PATRICK GALLEN: The war for talent – have you thought about your psychological pay cheque?

Not all employees are motivated by the traditional pay cheque
Not all employees are motivated by the traditional pay cheque

WITH tight labour market conditions expected to continue, a dwindling pool of available labour is expected to be a significant barrier to economic growth across Ireland over the coming years.

As the war for talent persists, record numbers of employers are experiencing difficulty attaining skilled talent.

Organisations need to understand what the employees of today want. The current humanising era shines a light on the importance of the purpose behind the work.

When examining what employees of today want, commitments to employee wellbeing, corporate social responsibility, diversity equality and inclusion, and flexible ways of working reign through.

When it comes to rewards, many employees expect a total rewards view whereby their financial, emotional, physical and social wellness are recognised.

Similarly, not all employees are motivated by the traditional pay cheque. The psychological pay cheque is often of greater significance, where a simple ‘thank you’ instils more intrinsic motivation.

Organisations need to understand these new-found priorities, and tailor their employer branding and employer value proposition to attract the skilled talent that they seek.

Vital to reflect within employer value proposition and employer branding is the human-centric aspect and acknowledgement that employees are people, not just workers. The organisation’s mission, purpose, culture and values should shine through, differentiating the organisation.

In our current war for talent, organisations need to differentiate themselves to attain the skilled talent they require, but they also need to invest in the growth of their current talent pool and focus on retention.

With a recent report stating that one-in-five Irish workers confirms that they will change jobs within the next 12 months, talent retention continues to be a significant challenge.

Enabling employees is vital.

Leadership both defines the culture and sets the tone of the organisation. Organisations should acknowledge the importance of encouraging supportive leadership relationships, opportunities for meaningful growth, as well as creating a safe environment for employees - where it is safe to fail, innovation happens.

Talent may already exist within the organisation, with the skills not harnessed by leadership. There is an opportunity to unlock the capabilities of the existing talent within the organisation through learning and development.

Strategic workforce planning is a crucial aspect of acquisition and retention, and employees need to know they are part of the strategic plan. Invest in your people by continuously allowing them to upskill, so that they can meet the skill demands of the future.

It is time to add the psychological pay cheque to your employer value proposition – before it is too late!

:: Patrick Gallen is people and change consulting partner at Grant Thornton Ireland