If you Google the words, “talent shortage” you will render about 21,400,000 results.
The International Journal of Human Resources Management has a number of publications they release. One of them is the Canadian HR Reporter, and their lead story in a recent addition is that there’s a talent shortage that is threatening growth. This has been backed up by consulting giants like Deloitte who warn that this talent shortage is here to stay until at least 2030, particular in tech and healthcare. Millions are missing globally from key positions required for growth, care, and advancement.
There are many factors contributing to this shortage, but the answers don’t have to be complicated. Sure, we can talk about globalization, immigration policy and the changing nature of work, however when we’re not getting the basics right, that is just a distraction.
Most organizations do not value their people. So why would they stay?
People need to know they’re valued, which means they need to do meaningful work, be recognized for their contributions, while using their strengths, and with respectful people. People need a sense of belonging, community, and contribution.
To get them back the next day, you (and their team) needs to treat them like they are wanted back.
It is unbelievable to me how many intelligent, motivated and passionate professionals I speak for every year who don’t believe the statement above is true. And yet I bet you do value them. So how do we show it more transparently? Here are four essential ways:
1. Be Consistent
Have systems where you ensure you recognize people on a regular basis so they know they are valued and their contributions matter. If you have a collective group meeting whether it’s stand-up huddles, team meetings, or annual general meetings, consider how to fit recognition in. If it doesn’t fit then your people don’t know how they’re contributing to all the other things that you’re bringing up in those meetings from organizational values to strategic priorities to milestone projects. Where do they fit?
2. Put it in Context
Bring recognition to life through the customer’s perspective. Whether those are internal customers or external, individuals need to know how their talent positively impacts the reason why their role exists. Share stories, testimonials, good news metrics. Connect the dots about how an individual or the team has led to that positive feedback.
3. Be Specific
One of the biggest pieces of feedback I get after a keynote is the importance of recognition being specific. Why? Because when recognition happens it’s often blanket statements to the whole team or generic, “good job” statements. You need to acknowledge specific contributions, strengths, and results individuals and teams are contributing. And leaders, as much as I’m the first to profess, you need a culture of recognition where everyone participates. It matters that it comes from you most of all. Research shows that people leave bosses, not organizations, and in our own analysis, we’ve shown how high recognition scores are correlated with satisfaction with management. In an interview with Tonia Jahshan, owner of multimillion-dollar Canadian company Sipology by Steeped Tea, she shared how she personally writes kudos cards every single week to her staff, consultants and partners. Specific, meaningful little notes. If she can do it, we all can.
4. Systematize and Ritualize
Make it easy and affordable to acknowledge and maintain that sense of community, even if you’re not all in the same space. Use virtual systems like Slack or Yammer. Utilize your intranet to collaborate, share and acknowledge milestones and contributions. Maintain traditions like summer socials that bring people together. And as a side note, retaining great people isn’t always about money. Once you make over $50K in Canada (the research goes) it has less and less impact, and the same goes for preference for types of recognition being a personalized thank-you over gifts.
Remember, only 30% of people are actually engaged and satisfied at work. By having an incredible team and organization, people may choose to leave that organization and go to you. Discover an abundance of free tools and resources. There are many infographics to help spread this message about the importance of leveraging recognition to retain top talent. Recognize your talent today!