Harvard Business Review: “The Great Resignation and a highly competitive labor market have made attracting and retaining talent a major challenge for employers. To meet it, many are following a basic strategy: Ask people what they want and try to give it to them. Temptingly simple as this response is, it can be a trap. It tends to focus discussions on the material aspects of jobs that are uppermost in employees’ and recruits’ minds at the moment. In the past the foremost issue was often pay, but most recently it has been flexibility—notably, remote and hybrid work. And while material offerings are the easiest levers to pull (you can decide to give a bonus tomorrow) and are immediately appreciated, they’re easy for competitors to imitate, and their impact on employee retention is the least enduring. An overreliance on them can set up a race to the bottom as employers strive to outbid one another for talent. There’s a much better approach—one that improves hiring and retention and shifts the focus of leaders and workers alike from what they want in the moment to what they need to build a thriving and sustainable future for the organization and for themselves. It’s designing and implementing an employee value proposition—a system composed of four interrelated factors. Material offerings include compensation, physical office space, location, commuting subsidies, computer equipment, flexibility, schedules, and perks.”
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