5 Ways to Jumpstart Retention and Hiring in 2022

As part of our “You Said It” Op-Ed series, we invite contributors to submit their opinion pieces. Have a submission? Contact us here.

Heading into the third year of what may seem like the never-ending COVID pandemic and ongoing “Great Resignation,” organizations and entrepreneurs need to focus more than ever on communicating the value of their brand. 

While quit rates in this country recently decreased in 12 states and increased in one state, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 4.1 million people quit their jobs in October 2021 alone.

As burnout, pressure and confusion about returning to the office and ongoing predictions that the “Great Reshuffle” will continue, it is important now for organizations to invest in recruitment, retention and staffing. 

In its most recent global report on talent trends, LinkedIn states that flexible work schedules, inclusivity and work-life balance are the top three priorities for workers in their employment choices.

At Rush University Medical Center, that employs 12,000 medical professionals and staff, I recently built an employment campaign with a key strategy to position the organization as the best health care organization to work for in the Chicago area.

In my work, leading with the brand that elevates and activates what the organization stands for, the messaging must highlight the promise it makes to patients and families, and the role that everyone in the organization — at all levels and all departments — must play to deliver on it.

For any company or organization in any industry, when the workforce believes in the mission, many contend work is more fulfilling, meaningful. It makes people want to work for an organization and stay. Here are five key strategies to assist in a 2022 campaign to stave off resignations and reshuffling in order to retain and attract the best workers.    

Your People are Your Best Storytellers

Launch a video campaign for employees at all levels to tell inspiring stories. Informational webinars that include panelists can effectively communicate employment openings and needs with personal narratives offering insights.

Take Care of the Storytellers

After COVID hit, many organizations worked together to solve workplace culture problems in new ways. Unfortunately, for many, routine business returned, and many employers didn’t know how to maintain these appreciation moments. Taking care of employees through spot bonuses, wellness rounding and acknowledging their contributions through internal news should be a common practice. Some organizations are getting it right. Resiliency pizza will not be enough, leadership needs to continue to show real appreciation through incentives and opportunities to make a difference.

Lean on Mission and Values

Prospective employees need to know about what your organization truly stands for and why people stay.  According to Human Resource Executivetransformational organizations use their purpose to create clarity for their stakeholders. Start an employee advisory committee, ask people why they stay and get insights from your stakeholders on how you’re doing to deliver on the mission.

Recruit vs. Retain? 

Organizations that lead by investing in people, and sometimes reinvesting, seem to be winning. Think about ways to get insights directly from your employees through 360 evaluations and stay interviews to crowdsource ideas faster. We can no longer wait for the annual engagement surveys to adjust what we’re doing. Get your leaders out there and listen to what the teams are saying.

Lead with Your Brand

Tell the organization’s story so your recruitment campaign can be genuine and meaningful. Make the messaging an extension of what your organization is already doing and focusing on, as well as historic traditions. Beyond what your brand promises to external stakeholders, also consider how internal audiences deliver on it. Focus on your values and create moments so staff can engage in serious conversations.

While the latest surge in the Omicron variant casts a pall over the future of employment certainty at many companies and organizations for millions of workers, it is necessary to face 2022 with a solid framing of the company’s brand story, not just for a happy ending, but for a better beginning.  

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Ryan Nagdeman is associate vice president, marketing communications at Rush University Medical Center and a Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project.

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