The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to embrace fully remote work environments, but in doing so, some did not prioritize work-life balance. With access to your laptop and phone 24/7, it is nearly impossible to separate yourself from your workday. The increased visibility of emails and the inability to create a delineation between work and home has led to longer workdays and greater job dissatisfaction. In addition to this, companies were faced with the challenges of training new hires virtually and had to find ways to combat declining company culture and a lack of knowledge transfer that was naturally simulated in a “typical” work environment.
Companies that can find a balance between in-office and out-of-office work situations have a significant competitive advantage over their peers in recruiting and retaining young talent. Hybrid work environments give employees the choice to work remotely for part of the week, making work-life balance easier for the employee, while still retaining the benefits employers receive from in-person collaboration. To avoid difficulties in training new talent, an employer should offer the benefits of a hybrid work environment as the employee gains tenure.
In the Deloitte survey, a clear path for career progression was the 2nd most important non-compensation factor driving job satisfaction. Millennials value personal and professional development and are not content with professional stagnation. They are proven to be more engaged when they believe that their employer is concerned about their growth and provides opportunities to reach individual career goals while fulfilling the company's mission. Companies of every size can benefit by establishing clear strategies of how talent develops from within through a career map, mentorship and continuing education.
Career maps lay out the company’s organizational structure with clear, defined advancement paths to each title level. The job titles within each department should describe the functions and expectations of that role as well as the qualifications and past accomplishments required to obtain that title. When communicated well across an organization, a career map provides employees with an ongoing mechanism to enhance their skills and knowledge that can lead to mastery of their current jobs, promotions and transfers to new or different positions.
ELFA members can also implement mentorship programs in which managers are assigned to emerging talent. This not only helps the transfer of knowledge, but also improves employee satisfaction and retention, makes your company more appealing to recruits, and trains your leaders to support and develop the emerging talent. Mentoring is a free tool that utilizes the resources that your company already has and has the potential to drive significant value to the organization through talent retention, skill-building and positive corporate culture.
Continuing education is another great tool for creating a clear path for career progression for younger talent. From sponsoring master’s degrees and incentivizing self-study professional designations (such as the CLFP) to sending young talent to ELFA events (such as Emergence), and using online training platforms offered by the ELFA, there is a wide range of options to foster a culture of continuing education.
The fourth most important non-monetary job factor among Millennials in the Deloitte survey was the ability to spend their time doing meaningful work. In a 2017 survey of 2,280 workers by BetterUp Labs, 9 out of 10 career professionals told researchers that they would sacrifice an average of 23% of their future earnings—or $21,000 a year—for "work that is always meaningful.” Clearly, companies that develop a culture of meaningful work have a significant competitive advantage.
Creating a culture of meaningful work aligns well with the three other factors in the Deloitte study. Millennials desire work that drives professional growth as well as having the flexibility to contribute to personal growth and life’s demands outside of work. Leaders can also create meaningful work by communicating a shared purpose among team members so that everyone is working toward a common goal. Recognition of the achievements of individuals and teams and showcasing the impact of their success toward the common goal contributes to a more meaningful experience at work because employees feel valued. Finally, empowering your employees to take on a new task or providing more autonomy can make their work more meaningful.
In an industry like Equipment Finance, human capital is paramount and can be the difference in the overall success of a company. While retaining employees cannot only lead to money savings but generate greater income, employee turnover can be tremendously costly. In today’s job market, where vacancies exceed available employees and unemployed individuals are less inclined to return to work, companies should evaluate the non-monetary benefits that they can provide to attract and retain talent. Companies that successfully implement important non-monetary job factors into their organizations have a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.