The war for talent, a term first coined in 1997 by McKinsey & Company, has become almost unthinkable. Also known as the challenge companies experience in attracting and retaining suitable employees. For in-demand, unique profiles, this battle can be fierce: from offering sky-high salaries to huge fringe benefits, it is often difficult for small SMEs to compete with large multinationals.

The war for talent has been raging for some time, but in recent years the origins of the problem have changed. From times full of economic difficulties, the shift is now mainly due to demographic changes such as an aging society, increased longevity and a reduced birth rate. In addition, younger generations are increasingly engaging in job hopping, meaning they are less loyal to their employers. In short, it doesn’t look like this war for talent will be over anytime soon.

So what can you do to attract and retain the right employees?

Communicate clearly about personal pathways and growth opportunities

Open and clear communication is vital. Let employees know the paths they can take and the opportunities that may follow. attach importance to personal growth perspectives: some employees like to stay in the job they applied for, others prefer to evolve towards a job with more responsibility.

Listen to employee input and opinions

The team determines the work atmosphere and the results that are delivered. A team that feels good performs better. A good work atmosphere is possible only when the individual input and opinions of the team are listened to. Only then can you discover where there are problems or frustrations and address them in a focused way.

Make time for team building

It doesn’t always have to be too serious. Providing time where the team can catch up and get to know each other better in a relaxed setting will also have positive effects in the workplace. Colleagues will have the opportunity to get to know each other better and build strong bonds.

Maintain a good relationship with former employees

Sooner or later, employees will leave the company; this is inevitable. Therefore, it is important that even this departure is done in a positive way. Do not harbor negative feelings toward this ex-employee but let that person leave under good circumstances. A smooth departure will be appreciated and remembered. In this way, you ensure that your image as a good employer is also continued by former colleagues.

Avoid toxic employees

Employees within the team who only cause frustration, demotivation and quarrels create a negative work atmosphere. This triggers other employees to come to work less eager and less motivated as well. Ensure that these employees change their behavior or have them leave the team. Communicate clearly to the rest of the team about the reason for leaving.

Take actions for which you do not immediately get something in return

Also do activities with the team that contribute to society: from cleaning up street litter to supporting and/or sponsoring charities. This also contributes to internal motivation and team spirit.

Communicate your mission, vision & goals

Knowing what the company stands for and what goals are being pursued is something that is often not clear to employees. Yet this is hugely important to communicate within the team. The reason for existence and goals are things that bring clarity to the team and motivate them to continue to strive for progress and growth.

Peace for Talent: job happiness & talent development

At comma, we understand the challenges companies face in today’s labor market. In response to the growing “war for talent,” comma founders Wouter Casteleyn & Greetje Demeulenaere have created Peace for Talent, a pioneering initiative that offers a new approach to unlocking organizational growth.

Instead of superficial solutions such as traditional employer branding, Peace for Talent embraces a deeper and holistic approach. We dive deep into the core of your organization, understand the culture down to the details and work with you to create an environment where well-being, talent development and a people-centric approach are key.

If you implement these things well, you are already one step closer to winning the war for talent. Need help defining a clear mission and vision? Or need new employer branding? Feel free to contact us.