Retaining talent is essential – what you can do to keep the best people, from an HR expert

Retaining talent is essential – what you can do to keep the best people, from an HR expert
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(Note: This content was co-created with The Employers Association)

If you’ve ever been a part of an organization, 9 times out of 10 it’s the people you’re surrounded by day in and day out that determine your excitement to go back every day. Because of this, an employee’s happiness is truly critical.

Enter The Employers Association. TEA’s sole purpose is to provide HR solutions to help employers build successful workplaces through research and expert advice. Simple.

The Data

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 22% of workers are planning on changing jobs this year, and the younger the worker, the more likely they’ll be searching for a change of scenery.

Per the CareerBuilder survey, here are the perks that would convince employees to stay with or join a company:

  • Half-day Fridays: 40 percent.
  • On-site fitness center: 27 percent.
  • Being able to wear jeans: 23 percent.
  • Daily catered lunches: 22 percent.
  • My own office: 22 percent.

The Employers Association facility

Equipped with this information, I spoke with Laura Hampton, Vice President of The Employers Association

I wanted to get an insider’s look at 1) why managing the employee lifecycle is instrumental to a company’s success and 2) how TEA helps to make that lifecycle the best it can possibly be.

Laura Hampton, Vice President of The Employers Association

What do you do and what is TEA?

I focus on finding and delivering programs and services of value to our growing membership base.

The Employers Association is a business association whose purpose is to help build great employers. This includes all aspects of HR training and benefits services. We currently serve 940+ member organizations of all sizes and industries, both public and private.

What’s the first step you take when assisting a company that seeks your help?

It varies widely but first we speak with them and delve into their needs or HR priorities. We then tackle their goals from there.

Something that members take advantage of immediately is our HR Advice Line, which receives 40-50 calls per day. A huge plus of this service is that you don’t have to call your attorney for minor questions about compliance or best practices.

Companies generally come to us when an issue arrives. We strive to educate them so in the future they can be proactive.

Is it difficult for your members to decide on which employee benefits to offer? How do they find a balance?

My guideline is that an employee perk should never be a one time thing. It needs to be part of a full-time employer strategy. It can’t just be a ping pong table or a picnic at Carowinds. We love to see employers be much more intentional about building these things into the larger strategy of their company.

While paying your employees more may be a quick fix, most of us want interesting work, a good relationship with our manager, and opportunities to grow and learn.

What can small businesses do to compete with large business employee programs?

Be realistic with what you can do and who you are as a company. Survey or talk with your employees and find out what they actually value. Don’t do things you can’t consistently replicate.

What’s your favorite employee or work environment perk?

Flexibility. In my experience, it increases engagement and productivity. As I’ve grown through my career at TEA, I’ve always been able to balance my personal life with work. That’s something I value highly.

Is Charlotte a great place to work compared to other cities?

Among cities our size, we’re doing a pretty good job. We have some very forward thinking leaders that realize it’s important to retain good talent and make Charlotte a great place to live.

Charlotte’s a very live-able city with generally short commute times that allow families more room in their day for personal time. We’re also serious about business, but it’s not as cutthroat and fast-paced as some of the larger cities, which is a mentality I prefer.

Is recognizing people that excel at HR important? How do you celebrate it?

Absolutely, we recognize individuals and employers at our annual HR Excellence Awards. A lot of times HR representatives don’t get recognized as they quietly execute with excellence. We shine the light on the impact they have on an organization at our annual award luncheon.

This year, the HR Excellence Awards is on Friday, March 17. Sallie Krawcheck, esteemed Wall Street exec and champion for women in business, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Her topic: Lessons Learned from Working for 7 (Yes, 7) Financial Services CEOs in the Best and Toughest of Times.

Want to attend this year’s HR Excellence Awards? Snag your tickets here.

How do you become a member of TEA?

We’ve strived to make membership affordable and attainable for all companies. Dues are set on a sliding scale based on the number of employees, making the total cost somewhere between $600 and $3,500.

Plus, we offer a non-profit discount in an attempt to be accessible for everyone.

Here are the perks of membership:

  • We exist because everyone has employees, therefore everyone has employee issues. We’re simply a resource for whoever’s responsible for employees.
  • We offer training classes for the public and customized training solutions for employers.
  • Large companies use us as a sounding board, since we’ll always be a neutral voice on the topic, and to outsource projects.
  • We also provide consistently updated benchmark research, so members can be aware of what other companies, and more specifically their competitors, are doing.
  • Last, our HR Advice Line is always a highly utilized tool for questions and advice, especially for smaller companies.

Want to know more about The Employers Association? See their membership options here.

(Note: This content was co-created with The Employers Association)

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