Competing for Talent by Making Progressive Changes

It is almost mandatory that employers make progressive changes to company culture, employee benefits, and flexible working arrangements to compete for top talent in a competitive market. Employees now have more power than employers and this shift in power is difficult for most employers to understand, nevertheless implement.

human-capitalThe most successful employers are the ones that are making strategic changes, which helps them retain talented employees in a saturated job market. However, employers who choose to stick with traditional workplace narratives that no longer serve their employees best interest, are losing talent or will soon as employees are searching for jobs with flexibility, an inclusive and diverse culture, and an abundance of professional development and support in and out of the workplace.

It is crucial that a company’s HR practices align with its organizational goals, mission and brand, in order to be a true reflection of what they stand for, internally and externally. Happy employees lead to a more productive workplace, which balances profit and purpose while fostering an environment where employees are efficient and effective.

It is also important for employers to nurture an environment that encourages employees to speak up, share feedback, and express themselves when needed, with an understanding that sometimes the balance between work and personal life can become overwhelming and accommodations must be made circumstantially.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a shift in workplace narratives and reshaped the concept of productivity. It proved that employees can be just as productive outside of the office, as they are inside the office, and promotes a hybrid and remote work options for employees, allowing for added flexibility.

Employers are now encouraged to re-evaluate their talents’ needs and build an HR plan that matches them. This allows employees to not only feel like they are well taken care of in the workplace, but also encourages them to put in as much as they receive with a trust factor at hand. An environment that is mutually beneficial to the employer and employee creates long lasting relationships, as well as internal brand loyalty. It pushes employees to believe in the brand and this will often be reflected outside of the workplace.

Companies must focus on developing sustainable HR strategies and communications plans that educate and engage employers on how they can better accommodate talent, and help with employee retention. It further improves diversity, as remote positions allow employers to expand globally, rather than in just one location.

Remote or hybrid workplaces still implement deadlines per usual, while allowing for added productivity as employees are able to complete tasks in a place where they are comfortable, and sometimes on their own time, which can translate better for the company, rather than the typical nine to five structure which is sometimes inconvenient.

This further improves employee engagement as employees now understand their responsibilities and what is expected of them, without feeling pressured. Mutual respect is extremely beneficial and important because it represents trust which acts as a motivation factor.

This shift in the workplace paradigm should not be one that is feared or overlooked, but rather a progressive change for the better.



Lauren Winans

Lauren Winans

As the Chief Executive Officer and Principal HR Consultant for Next Level Benefits Lauren Winans possesses a deep expertise of HR best practices and what resonates with employees. With 20 years of human resources and employee benefits experience, Winans founded Next Level Benefits in 2019, an HR consulting practice that offers clients access to HR professionals for both short-term and long-term projects.

Winans' experience at various global, multi-generational, geographically dispersed organizations has prepared her for assisting clients of all sizes and from any industry. Prior to becoming CEO of Next Level Benefits, Winans served as a senior HR leader and responsibly managed all aspects of health, welfare, absence management, and retirement at General Nutrition Centers, American Eagle Outfitters, and CONSOL Energy. While working for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield she acquired extensive knowledge of the insurance industry.

Throughout her career, she's been focused on improving culture and enhancing the total rewards offered at the companies she's worked for and provided guidance to. Winans is strategically focused yet tactically proficient, and brings a holistic perspective to each client project.

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