The pandemic has changed the market landscape in many ways. As a result, leaders today are dealing with challenges that they have never had to deal with. Employee attrition is at an all-time high, it’s challenging to find qualified talent and cybersecurity attacks are increasing at a prodigious rate. To survive 2022, business leaders must focus on employee retention, hiring qualified talent and securing their IT endpoints and infrastructure.
Employees are changing jobs at a higher rate than the workforce has ever seen. Employees are looking for new opportunities to find more fulfillment, better pay and more flexibility. The slightest provocation may cause an employee to leave a position—a comment made by someone in leadership, a Slack message someone sent that offended them or a co-worker they don’t get along with. At increasing numbers, recruiters are reaching out to folks, especially technical folks like software developers. An employee will leave at the drop of a hat and will get a 20% raise when they do.
Business leaders should build a connection with their employees and make them feel appreciated. This can be very challenging in the current all-remote or hybrid work environment. When employees don’t hear or see their management or co-workers, attribution error comes into play when folks attribute malicious intent to behaviors or statements. Business leaders must find creative ways to engage employees and make sure they understand the value they offer to the customer and the company. Employees are looking for flexible working hours and want to continue working remotely. Business leaders should also consider offering opportunities for employees to uplevel their skills and ensure that employees understand the full value of all parts of their compensation, including equity and their benefits.
2Attracting and Hiring Top Talent
As hard as it is to retain employees today, it’s even harder to find qualified candidates in today’s market. Vetting employees is more challenging than ever. Candidates are switching careers and don’t have the experience or skill sets required, but they are still expecting top salaries. Top talent isn’t interested in going through a complex hiring process, taking a test or going through time-consuming interview processes. So leaders must be creative in finding ways to vet a candidate thoroughly.
Business leaders must find creative ways to differentiate themselves and their companies. Leaders must convince employees that they will be working with the hottest and latest tools and technology stacks. Employees are looking for companies that have a bigger mission that includes giving back to the community in some way.
Compensation packages can be more complex, especially if you’re hiring remote employees. Employees may expect Silicon Valley salaries even if they’re working from West Virginia. Packages must include competitive benefits, bonuses and equity. Leaders should leverage compensation tools to find the most up-to-date salary ranges for employees and will need to consider competitive salaries without regard to where they’re located. Leaders should be prepared to negotiate because it’s likely that the candidate’s current employer will make a counteroffer to attempt to retain their employee.
3Security in a Remote Environment
Cybersecurity should be top of mind more than ever for every business leader. Leaders should be thinking about securing their customer’s data and their own intellectual property. Breaches are rampant, and ransomware attacks are at an all-time high. Small and medium-sized businesses are under attack, and threats are everywhere. The remote work environment brings new challenges for leaders attempting to secure their assets. With remote work, bring your own device (BYOD) is no longer the exception; it’s the rule. In addition, leaders should be concerned with employees’ family members using their employees’ work devices to surf the web, play computer games or for other risky online activities.
Qualified cybersecurity talent continues to be scarce and at a premium. Leaders who do not have sufficient cyber talent on board to manage their security infrastructure should consider outsourcing their security to a Managed Service Provider. For companies with an IT/security department, leaders should invest in their IT talent to improve their cyber skills. Leaders should also consider whether they should roll out mobile device management (MDM) applications or other software to ensure their workers’ computer applications and operating systems are patched and kept up to date.
To minimize the attack surface, employees shouldn’t have administrator privileges on their work computers. Additionally, multi-factor authentication should be a default for all business applications. Employees also should have unique passwords for all systems that they access. Finally, leaders should provide security training for all employees, so they know not to click on a link and can recognize phishing attempts or malicious emails.