How employee experience impacts your talent pipeline

Employers expecting to attract top talent should focus on improving the employee experience. So says a new report from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
By: | July 12, 2019

It’s getting a bit redundant to say times are tough in the talent-war trenches. Yet, it continues to be the reality.

A recent report, in fact, warns that employers that expect to attract new top talent while identifying and nurturing potential leaders should continue to keep their eye on that prize while maintaining a special focus on improving the employee experience.

The 2019 Organisational Wellbeing & Talent Insights Report, from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, took a deep dive on compensation, benefits, retirement and employee-communications strategies increasingly associated with high-performing organisations. All told, 32 thought leaders from Gallagher’s employee-benefits consulting and brokerage operation, who average more than 25 years of industry experience, combined to provide analysis for the report.

The bottom line is that today’s talent-management landscape means US employers must be innovative in the compensation and benefits area, while delivering effective leadership and communication. Success in integrating these efforts, driven by a focus on the employee experience, includes an improved workplace culture that strengthens workforce engagement and reduces turnover.

“Record-low unemployment, combined with the different values and priorities of employees entering the workforce, is forcing a fundamental rethinking of organisational talent management,” says William Ziebell, CEO of Gallagher Employee Benefits Consulting and Brokerage, adding that competing on higher salaries alone can be ineffective and expensive.

“CEOs, Chief Financial Officers and HR leaders who work together to redesign the entire workplace experience around the generational preferences of today’s workforce will be better able to retain the top talent they attract,” he says.

For HR executives and leadership, the report’s advice is to approach people management with richer data and better insights. According to the report, the ever-tightening US job market means HR frequently relies on their existing ranks for new leaders. With that, identifying the most qualified candidates to lead the organization in the future requires an evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative measures.

On the qualitative side, it’s critical for HR to assess each prospective new leader’s creativity, curiosity, interpersonal skills and ability to innovate—once considered to be so-called soft skills, but not in today’s changing business climate and the shift to a digital workplace.

Finally, the report says, after “rising stars” are identified, HR’s job is to collaborate with finance and line of business management to ensure that high-potential performers’ career paths and rewards match their values. Finally, for younger employees, employers should realise that opportunities to comfortably integrate personal and professional lives are top priorities, including flexibility and community involvement.