Want an engaged and loyal workforce in this tight job market? Building a culture of empathy

Veronica Frisch is Executive Vice President and Head of Randstad Sourceright Canada

People, not companies, create the magic.

This is the year to recharge, renew and refresh your talent strategy by putting people first. It’s no secret that skilled talent is in high demand but in short supply and one thing is clear, companies that treat their workers like people – not human commodities – will succeed.

Randstad Sourceright’s 2022 Talent Trends report, which represents the views of more than 900 HR and C-suite leaders in 18 markets, shows that 66% of Canadian companies surveyed plan to hire heavily this year. As a result, companies have had to become increasingly creative in their investments in human capital. During this extremely tight labor market, the needs and expectations of people have become a top priority for businesses around the world.

The pandemic has brought to light new challenges and needs for workers. Businesses need to focus on these needs to ensure their employees are engaged and feel that their needs are being met. Empathy is key to understanding and engaging the workforce. For companies to create a more empathetic and innovative environment, a culture of curiosity must be cultivated. Breaking down barriers, embracing diversity and inclusion and putting it at the forefront of business strategy will help create a more empathetic and innovative culture.

A few ways to achieve this are to provide an opportunity and platform to have open discussions about mental health, provide mental health training to your managers, ensure your workplace is physically accessible to everyone, implement a flexible working policy and create adaptive policies focused on our new world. Creating a safe space for ideas, voices and differences complements the workplace to allow opportunity. An open and consistent flow of communication is essential and encourages diversity of opinion as well as transparency in decision-making.

Metrics and measurement of employee impact and engagement are paramount. Engagement and satisfaction with their organization can be measured through internal surveys, Glassdoor ratings, and revenue analysis. It can also be measured by referrals, as employees tend to submit referrals when they are most satisfied with their company. Measuring career growth and retention is also critical to understanding and evaluating the success of business strategy. Improved performance ratings and employee morale, reduced turnover rates and employee absenteeism, increased internal promotions and reduced time to fill vacancies are other positive indicators. to measure the effectiveness of employee engagement.

Organizations need to keep the risk of burnout in mind to understand and support their workforce. They can do this by promoting work/life balance, actively monitoring workloads and schedules, encouraging employees to use vacation time, providing work-from-home options, prioritizing well- being at work, offering employee assistance programs and applying management training. As we enter a new world of work, companies that embed empathy and innovation in their DNA will reap the benefits of an engaged and loyal workforce.

This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their insights and advice on the world of work. Find all the stories of the Leadership Lab on tgam.ca/leadershiplab and guidelines on how to contribute to the column here.

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