Why employers should adopt a 'hire to retire' strategy to retain staff

Investing in training and development, recognising employee contributions and promoting a work-life balance are some of the important steps to take

Along with maintaining up-to-date market compensation and benefits, it is important for recruiters to introduces best practices to create an appealing workplace environment. Photo: The National
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The pandemic-induced “new normal” of remote and hybrid working options has prompted employees to re-evaluate their goals.

With workplaces offering greater flexibility, more employees are now driven to explore new sectors and roles. Attractive compensation is no longer enough to retain employees in a competitive market.

A recent survey by global consultancy PwC found that 30 per cent of employees in the Middle East are “extremely” or “highly likely” to look for a new job in the next year.

Quirkily termed “The Great Resignation”, this trend has been marked by the workforce across the Middle East prioritising work-life balance, professional upskilling opportunities and flexibility when making a career move.

The impact of attrition goes beyond just losing an employee in the short term; it is an added cost to the company and impacts overall employee morale.

People are a company’s most valuable resource and it is important to gain employee trust for a long and fruitful association.

Here’s where a “hire to retire” strategy becomes imperative. Hire to retire (H2R) is a human resources process that includes everything that needs to be done during an employee’s career with a company. Here are five methods to help you win the fight for top talent today.

Pay attention to employees’ careers

Four out of 10 professionals believe their career has paused since the pandemic, research by Robert Half shows. For employees aged 18 to 24, the figure rises to 66 per cent.

About half of the respondents who said their career was stuck cited stagnation in pay growth, job promotion or skill development.

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

Internal promotions outline a clear path to higher pay and responsibility, while making employees feel appreciated and invested in the company’s success.

More than one-third of employees polled for Mercer’s 2022 Global People Trends survey said the company’s brand and reputation, as well as fair career advancement prospects, were the top two reasons for staying with their current employer.

Invest in employee training and development

Employees see training as an investment in their value and a strong motivator to stay with the organisation. They want to work for a company that encourages them to advance, and if it doesn’t, they’ll leave and take their skills elsewhere.

A great training and development programme offers short and long-term advantages, such as enhancing employee engagement and retention, fostering new thinking, and providing your company with a competitive advantage.

About 42 per cent of organisations are altering their talent strategy to focus more on internal talent marketplaces and using the gig economy, the Mercer report said. Companies have been achieving this goal by investing in targeted learning programmes and providing internal gig experiences to bridge skill gaps, the report added.

Recognise employees’ contributions

Create opportunities to celebrate big and small successes and enjoy these milestones as a group, whether a team completes a significant project ahead of time or an employee celebrates a work anniversary.

Even if you celebrate online, it may be a memorable moment for employees and an opportunity to bring everyone together.

Highlighting important accomplishments not only boosts employee morale, but also helps with staff retention.

Practise effective communication

The pandemic highlighted the necessity of effective workplace communication, especially between managers and their teams.

Managers should encourage timely, productive and pleasant communication within their team, for both on-site and remote employees. They should also have regular check-ins with teams to learn about their workload and job satisfaction.

It is important to create an open work environment where employees feel free to express ideas, ask questions or bring up concerns to their leaders.

Promote work-life harmony

Job happiness and satisfaction are closely linked to a healthy work-life balance.

Employees need to know that their supervisors understand that they have lives outside of work and that working from home makes maintaining a work-life balance more challenging.

Top 15 companies to work for in the UAE, according to LinkedIn — in pictures

Offer flexibility with hybrid and remote work options, cut back on unnecessary meetings and avoid working beyond the mandated office hours and overworking teams. Employees should also be encouraged to take time off at regular intervals.

Creating growth opportunities for employees will not only stem high attrition concerns, but also equip organisations with better succession planning and raise the ratio of long-serving employees.

Along with maintaining up-to-date market compensation and benefits, it is important to take a holistic approach and implement best practices to create an appealing workplace culture.

Nirbhik Goel is the chief human resources officer at VFS Global

Updated: July 05, 2022, 4:00 AM