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Attraction and Retention Through Work-Life Balance

By Valentina Sangiorgi, Chief Human Resources Officer, Randstad Italia

Valentina Sangiorgi, Chief Human Resources Officer, Randstad Italia

In the current dynamic and competitive environment where people and companies are becoming more agile, employers are forced to come up with smart ways to attract and retain talent.

Employee retention can only be fulfilled when employers fully understand the needs of their employees.

In order to better understand how to win the war of talent and support companies with their employer branding strategies, Randstad decided globally to provide insights on this topic.

The Randstad Employer Brand Research is the most comprehensive, independent and in-depth employer brand research in the world, identifying the most attractive employers among thousands of companies. The research captures the views of over 200,000 respondents (general public, aged 18-65) on 6,162 companies in 32 countries. It provides information about the perceptions and drivers of choice of potential employees. Why do people prefer one company, or a specific industry, over another? What motivates them to stay with an employer or start looking elsewhere? The research, conducted since 2000, was done by Randstad’s international research partner Kantar.

“Employee wellness should become a focus on the HR strategy in a company: it’s an effective retention tools with a positive impact on productivity”

In the 2019 edition, global workers increasingly consider work-life balance as more important. In Italy it is the most attractive attribute for candidates to choose an employer (53 percent of the respondents) followed by a pleasure atmosphere (52 percent) and salary and benefits (47 percent).

Employees are taking companies’ and industries’ values more and more into account. The overall reputation of employers is a strong reason for employees to commit to their employer.

That’s why employee wellness should become a focus on the HR strategy in a company: it’s an effective retention tools with a positive impact on productivity.

Since the foundation of Randstad in Italy, we have realized that implementing a people strategy focused strongly on work-life balance was necessary not only to respond to the needs of our people but also to position ourselves as an employer of choice in our market.

Furthermore, being a credible player in the HR world requires us somehow to have innovative people management policies.

We have introduced flexible working hours, trusting our employees without checking the real hours of work, offering a contribution for the nursery school, giving additional permits in case of indisposition, and for new dads in case of birth, just to quote a few initiatives. But above all we have set a style of leadership and management that considers private life an important element.

Subsequently, our strategy, born for a company like ours with 80 percent of female employees, has proved to be a winner in the following years to attract and retain the new generation that, independently of gender and family responsibilities, pays great attention to work-life balance.

The result was at least three important elements: the low turnover rate, a very high retention of mothers returning from maternity leave (a very critical factor in Italy) and last but not least the positioning of Randstad as the most attractive HR company in Italy. In this context, however I believe it is important to highlight a further strategic aspect. Staff policies are not enough to make retention, it is difficult to imagine that a person decides to stay in a company just because he has a good flexibility in terms of working hours or work place but maybe he works in a team that has not a real team approach, or has a manager who is not capable of being an open, inspiring, transparent, competent and reliable leader. Once again, therefore, when we talk about what really makes the difference for us at work, the answer is: quality of relationships, corporate culture, and leadership models.

Check out: Manage HR Magazine

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