Articles 2 min read

Scaling and Retaining: Talent Challenges for Growth Organisations

Annapurna was delighted to recently host a roundtable with a select group of HR leaders at the forefront of their organisations as they navigate the talent challenges for growth, focusing on scaling and retaining.

The session was hosted by Robyn Hunt-Williams (HR Specialist Search Consultant at Annapurna) and Téa Carter (HR Specialist Search Consultant at Annapurna).

Periods of growth are exciting for all those involved in the journey but they are also a critical crossroads for many organisations. The strategy sounds simple; hire bright and inspired people at volume and in the background, build systems and processes that can scale with you.

The group looked at 2 focal points of conversation: culture and retention.

Culture has become a buzzword of sorts, with many organisations wanting it to be a topic of regular discussion and looking to undergo a cultural transformation, yet many not knowing what their current culture can be defined as in the first place.

The conversation looked at how we should be defining culture from day 1 due to the fact that re-engineering culture further down the line is a much more difficult process than curating it from the start.

Cultures should not necessarily be one size fit all but should be a blended thought whereby we are thinking about cross sections of group values, regional values and even generational values. Who are we as a business? Who are we as an office when we come together? To bring our teams on this journey, we should be investing in interventions like cultural integration workshops where we can merge values together. We must understand and be in agreement that values defined at the start can change over time, we should be open and definitive with employees about these changes as we go on the journey.

Driving our culture forward as we grow and hire is vital to long-term success. The group discussed how to bake values into the interview process and ensure values inform interview questions and processes. This method allows people to embed the values from day 0 and then when joined, ensuring performance review processes are also based on values provide a continuous narrative.

Retention is a challenge on everyone’s plates at the moment as we navigate changing needs. Pay is not the final line when it comes to retention; culture and benefits win. We must be paying attention to the additional elements of a ‘package’ and allow for alignment of employees’ personal goals for development with the company trajectory. We should be letting our employees ask the question, ‘is the company going where I want to go?’ In the world of scaling, not all employees will want to stay on past the initial phase or point of sale, etc. The more we understand our employees and the journeys they want to go on in their careers, the better we can plan and build growth plans.

The best talent, for now, does not need to be the best talent for the future. We can future-proof and retain through intelligent upskilling but also must allow for some degree of the unknown. Uncertainty is inevitable.

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