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Understanding What Employees Actually Care About

June 8, 2023

We spent a fruitful morning with some truly inspiring People & Culture leaders across Southeast Asia's fastest-growing companies, discussing “Retention: What Employees Really Care About”, hosted by Susan P. Chen, Ph.D.

Here are 5 takeaways from the discussion:

💡"Startup employees want to be part of the solution" - they’re always looking for the next challenge, they want to make an impact in their industry and work with people they respect and be involved in building a winning business

🚀 "Startups can’t win on money alone, but they can win on accelerated (career) growth" - if startups are transparent about sharing career progression pathways, seeing potential future jobs and salaries gives employees agency to shape their future with company and helps them make sense of their role in the organisation's growth plans

🔮 "Startups should emphasise quality (not just quantity) of employee experience" - A rapidly-growing organisation's needs for skills/ expertise are constantly evolving, so giving employees stretch assignments and rapid upskilling over shorter (intensive) periods is more relevant for a startup context

🏝️ "Money matters, but so do relationships and person-job fit" - Retention issues are often looked at in isolation but no person is an 'island'. A startup's EVP (Employee Value Proposition) should cover all 3 bases: looking at the employee, their significant others, their colleagues, their manager, and so on.

🤗 "Human conversations thrive when we create the right spaces" - whether it's well-chosen, powerful questions or organic conversations between HR and employees, watercooler conversations and friendships help create psychological safety, increase ‘stickiness’ and build foundations for understanding the human need behind any retention-related requests

🥪 "Direct managers have a big influence on retention" - startups are building new systems, processes and continuous loss of middle managers has a big impact on employee morale. Developing these leaders ensures that the ‘middle layer’ remains stable and creates safety for employees amidst rapidly-evolving internal and external environments.

Thanks for attending and see you at the next one in 2 weeks!

Benedict Lim (Regional Talent Manager APAC, Rakuten)

Febi Sri Ekawati (People Acquisition & Business Partner, Flip )

Andrei Perevalov (Head of People, StoreHub)

Ute Driyono Tanusaputra (Chief People Officer, GudangAda)

Hanny Meiriza Hariyanto (Country HR Manager, Jiva)

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can give HR leaders the space to make sense of your roles in organisational change, connect with access to the right peer support and create a community of practice for People & Culture professionals across Southeast Asia. Join the conversation here.

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