Despite consumer spending being down, the job market remains strong and, in the US alone, 250,000 jobs were added in June*. The labour market remains strong and results in employees having the upper hand when moving on to beat inflation, increase pay and receive better benefits as an extra perk. Now this is where HR departments can make a significant difference by creating a sustainable workforce – a sustainable workforce is an organisation that focusses on employee health and well-being, takes a flexible approach, and invests in their employees through career development, whilst simultaneously future-proofing their workforce.
How can HR directors create a more sustainable workplace?
It is important to invest in your members of staff, they are a key asset to the organisation and should be treated that way. It is poor management practice to simply offer your employees more salary when they are considering resigning from their duties. Employees should be invested in more than just financially to retain them.
Career development and training opportunities
Now more than ever, employees are looking for a career that not only gives them job satisfaction but also challenges and engages them and offers a clear career path. Training is a key element to this and will ensure that employees are not only being kept up to date with the latest knowledge but are also being offered the opportunity for growth and a real prospect of career progression.
For large organisations, consider offering your members of staff a 12-month secondment – a role within a different department to learn new skills. If this is implemented correctly it will not only make employees more engaged but also cultivate better collaboration between departments.
No one likes to be micro-managed, and it should be a companywide philosophy to display trust in teams to manage themselves to a degree, taking some responsibility for ensuring that their own tasks are done in a competent, timely and appropriate manner.
Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have started to revaluate our careers, and a 5-day week, with 10 hours a day in the office no longer fits into many peoples ideal working patterns – those who are recruiting are struggling to find staff looking to be fully office based. To create a sustainable workforce a flexible working approach is required and if this is not offered employees will seek opportunities elsewhere.
A sustainable workforce role will come with great perks of the job – is your organisation currently offering any perks (and we are not talking about having a beer fridge in the office!) but more benefits for the long run such as paid parental leave, paid holiday leave and pensions and shares.
To create a sustainable workforce it is vital to pay the team above market norm as with the rising cost of living and a booming job market they may seek opportunities elsewhere.
Retaining top talent when unemployment rates are low, and vacancies high is extremely important. Long-term planning to understand what skills will be needed by your organisation in the future will help to plan what skills your employees need to acquire you remain employable.
Creating a sustainable workforce can really make a difference in retaining members of staff, increasing productivity, and crucially improving overall health and well-being in the workplace.