How to become a top employer

Faced with a labour shortage, organizations that want to attract and retain top talent have to offer a great work environment and attractive benefits. Here are some ways to do just that.

You don’t just become a top employer overnight. It takes strategy, planning and attention to detail.

Onboard with care

The employee experience starts from Day 1. “You only have one chance to make a great first impression. If you want to be considered a top employer, you have to be organized. You often hear talk about the client experience, but it’s the employee experience that makes you stand out as an employer,” says Simon Prévost, Vice-President of Desjardins Employer Solutions. During the interview and onboarding process and in those first days on the job, new employees need to feel like they’re part of a team, especially when everyone is working from home. If new employees don’t make strong relationships when they arrive, it can create a negative experience.

Build trust

People today are more selective and they take the time to carefully choose who to work for. Given their high expectations, attraction and retention are posing new challenges. When employers make missteps, word travels fast. “You have to build trust with your employees by giving them what they need to do their jobs. That means cultivating a healthy workplace where managers provide support and follow up with employees. Managers must also build a good relationship with employees to foster a positive work environment. They also need to give new employees an onboarding plans so they know they’ll get training that will equip them with the skills and tools they need to do their job,” says Prévost.

Employers can also offer employees opportunities to step away from the job and enjoy themselves. “The goal is to give employees a chance to have some fun. Managers could schedule in-person or virtual coffee breaks or breakfasts. Or they might set up a space at the office where employees can play ping-pong,” says Prévost.

Provide effective tools

You also want employees to feel comfortable with the tools you give them to manage their work lives. The payroll system, for example, should be efficient and reliable. “Pay should always be deposited accurately and on time. Nowadays, people—especially younger people—expect solutions that are in line with how they use technology. Better tools make it easy for them to make changes to their schedule or look up their pay on their smartphone,” says Prévost.

Prioritize employee wellbeing

To be a top employer, you need a retirement plan, group insurance and a wellness program. “A retirement plan and group insurance are important for attracting talent. It shows that you’re committed to your employees’ mental and financial well-being,” says Prévost. And yet, not enough Quebec employers offer these solutions. Many employees only have access to the Quebec Pension Plan.

Recognize employees and lead with your values

While money is a strong motivator, recognition is even more important. So managers have an important role to play. “Recognition is a powerful way to build employee loyalty. So are values. Top employers define, share and walk the talk when it comes to their values,” and all of this drives engagement. Engaged employees will be more loyal to the organization and stay longer.

Top practices for top employers:

  • Effective technology tools, like a good payroll system
  • Retirement plan, group insurance and a wellness program
  • Clearly defined corporate values and recognition from managers

The new rules of the game

Remote work has changed the rules of the game when it comes to employee retention. Employers that offer more flexible schedules, enabling employees to achieve a better work/life balance, are demonstrating that they truly care. And their employees appreciate it!

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