Local companies are being warned that if they want to keep talented employees they will have to do more than just offer bigger salaries.
At the same time, Senior Manager of Consulting at Deloitte Barbados Roger Hennis is calling on businesses to pay more attention to developing their workers’ talents, as they incorporate greater use of technology into their operations in order to remain relevant and competitive.
He pointed out that, globally, a new trend was developing where more companies were recognizing the importance of catering to people’s social needs, especially talented and highly qualified millennials who were not interested in spending more than three or four years at one company.
Hennis was speaking at a workshop on Friday, organized by Deloitte Barbados and the Human Resource Management Association of Barbados (HRMAB) as they examined aspects of the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report.
“The whole view of moving to a social enterprise looks at companies having a greater responsibility in terms of . . . what is it my employee wants in life, what it is that my employee wants to be able to achieve, and I need to have a focus and understanding of that because the employees are what make the company and help drive the business and bring revenues and profit,” he said.
Hennis explained that based on global research, millennials were less interested in getting salary increases as incentives to stay at a company. They were more interested in feeling a sense of belonging, esteem and experiencing self-satisfaction, while knowing the work environment was safe, he said.
“Companies can’t just look at revenues and profit. Companies have to look to say ‘how can I contribute to make society better, and that is whether I employ people and make sure they are taken care of, that their individual needs are taken care of, as well as the impact I have on society’. Giving them a job is not enough; there are three top needs for a person – self-actualization, the whole aspect of belonging and the whole aspect of esteem,” Hennis said.
He added that while some companies have started to pay more attention to allowing a flexitime system and providing staff with opportunities to keep their health in check, there was still some work to be done to cater to the changing needs of the workforce.
“It is really about helping a person achieve what they want,” he said.
In relation to technology, Hennis said companies had to realize that in order to adequately compete, they would need to make changes that would include using more technology, including artificial intelligence.
“What I then need to do is, if I am freeing up workers from doing mundane repetitive work, then I need to up-skill workers because if that is all they have ever done and that is 80 per cent of their job and I take that and let artificial intelligence do that, then what is the person going to do? So I have to train and reinvent and transform the workers in up-skilling or changing what their job was,” he explained.
However, adding that more companies needed to be aware of the new trend, he said the next step was for them to implement a transformation plan for employees.
“After awareness, they need to have a plan for transforming talent management and having that being part of their board conversation,” Hennis said, adding that senior human resource personnel should be involved in the discussions at the top to influence the decisions.
“When we are talking about how we make more money, how we sell more product, we also have to say how do we inspire employees to do better service,” he said.