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Tackling Attrition

HR leaders can make investments in employee wellness and learning and development programmes to build a positive workplace culture and boost retention efforts.

By Debbie Ng

In every workplace, a distinct culture shapes the collective work environment, manifesting as either positive, negative or a nuanced blend of both. Work culture wields a profound impact on how individuals conduct themselves and experience their work environment. It is important, then, that developing and nurturing a positive workplace culture becomes a key part of any employee engagement strategy. Workplaces that focus on building and maintaining a positive workplace culture will ultimately have an engaged and productive workforce.  

Yet, the development of a strong and engaged culture is a gradual process that doesn’t happen overnight, necessitating sustained efforts over months. This evolution requires the thoughtful implementation of leadership role modelling and targeted company initiatives that focus on culture, emphasising the inculcation of values, behaviors, and attitudes that align harmoniously to propel the organisations towards its overarching goals. 

Measuring Culture 

One of the mechanics to assess company culture is through an employee engagement survey. 

The survey enables communication and feedback loops for better work experience and helps to provide a temperature check on the organisation. Businesses can use the data to track whether employees share a common set of beliefs, whether their individual goals align with the company goals, and can work to achieve these goals. By understanding and tracking employee sentiment around teamwork, leadership, and learning and development, companies can collect a wealth of engagement data over time. These findings uncover areas that are effective and areas that need attention to help HR leaders assess the overall impact of company culture. 

Skip level communications also provide HR teams with an unfiltered glimpse into how workers perceive company culture. Having leaders engage with individual workers at various levels of the organisation allows them to track the consistent patterns or themes in feedback that may highlight the systemic issues or positive aspects present throughout the company. These communications are also a good gauge of whether the values and behaviours promoted are consistently being practiced at all levels.  

Tackling Attrition 

Attrition is a concern for many business and HR leaders, especially as more Gen Zs and millennials enter the workforce with evolved expectations. These demographics are changing the workplace by demanding more of the organisations they work for, prioritising factors such as flexible work arrangements, development opportunities, and corporate social responsibility. Addressing attrition concerns involves understanding tenure data, a crucial aspect covered in engagement surveys. 

Employee Wellness 

The pandemic has underscored the importance of mental health and well-being now more than ever. Many organisations now recognise that employee mental health is an essential component of overall employee wellbeing. When employees can maintain healthy and positive mental states, through work life balance, they can take on their roles with confidence and enthusiasm, leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction. Businesses are now expected to create an environment that encourages employees to take care of their mental health on a holistic level; by setting aside funds to facilitate health and wellness initiatives, offering access to resources like counselling and mental health services, and providing flexible working arrangements. 

For instance, many companies have stepped up their packages to include wellness programmes alongside an employee assistance programme. Wellness programmes can include peer support and interest groups such as parenting support, hobbies and interest clubs, and interactive activities such as opportunities to bring children to work and lunchtime talks on healthy living and financial planning. The creation of such groups encourages cross-divisional interaction and builds a welcoming workplace culture.  

Learning & Development 

L&D initiatives contribute significantly to talent retention and overall culture, impacting employee satisfaction and business growth. With a targeted approach, L&D can boost job satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and performance. For young professionals, L&D opportunities serve as a launchpad for their careers, providing them with the knowledge and insights necessary to excel in their roles. For more seasoned employees, ongoing learning opportunities allow them to adapt to technological advancements, and changing market dynamics, ultimately ensuring that their wealth of experience is complemented by contemporary skills. An L&D programme can take various shapes which includes the following. 

  • Collaborating with institutes of higher learning to develop competency-based pathways for employee’s professional advancement.  
  • Conducting micro-certifications to help people address and acquire skills and knowledge to stay relevant.  
  • Mentoring to support employees on their own career objectives whilst building a strong sense of loyalty to the company. 

HR leaders aspiring for a best-in-class employee experience centered on a strong company culture and retention should integrate wellness and L&D programmes with a robust measurement framework. This proactive approach ensures ongoing organisational health and resilience in the face of evolving workplace dynamics. 

Debbie Ng is senior director of people and culture at Singapore Pools

Tags: APAC December 2023, APAC News

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