Attracting and retaining top talent is a constant battle and a topic that businesses have become very familiar with throughout most of the 2014. As the job market continues to increase, looking for ways to maintain this growth is essential. According to recent reports, the U.S. is now offering higher paying jobs than even the U.K., which has been successful in creating a number of lower paying jobs. From 2009 to 2013, the U.S. economy has added about 4.5 million jobs. This suggests that perhaps the U.S. is demonstrating a quicker rebound from the recession than the U.K., which has seen an increase in low paying jobs as a result of higher employment levels in poor paying sectors like retail and care.
The true test will be in the ability to sustain this new job creation. Every year, $11 billion is lost as a result of employee turnover, and while jobs with great pay attract talent, it is not the only reason that employees stay with an organization. To retain new hires and promote lower turnover rates, employee engagement and satisfaction is key as these employees are highly invested in the company’s success, are committed and loyal. Strong benefits and rewards systems with consistent and personalized communications help to keep employees satisfied and develop brand ambassadors for the organization.
One of the largest HR problems facing organizations today is not realizing that there are issues with the employee engagement and benefits programs currently being administered. Taking a look at organizations trying to engage a global workforce, this problem become more complex. According to the 2014 Global Employee Benefits Watch from Thomsons Online Benefits, 60 percent of multinationals faced issues regarding global benefits administration efficiency, yet only 49 percent of those companies had a written global benefits strategy in place. Legislative changes, escalating costs, slashed HR budgets, and an uneven economy are just some of the factors organizations are dealing with today. This reinforces the growing need to create a unified approach to control global reward messages and offer a consistent experience for internationally-located employees.
When looking at the global talent pool, recruitment tactics and retaining employees also varies greatly. Western companies continue to struggle with the Asian talent market and the efforts that need to be taken to compete. Similar to the U.S., medical costs in Asia continue to be a significant issue with health care costs increasing by more than 15 percent. Many companies are controlling these costs by implementing co-pay arrangements or requesting that the brokers charge a fee instead of taking large commissions. While Europe is coming out of the recession, growth has been sluggish with the exception of few countries like Germany, the U.K., Russia and Romania. Europe is also seeing growth in flexible benefits as new laws are being implemented that make flexible working benefits compulsory, unlike in the U.S. where these benefits are more irregular and not mandated. European companies are also facing a mentality shift in trying to do things “the American way” and be more centralized and efficient in HR processes.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the need to think globally but act locally when administering benefits and rewards programs to show employees that they are valued members of the organization. They want a single global database that provides a consistent modern employee experience and Software as a Service (SaaS) that constantly improves without them having to move to a new provider to meet their ever-growing needs. This need is driving a change in the way that companies are thinking about delivering many other services that includes niche HR areas such as recruitment and benefits.
Cisco, for example, has offices in 62 countries and manages a large number of employees across the globe. Realizing that not all employees were taking advantage of the company’s diverse offering of benefits and rewards, the tech giant turned to a cloud-based system.
This has allowed Cisco to implement a “glocal” approach where global benefits and rewards programs are tailored to each country and are implemented in compliance with laws and regulations specific to that region. Since incorporating this technology, Cisco has seen a dramatic increase in employee engagement. Now up to 89 percent of employees feel highly engaged by the organization which has boosted job satisfaction overall.
There has been a rise in job creation and now there is a need to sustain it. As the world continues to become more global, companies will increasingly need to provide a more consistent approach to HR. When an employee moves between offices, they will expect to have a similar experience and benefits philosophy. Additionally, as companies fight to recruit and retain the best talent, they will continue to be more inventive about how they use their significant benefits spend to differentiate their brand, both through the use of technology, design plan and the use of communication.
HR technology assists in the next step of what happens after attracting the top talent. The challenge of retaining and keeping employees engaged is eased with the implementation of HR software – creating an easier method of communicating and effectively engaging employees. The mindset that each country, state or office is its own entity is slipping away and a global, unified and consistent approach is replacing that ideology and becoming more prevalent worldwide.