4. Use your imagination

Wages are going up, and fast. In order to remain competitive, many employers are paying more for talent than they budgeted, and then they face internal inequities with their existing talent pool. Yes, pay is important, but so are other aspects of employment.

Young workers want to do well, but they also want to do good. How can you help them do that? Most young workers would take less pay for more time off. Are benefits an option? They want to travel — how can you help them do that? It's not always feasible, but who wouldn't want a leased car or a holiday vacation rental as a perk?

The point is, managers need to stop thinking only about pay and look for innovative and creative perks and benefits that can attract and inspire the talent that that they need in the department.

5. Focus on flexibility

It's no surprise that after more than a year of working from home, employees want to maintain some form of flexibility. Even those who cannot do their work from home want that flexibility, too.

Survey after survey shows that employees will be more loyal, more engaged, and will even accept less pay to obtain more workplace flexibility. If you're not sure how to do that, ask your employees for their thoughts on creating and maintaining a flexible workplace, regardless of job role.

Yes, 2022 looks like it's going to be challenging from a hiring and retaining standpoint. With empathy, creativity, imagination, and the right resources by your side, we can make it the best year yet!

Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is president of Affinity HR Group, Inc., based in Jamesville, New York.

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