What distinguishes a company that has deeply engaged and committed employee from another one that doesn’t? It is the ability to express to current and potential employees what makes the organisation unique.
Your company is unique: your history, your strategy, the leaders, the market… Try to think for a moment about the distinctive elements of your work environment that send powerful messages about the organisation’s aspirations and about the skills, stamina, and commitment employees will need in order to succeed there. It can be the way you hire, the way you deal with customers, the time schedule you offer to your employees,… These are called your “signature experience”, and you need to make it visible to attract and retain your employees. “Signature experiences” are the distinctive element of your organisation, the symbols of your culture and values. The experience is created by a bundle of everyday routines or signature processes that have evolved in-house and reflects the company heritage and the leadership team’s philosophy.
Don’t try to match competitors’ offer. This strategy is maybe useful to bring job candidates to the door, but it is not necessarily the most effective way to select the right people, employees who will be enthusiastic about their work and loyal to the organisation and its mission. So, don’t copy other companies’ best practices or talent management programmes. You need to be able to tell new and prospective employees what it is like to work at your company, to articulate the values and attributes that make working at your firm unique.
Remember that people become engaged with their work on the basis of how well their preferences and aspirations mesh with those of the organisation. Potential employees will pick the company whose on-boarding programme most closely reflects their own values and preferences. It is essential to understand employee preferences to win the talent war. Employees who are excited by what they are doing and the environment they are operating are deeply engaged. Forget compensation and benefits as the unique way of retaining employees. They best strategy in this talent war is to let employees find ways to satisfy their own preferences and aspirations while meeting the organisation’s need to come up with creative and productive solutions to business problems. And their commitment becomes contagious, infecting customers and potential employees.
Companies that successfully create and communicate their "signature experiences" understand that not all the workers want the same things. Some principles have to be respected : first, your company needs to target potential employees as methodically as you target potential customers (it is really a serious activity); second, you have to shape your "signature experiences" to address business needs (don’t build stories that are not driven by your results); third, identify and preserve your stories; forth, share your stories - not just slogans - about life in your firms; fifth, create processes that are consistent with your *signature experiences" (don’t lie) ; and finally, always remember that you should not try to be all things to all people. You need to recognise that people work for different reasons and accomplish tasks in different ways. And you need to hire people who easily and enthusiastically fit in.
In a nutshell, the best strategy for coming out ahead in the war for talent is to attract the right people – whose who are intrigued and excited by the environment the company offers and who will reward it with their loyalty.