Oxfordshire has high employment, so there is a lot of competition for quality candidates amongst different employers.

The fact that many employees are sitting in their jobs because of austerity and uncertainty isn’t new news – it has been covered extensively in the media, as has causes of the UK’s poor productivity vs. other European countries.

What may be a surprise is how employees are fed up of the rat race and planning an exit to do work that is more meaningful and which gives back to the world. Many of our career coaching clients say that they are fed up with politics and want to have more influence/control over their work life blend. This represents a danger to big companies and employers generally – how do you keep your talent happy when they want something different to what you are offering, e.g. to be entrepreneurial and become self-employed, or to develop a varied and fulfilling portfolio career?

Can employers meet both the needs of the organisation and talent for a ‘win win’? Losing your best people is an expensive headache and with Generation Y and Generation Z less loyal than previous generations, this situation is likely to get worse over time.

So as an employer, how can you influence talent attraction and retention?

5 tips to create more meaning and autonomy at work for talent

1) Create smaller business units to give increased role variety and enhanced autonomy and responsibility for talent

2) Engage your talent in this problem and get them to come up with the solution

3) Look at what the best small businesses are doing – they are your real competitor

4) Introduce an external expert to elicit talent’s unexpressed needs and aspirations and how they can be met

5) Proactively introduce part time work as the norm so talent can combine security with risk in a portfolio career

Inspiring quote

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” Erich Fromm

Self-reflective question

How could our organisation update the psychological contract to give talent more meaning and autonomy?

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