Dealing with the challenge of retaining talent By David Gargaro If you’ve seen the news over the last few months, you know that employees are quitting their jobs in droves, particularly in the U.S. There have been mass resignations over the summer, as employees determine that they are burned out due to pandemic-related stress or, having worked from home for the first time, they will look for employment that enables them to leave the office behind. Canada is seeing evidence of a similar trend. The pandemic has created a number of challenges for businesses across numerous industries, including real estate as a whole and rental housing specifically. While the lockdowns and work-from-home movement have inspired a great deal of innovation, they are also driving a focus on connecting with and retaining quality talent. According to RBC, the number of people who left their jobs in June tripled compared to the same month in 2020. Retirements are also on the rise. According to statistics published in the Financial Post, RBC expects 125,000 Canadians to retire in the second half of 2021 as Baby Boomers opt out of the rigours of returning to work on a daily basis. That means a lot of experienced talent will leave the employment pool, which will leave some companies bereft of knowledgeable and skilled employees. Corporate leadership is concerned about how to retain its top talent. However, offering to increase pay and benefits and providing flexible work options will not satisfy many employees’ expectations to a sufficient degree to encourage them to return to work. According to a recent study conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of International Work Group, around 33 per cent of Canadians are only willing to travel up to 15 minutes to work one way. Management will have to find new ways to retain top talent, and level up new and existing employees to make up for the top talent shortfall.
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Putting the right systems in place is one solution, particularly in the real estate sector. This strategy will help businesses to continue their operations and address the dynamism and uncertainty of what will eventually be a post-pandemic world. Implementing these systems will also empower teams to succeed in their positions and realize job satisfaction. Virtual learning is becoming a key component of helping businesses to retain and upgrade their talent, and has gained traction when companies were forced to remain physically distant. Implementing a virtual talent onboarding program has become a critical part of companies’ maintenance and growth strategies since the start of the pandemic. With technology helping companies to manage operations while employees were working from home, it has created opportunities for businesses to provide their employees with online training. This is helping staff to deal with the varied challenges of social distancing, collaborating with teammates, and engaging with clients.
Online learning systems can provide existing and new employees with remote access to role-based training through courses, webinars, knowledge centres, and other resources. Productivity is important for maintaining and supporting business growth. However, it’s vital to establish a positive workplace culture to support employees when output is high. Ensuring that companies maintain communication of goals and responsibilities between management and employees will help with keeping productivity consistent, support cohesion between teams, and make staff feel like they are part of the
organization. Belonging is essential to retention, which is difficult when employees are working from home. Online learning solutions can help here as well. “Delivering creative learning options enhances talent management, which is why Yardi has developed Yardi Aspire for its clients and their teams,” said Peter Altobelli, Vice President, Yardi Canada Ltd. “This product offers online courses and live webinars in areas ranging from software skills and compliance to company policies and custom career development. By hosting all of the organization’s training-related course content and documents in a centralized platform, Aspire reduces the time needed to create, maintain, and administer courses.” Online learning systems fill a gap that was once filled by mentoring, webinars, class-based training, and other forms of in-person learning. COVID-19 has spurred new legislation and requirements for real estate businesses, while technological advancements have progressed at such a degree that it’s difficult for employees to stay current. Online learning systems can provide existing and new employees with remote access to role-based training through courses, webinars, knowledge centres, and other resources. Real estate businesses can also issue new content to
promote professional and personal development that can help fill knowledge gaps and boost employee confidence. “Aspire’s automated reporting functionality was developed to assist management to easily track learning progress and identify organizational trends, providing greater visibility into job performance and satisfaction,” said Altobelli. “By having interactive, mobile-friendly courses in the Aspire Learning Management Solution, companies are better prepared to target and retain the best talent.” This year has highlighted the importance that people play in ensuring the sustainability of the real estate sector. Business leaders are coming to understand the value of their talent pool now more than ever. As a result, they have been putting more focus on looking inward and building their brand and talent pool. Online learning is becoming more relevant, thanks to its ability to provide greater accessibility to resources and growth, alleviate the pressure on management to train their teams, and provide staff with numerous avenues to learn. As the world evolves into a new normal, it is becoming clearer that virtual tools will thrive and fuel growth through talent development, communication, and collaboration in the real estate sector.
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RHB, RHB Magazine, Retaining Talent