By Manny Fernandez
Texas has become a destination of choice for companies seeking to relocate. But amid all of the good that comes when the economy is flourishing, one thing that keeps executives awake at night is the increasing competition for talent.
If the Texas economy continues to grow, look for efforts to recruit and retain the best talent to become an even higher priority in the coming year. Recent surveys suggesting that growing numbers of employees are on the verge of being a “flight risk” is a growing source of concern for many businesses.
Here are four areas of focus for executives working to ensure that their businesses stay relevant and continue to grow.
The recruiting stage provides many opportunities for organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition. But achieving success in today’s environment may require implementing new ideas and being more self-reflective in the process.
For starters, make sure the organization is committed to work-life balance. It’s no longer just nice to have. It’s become a business imperative as seasoned veterans as well as Millennials have come to expect it. Even small things, such as the opportunity to work from home one day a week, or discouraging emails outside business hours, can make a big difference.
It’s also important to understand the culture of companies that successfully win away valued employees. What is it they’re doing? Finally, conduct a self-assessment. Poll employees and seek their anonymous feedback on what’s going right and what needs improving.
It’s easier said than done, but creating a positive environment that encourages collaboration, teaming, and recognition are the trademarks of a strong and robust organization. When considering the work environment, think about the physical workspace and its impact on morale. Create a work environment that facilitates interaction and utilizes space effectively.
It’s also important to foster a culture of community involvement. Select a local non-profit for an office fundraiser or volunteer project, and get behind it. Be an active and involved corporate citizen.
Finally, talk about purpose and make sure there’s passionate and frequent communication about how employees are contributing to success. Be sure employees understand their impact on clients or customer,s as well. Everyone, at every level, has an impact and an important role to play. Make sure to create a platform that connects people to their higher purpose.
Employees will thrive when they have new opportunities or develop new skill sets. Regardless of age, everyone can learn something new.
Provide opportunities for continuous learning and personal as well as professional development. Work with the human resources department to implement new learning programs or partner with a third-party vendor. Second, allocate time and funding to encourage employees to learn more about the newest industry trends and how to take advantage of tools that make jobs easier and more productive. Never let them feel that they’re behind the industry curve. Finally, actively encourage employees to pursue new opportunities inside the organization whenever possible. Look to promote from within the organization before casting a net in the marketplace.
In a robust market like Texas, employee retention is critically important across all industries and sectors. Organizations must recognize that status quo isn’t good enough to keep attrition in check. Make sure compensation and benefits are competitive. Be as transparent as possible about the state of the business and its goals.
It’s especially important to let employees know how much they mean to the success of the business, and to make them feel valued and appreciated. Always acknowledge a job well done, and challenge them to grow by providing training and other opportunities.
Be a good steward of the organization – stress the commitment to making it a better place for current and future employees. Finally, employees expect and want leadership to be involved in every facet of the business. Walk the floors and get to know the people who work for the organization.
Maintaining a strong and highly engaged workforce is crucial for every organization in today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace, and especially so in Texas, where the demand for skilled talent is expected to outpace the supply in the coming years. It’s critically important for executives to foster a culture and work environment that embraces new ideas, to create an open and collaborative environment and to acknowledge the importance of their most valued asset – their people.
Manny Fernandez is the KPMG Dallas Office Managing Partner.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG LLP.