What Employees Really Want

By | October 2, 2017

In today’s increasingly competitive labor market, human capital is critical to business success. Organizations are only as strong as their employees. With this in mind, insurance organizations are focused on engaging and retaining top performers. These individuals are critical to business results and the bottom line.

Thirty-nine percent of organizations are worried that they will lose top talent in the coming year. In today’s candidate-driven labor market, they have cause to be concerned. One-in-three top employees is disengaged from their current company. In addition, 25 percent plan to leave their organizations within the year.

What can companies do to retain their key performers? What do today’s professionals really want?

Competitive Compensation

Real or perceived, today’s professionals want to keep pace financially with their peer group. Thanks to the advent of web-based tools that allow employees to review salaries, these comparisons are much easier and more widely available. Promoting communication and opening-up a dialogue regarding compensation is critical — salary is often a deciding factor when employees are choosing to stay or leave their current employers. Many professionals are reluctant to share their salary concerns until they have received another offer and at this point, it is too late. To ensure the needs of top talent are met, organizations should look into instituting compensation reviews and annual discussions. Being proactive makes the difference in retaining high potential talent.

Compensation goes beyond just salary — it includes the “hidden paycheck” of perks and benefits. With benefits potentially comprising up to 30 percent of a total salary — this is no small sum. Nearly 90 percent of today’s professionals prefer the addition of perks and benefits to pay raises from their employers. Insurance organizations need to beef up their compensation packages to better compete with other industries. This can include flexible scheduling, career development opportunities, commuting assistance and even tuition reimbursement.

Personalized Development

Today’s professionals want opportunities for advancement and a clearly defined career path. High-potential employees are much more likely to stay with an organization when they have a set path for development. Unfortunately, one-in-five employees believe their personal aspirations differ greatly from what the organization has planned.

To bridge this gap, managers should work with their teams to better understand their individuals’ wants. Where do they see themselves in the future? What motivates them?

Organizations can then translate these specific, individual goals into a career path. Each path is unique and companies should be creative and flexible when outlining an individual’s career progression. Perhaps an employee wants to develop a new skill or would like to learn more about a different area of the organization. Special assignments, rotational programs, training, job shadowing and mentoring can help provide a development plan.

Regardless of the specifics, implementing a tailored career development path is critical to increasing engagement and retention.

As the “war for talent” continues to wage, retaining your talent is critical to ensuring organizational success. Top professionals can have a long-lasting and meaningful impact on an organization. Identifying their key motivations and wants can provide organizations with the ability to better retain top talent.

About David Coons

Coons is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: dcoons@jacobsononline.com. More from David Coons

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West October 2, 2017
October 2, 2017
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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