Today, “inadequate career development” is the leading reason employees leave their jobs. In fact, the Work Institute reports that 21% of employees cited it as the driving factor. As part of your efforts to improve employee engagement and productivity, you’re responsible for creating a culture of mentorship, collaboration, and flexibility.
And that can really pay off. A Harvard Business Review study found that, among 1,200 entry-level hourly workers, “fair treatment from their manager was more important than their income,” Forbes reports.
Read on to learn the two things managers need to prioritize in 2020 to attract — and retain — workers.
Make mentorship a priority
Mentorship is an opportunity for employers to reciprocate employees for the value they add beyond simply showing up for work. It creates a more equitable and desirable workplace for the value workers of the future. Today, 91% of U.S. employees who have a mentor are satisfied with their jobs, including 57% who are very satisfied. In 2020, mentors will provide employees with critical support and even learn from employees themselves.
Employers must look beyond traditional management practices that overlook employees’ natural desire for community and growth. Leading employers will challenge conventional workplace hierarchies, focusing instead on employee interactions that add both immediate and long-term value, for employees as well as customers.
Here are three tips to better mentorship.
- Ensure managers support all employees. Task your managers with tapping into the existing value of your workforce by prioritizing the professional growth of your existing staff.
- Adopt “voice of the employee” tools. Empower workers to share sentiments, opinions, and professional goals.
- Create a mentorship program. Share mentorship opportunities with new hires, increasing the desirability of open positions and maximizing the success of new hires.
Embrace flexible work
Uber, Doordash, Etsy. “The Gig Economy” is defined by a transient workforce, where employers can’t rely on their employees to remain in one place. While the namesake is often used to describe temporary work of little professional value — such as Uber and Lyft driving — the gig economy increasingly encompasses short-term employment that aligns with a worker’s desired career path.
As workers increasingly look for alternative work opportunities, specialized “talent marketplaces” (e.g., Upwork, ClearVoice) will emerge to capitalize on this trend by connecting gig workers with employers. Employers will turn to these environments to minimize the overhead costs of hiring while maximizing their exposure to leading talent.
So how do you build flexibility into your work organization?
- Seek opportunities for giggers. Gig workers are ideal for short-term roles that nonetheless require a specialist’s touch. Identify opportunities, such as special events and seasonal roles, where gig workers can add value, and communicate the benefits they will enjoy when they participate.
- If you can’t beat them, join them. Incorporate gig work into your formal workforce management strategy. Gig workers can supplement your workforce during busy or growth periods, for example, and add value when unexpected opportunities arise.
- Use the right tools. Leading workforce management tools minimize friction when onboarding new employees, which is advantageous when working with gig workers and short-term hires or managing high turnover.
Make 2020 your best year yet
2020 will be “the year of the worker,” where a highly competitive job market and the normalization of the gig economy — combined with stagnating wages — are putting the onus on workers to take control of their professional growth.
Employers can succeed by shedding the rigidity of traditional hourly workforce management and embracing this trend. Download Shifting Priorities: 4 Trends Changing the Hourly Workforce in 2020 to learn the four trends that will set you apart from the competition.
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