Happy team in front of chalkboard

The Race for Recruitment and Retention in 2021

Want some low hanging fruit for organizational success? Recruitment is the top HR concern in 2021.

With 80% of employees considering a job change in the next year, the revolving door of recruitment might have just turned into an intergalactic superportal.

Video by Christian Bodhi

Crap. Last year, you had to fire employees.

Now your day is spent poring through reams of resumes to find the talent you need for your business. How do you juggle the search for new talent with keeping your existing talent engaged?

Workplace culture, flexibility and safety are cited as important employee considerations by the American Staffing Association. Diversity and Inclusion initiatives are also a priority for many companies as we head into year 2 of COVID.

You would probably rather read twenty more articles on bitcoin rather than try to find that ideal employee.

Photo Jeshoots

What if I told you there was a secret recruitment key to keeping great talent hanging right under your nose? Like the gas station key hanging on a hockey stick by the cashier. It’s a practice that decreases the desire for an employee to find another job by 50%.

Yet only 18% of employees feel that they can actually do this at work.

No, it’s not a limbo party.

It’s not a nap.
Well, a nap can’t hurt.

Photo Jackman Chiu

The key is creativity.
Yes, creativity. Don’t make that face.

Creativity at work is more complex than it sounds. For an employee to feel comfortable to use their creativity, the culture has to be supportive. The employee must feel safe to take risks and face failure.

But, if there is a single exercise, or mindset, that you can encourage among your employees with exponential rewards, creativity is the abs-master 4000.

Wait, hang on a minute, I’m not talking about macrame and finger painting. Creativity is an everyday act to create something new –  a pivot table, a break room hygiene plan, or making your lunch.

There are, indeed, bad ideas.
But you need to tolerate them to get to the good ones.

Creativity needs space, time and safety to thrive. Employees need to feel supported to share and develop new ideas through collaboration. Yes, some ideas are bad. Some ideas seem good but will still fail.

In fact, many ideas start off as bad ideas and evolve into the exact right strategy for results. Through iteration comes success. If a structure is created to evaluate and develop ideas without judgement, bad ideas will lead to good ideas, which will lead to business success.

And, most people agree that creativity is integral to innovation. But creativity is also integral to an engaged and productive workforce. Address individual creativity at the beginning of your recruitment efforts to yield great returns.

Photo by Jose Aljovin

Employees who stay in a job because they feel creative are also happier, have higher job satisfaction, performance, resilience and engagement. If I need to tell you the business value of employee engagement, then this will need to be a much longer conversation.

Diversity and Creativity
Like peanut butter and chocolate (a good thing)

A focus on Diversity and Inclusion will also foster creativity within organizations. Diverse teams, both from a demographic as well as a psychographic perspective, have higher creativity. Creativity thrives on combining novel concepts and points of view. Charlan Nemeth notes in “In Defense of Troublemakers” that her research clearly illustrates the decision boosting effects of dissent. Dissent does not arise in a homogenous team, it requires diversity of perspective and experience. Perhaps seemingly paradoxical to the benefits of dissent, teams who create together have higher team cohesion.

PURL in Pixar Short Film

Check out this Pixar short video to illustrate the perils of a homogeneous culture.

Go ahead, I”ll wait.

But, before you break out the crayons, you need to consider the fundamental changes that you need to make in your organization to improve recruitment. Like, how will you encourage employees to exercise their own unique creativity? It has nothing to do with ping pong tables, and everything to do with a culture of positivity, acceptance of failure, diverse teams and cross functional groups.

Photo by Ricardo Viana

I know, engaging creativity in teams can feel messy at first. It’s hard to let go of the rigidity that plagues so many organizations focused on lean productivity. 

If you want to make patisserie, you have to break some eggs. Luckily, patisserie is delicious. And, also creative.

Photo by Flora Westbrook 

Contact me if you are stumped. I can help you on your way to a culture of creativity.

Need some help to start?

I’m so passionate about the benefits of engaging team creativity, that I have developed a Creative Refresher for teams. One hour of virtual, engaging, fun and intentional programming designed to jumpstart your team’s creativity. They will leave with actionable tools, a smile on their face, and a taste of how to let go of fear of judgement.

And, at a super low price until June 1, it’s also low hanging fruit. What do you have to lose?