard Business Review (6) refers to as the distinction between “inherent” diversity, which includes traits employees may be born with, and “acquired” diversity, which are skills gained by working with diverse groups in any setting. Providing employees with inherently diverse work environments in which “leaders value differences” can replicate the rich cross-cultural experience Millennials could be seeking when they consider a global role. As an additional bonus, diverse organisations are 45% more likely to report growth in market share.
3. Encourage Growth
If your employees believe their natural curiosity and desire for professional improvement isn’t being supported by your organisation, you are at risk of defection to a global talent market which may support those goals. ACCA Global (7) reports that nearly 60% of modern finance executives believe that international work experience will “improve greatly” an individual’s chances of earning promotions and better job titles.
To combat this, establish strong mentorship programs and sufficient formal management training opportunities. Show your employees that an international move is not the only way to accelerate their career.
Retaining talent and dissuading that talent from seeking opportunities abroad should be a driving factor in today’s HR strategy. By initiating a cultural shift in your approach to work-life balance, educational opportunities and autonomy, HR leaders can turn the tide of international defections and keep employees happy right where they are.
For more information on global workforce trends download the report: Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace
Written by: Jasmine Gordon