Employee experience, recognition and rewards are becoming just as important as remuneration to secure the best and brightest talent in Australia’s fiercely competitive labour landscape.
As Australia’s economy continues to evolve post-pandemic, the war for talent continues to escalate.
Labour shortages are plaguing most industries, with the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing one in four businesses had at least one job vacancy at the end of May. Total job vacancies at the end of May were 83.9 per cent higher than they were before COVID-19, reflecting acute shortages of skilled and qualified workers across the economy.
At the same time, Australian workers are increasingly exploring whether the grass is indeed greener on the other side, with ABS data showing job mobility in the year to the end of February was at 9.5 per cent, the highest rate in more than a decade.
For professionals, mobility was even higher, with that cohort representing 24 per cent of the 2.3 million people who left or lost a job over the year. Add in the lowest annual retrenchment rate on record at 1.4 per cent and it is clear that business leaders are having to go above and beyond expectations to attract and retain talent.
Despite the labour challenge, leading contact centre operator TSA Group has been on a strong growth trajectory, growing its headcount from 2214 to over 4500 over the past 3 years.
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Brittany Eaman, Former Group Manager of People Operations at TSA Group, says one of the company’s advantages was being able to offer a wide range of different roles, from the entry level to the management suite.
“One of the advantages of our roles being frontline team member positions is that we don’t require specific hard skills – such as relevant experience or levels of education ,” Ms Eaman says.
“We look for softer skills – for example, people who have great interpersonal skills and a genuine desire to understand the needs of a customer. From a technical standpoint, applicants do need to have basic computer literacy skills, but the key deciding factor is cultural fit over experience. That helps to ensure the talent coming into TSA Group comes from a diverse group of people, from a demographic and an education level.”
Recognition and rewards, not just remuneration
While Ms Eaman says TSA Group has a sharp focus on employing people that embody the company’s cultural values, it also takes an innovative approach to employee attraction and retention.
“We have to be really unique in the way that we stand out in the market, in terms of what we are offering,” Ms Eaman says.
“And it’s not always all about offering the highest remuneration – TSA Group has several other employee benefits that we rely on to attract and retain talent. We work hard to tap into the other engagement drivers that our people say that they want, which is work-life balance, flexibility, and being rewarded and recognised.”
Frontline contact centre staff at TSA Group are offered commissions and other incentives, which Ms Eaman says are not only lucrative, but also performance driving and engaging.
And for workers that want a bigger focus on flexibility and work-life balance, Ms Eaman says TSA Group’s service operations are a solid fit. Flexibility and incentives are complemented by a comprehensive rewards and recognition program, to celebrate employees whose behaviour is aligned to TSA Group’s values.
“In the past, TSA Group has sent its top performers, both in performance and cultural metrics, on all expense paid trips to Bali” Ms Eaman says. “We also recently gave away a Vespa as part of our overarching reward and recognition strategy.
“Another big advantage TSA Group offers is mobility, with the opportunity to move across into different lines of businesses, experiencing a broad variety of brands and campaigns, or even to different offices across Australia and the Philippines.” Ms Eaman says.
Employees influence their experience
Ms Eaman says TSA Group’s rewards programs and employee initiatives are shaped by staff, with management paying close attention to feedback received in the company’s biannual TSA Engage survey.
“Our survey gives us really reliable data into what people are wanting from their employment and what they’re wanting from TSA Group,” Ms Eaman says. “And that’s really changed since COVID.”
“I don’t think TSA Group is unique in this instance, but at this particular time, employees want flexibility, and they want the opportunity to balance the commitments of their role with their lives outside of work. What our talent wants now is more control over how and when they work. And through our rostering and flexible working arrangements, we make that happen.”
Advancing employees through education
Providing clear pathways to career advancement is another tool TSA Group uses to ensure its workers are happy.
Ms Eaman says TSA Group runs several learning and development programs while at the same time identifies aspiring leaders and provides them the opportunity to enhance their skill sets and make their way up the corporate ladder.
“Our Aspiring Leaders program is for those people who have been identified as potential leaders, or those that have expressed interest in stepping into a team leader position,” Ms Eaman says. “They’re put through a program led by a learning and development team that is essentially aimed towards setting them up for success with the soft skills and the more technical skills needed to be a team leader.”
Communities and communication a culture boost
Knowing that the employee experience is vital to keep the best workers, TSA Group has turned to technology to create engagement and a community feel across state and international borders.
Leveraging Microsoft’s enterprise social networking feature Viva Engage, TSA Group has provided its employees with the platform to connect with co-workers, whether they’re across the office in Perth or over the ocean in Manila.
“Not only do we use it to share communication and be open and transparent about what’s happening in our business, but it gives them the opportunity to connect with like-minded employees, whether that is being part of the LBGBTQ+ community, as a parent, or perhaps as a ‘pawrent’ to pets,” Ms Eaman says.
“Our younger demographic of workers tells us they prefer to communicate and have messages shared with them this way. Based on all feedback received, our employees want a communication tool that’s actually tailored to the way people want to receive information.”
In a competitive job market, companies need to set themselves apart as desirable places of work. Driving a culture of employee recognition, rewards, and open communication from a top down approach is key to attracting and retaining talent.
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX consultancy and contact centre services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.