Article: To get the best talent through the virtual doors, leaders need to lead from the front: Bridgett Paradise, Tenable

Talent Management

To get the best talent through the virtual doors, leaders need to lead from the front: Bridgett Paradise, Tenable

Organizations looking to retain and attract top talent must provide flexibility in where and when employees work, as well as invest in the resources needed to help their people be successful and stay highly engaged, believes Bridgett Paradise, Chief People Officer, Tenable.
To get the best talent through the virtual doors, leaders need to lead from the front: Bridgett Paradise, Tenable

After the great round of layoffs led by the pandemic, organizations are scuffling to win the war for talent. Salaries, benefits, flexibility, and perks don’t hold water anymore to attract young workers today. Given the extraordinary pace of change, the hastening shelf life of skills, and changing business priorities, managing talent has become a critical issue for leadership. Given that pre-pandemic ways of working aren’t something workers are ready to go back to, how can fix the new talent management equation to win this war?

In an exclusive interaction with us, Bridgett Paradise, Chief People Officer, Tenable sheds light on the critical imperatives for employers seeking to attract, retain and engage top talent and strategies that organizations can bank upon to win the war for talent. 

Employees are quitting or switching jobs in droves which some economists have dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’. In such a scenario, what are the critical imperatives for employers seeking to attract, retain and engage top talent?

Organizations that stand out are those that go above and beyond competitive pay and benefits — those that invest in professional development, prioritize diversity and inclusion, promote flexibility, and meaningfully contribute to local communities.  

Ensuring employees have a work-life balance is important, especially when the lines between the virtual office and home life have blurred. Organisations need to adopt a people-first culture and ensure that employees feel that senior management is not only listening to them but making changes to enhance employee experience.

Remote and hybrid work have become the status quo for many organizations. Those organizations looking to retain and attract top talent must provide flexibility in where and when employees work, as well as invest in the resources needed to help their people be successful and stay highly engaged. 

What are some broken links in the current work structure that need to be fixed by organizations to create sustainable work cultures?

Ensuring employees maintain a balanced work-life dynamic can be challenging with everyone working remotely. The lines between work and life can quickly blur leaving employees feeling burnt out. 

To celebrate our employees’ hard work over the last year, Tenable has given everyone extended weekends throughout August. This gives every employee, regardless of their location or position, much-needed time to recharge and focus on themselves. 

Also, not all managers have experience leading remote teams, so organizations must upskill people managers on how to drive accountability, demonstrate trust, ensure their teams’ mental health concerns are acknowledged and respect employees’ boundaries.

Training helps, but probably more effective is facilitating conversations among managers to share best practices and experiences. Any successful model is built on trust and open communication.

What are some strategies to elevate employer value propositions to mirror what employees seek in the changing work environment?

“Organizations need to acknowledge that there’s no going back to how things used to be pre-pandemic.”

Actively seeking input on what employees need to remain productive and engaged in this new environment is paramount. This could include expansion of skills, exposure to exciting and challenging projects and acknowledgement of hard work. 

With a distributed workforce, it is also important for employees to feel connected to one another, so leaders need to find new ways to keep employees engaged. Since hallway conversations and shared lunches aren't as feasible now, organisations should also invest in intentionally creating moments for employees to bond. At Tenable, some groups host “coffee chats” where employees can opt-in for casual yet meaningful conversations to build stronger relationships.  

What are some big differentiators for companies to win the talent war?

Employees look to leaders who inspire and whose behaviour they can emulate. To get the best talent through the virtual doors, leaders need to lead from the front and be role models for the rest of their team by demonstrating the organisation’s core values. 

Employees’ voices matter, and so do candor and transparency. Know that there will be times when an organization may not be able to meet every single employee recommendation. It’s important to actively seek employee feedback while being open and honest about what the company can do. 

“Demonstrate a commitment to employees’ well-being, whether it be physical, emotional or psychological. Supporting employees to be their best selves inside and outside of work is key.”  

Organizations also shouldn’t underestimate the power of fun — giving employees the time, space, and resources to unwind. We’ve seen a number of employees sharing how they celebrated Tenable’s extended weekends with friends and family. Some employees took weekend trips, others spent time outdoors and a few even had fun creating in the kitchen. Each of these moments builds connections and celebrates Tenable making well-being the core of who we are.

What is your take on how organizations should approach rethinking location strategy and re-modeling roles for flexibility to retain top talent?

“Normalizing flexibility in when and where work gets done sends a message to employees that we’re serious about the hybrid workplace being our model of the future.”

 This includes demonstrating that the company trusts its employees to remain productive and focus on the right priorities. Also, remote work is an opportunity to reach new and diverse talent pools. Organizations should take advantage of this flexibility by reaching candidates outside of their traditional perimeter. 

We are in uncharted waters right now. This is one reason why we hold company All Hands meetings every month and use other communication vehicles continuously to keep people informed. We have to continue to ask questions, seek feedback and be willing to change course at times. 

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Topics: Talent Management, #TheGreatTalentWar

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