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HPE Recognized with Changemaker Award for Employee Engagement at Tech Alpharetta Event

To counteract “The Great Resignation,” employers need to be creative and proactive about employee retention. On April 27, startup incubator Tech Alpharetta hosted a panel of experts to discuss insights for retaining talent in today’s stressed labor market.

The expert panel consisted of Leslie Day-Harrel, EVP of Associate Experience at Jackson Healthcare; Laura O’Tuel, Chief People Officer at Surgical Information Systems; and Valerie Mackey, President & CEO of WrightNow Solutions.

These recruitment leaders explored approaches spanning management training, onboarding, diversity initiatives and beyond. Read on for a recap of some of the insights they shared.

Training, Flexibility and Relationships Top the List of Retention Strategies

Improving retention starts with listening to your employees to learn what matters most, and Jackson Healthcare took this approach to heart with a comprehensive survey on what benefits and workplace perks matter most to employees. Day-Harrel shared some of her findings, including that 90% of employees who took the survey ranked autonomy at work and compensation as the most important, followed by security and stability (85%) and opportunities to build skills (80%).

These responses underscore a growing preference for jobs that offer flexibility, trust and professional growth alongside substantive pay increases. The expert panel suggested a few ways to nurture a culture that supports these qualities to attract and retain employees.

1.    Invest in Training and Mentorship for Employees

All three panelists stressed the importance of upskilling employees so they can take ownership of their careers and be promoted into high-demand technical roles. As Mackay put it, “The more that you invest in people, the more committed they feel to the company.”

Leadership training was also discussed with panelists, illustrating how important empathetic, compassionate management is to employee retention. O’Tuel said that her company is focused on leadership development because, “A lot of success starts with managers. I know the adage, ‘People don’t leave companies; they leave managers.’” 

Finally, onboarding employees is especially difficult today when many new hires are remote, but O’Tuel shared that her company helps new hires feel connected to its culture by pairing them with a peer mentor. Check out these resources if you are interested in finding help with onboarding remotely and upskilling your workforce.

2.    Give Employees More Say in How, Where and When They Work

Many employees don’t want to return to the office, but the panelists didn’t see this as an issue. They all agreed that flexible working arrangements are here to stay, and that giving choice when and how they work is a great way to encourage retention.

The exact strategies companies engage to offer more flexibility will vary depending on their needs and situation, but one strategy will always be applicable: listening to employees. “Have a culture of caring, and ask people what matters to them,” Day-Harrell explained. “Caring means asking questions, listening and just making people feel heard and like they belong.”

3.    Amenities Aren’t a Top Priority—But Don’t Take Them Away!

While workplace amenities are not currently drawing employees into the workplace, they are an imperative for workplace culture, according to the panelists.

“Don’t take your amenities away. Right now, it’s not the shiny object, but it does still matter,” Mackey said. The panelists agreed that once the current flood of high offers for new employees slows down, amenities will again rise in importance.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Recognized for Its Commitment to Employees

HPE is an example of one company that has gone the extra mile to support—and ultimately retain—its employees. At its Alpharetta campus, HPE was already implementing programs and benefits to improve employee wellness. These programs paid off during the onset of the pandemic, keeping morale and productivity high during the transition to remote work.

HPE Alpharetta has since adapted the company’s wellness benefits by expanding its telework policy to help everyone enjoy the benefits of both remote and onsite work. It has also continued its commitment to wellness by participating in initiatives like GCO’s Biketober challenge, during which HPE employees biked more than 56,900 miles in 2021.

At the Tech Alpharetta event, Georgia Commute Options presented HPE with a Changemaker award. This award honors employers from around the region who demonstrate excellence in improving commute flexibility and employee wellbeing.

“Through their commitment to creating positive experiences for their teams in and out of the office, HPE has raised the bar with investments in programs and benefits that help employees achieve their wellness goals,” said Jill Goldberg, Marketing and Communications Director for Georgia Commute Options.

James “Mac” McAnally, Vice President of Greenlake Management Services at HPE, attributed their success to a pivot toward employee engagement strategies while accepting the award. “I really believe all that we did with Georgia Commute Options to support and engage our employees during the pandemic is what has helped keep them with us.”

Retain Employees with Flexwork and Commute Support

As retention and recruitment challenges continue, changes like those made by HPE can make a big difference for organizations. Georgia Commute Options can help you implement some of these changes.

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