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How Matchable has turned employee retention and attraction on its head – London Business News | Londonlovesbusiness.com

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Leading businesses know that attracting and retaining top talent is paramount to success.

However, the recruitment market has become increasingly complex over the past five years. Difficult market conditions, including a labour shortage coupled with low economic confidence, has impacted business’s ability to recruit and retain the best people.

One other factor often overlooked is the impact of Covid on the mindset of workers. Many workers reported feelings of wanting to do something more meaningful and worthwhile following a period of ‘reflection’. More people voluntarily changed careers after this enforced period of reflection than ever before. Many commentators called this phenomenon the ‘Great Resignation’, and it points to the fact that workers require more than just money.

Employees need purpose and challenge

According to a McKinsey study, 60% of employees leave companies because of a ‘lack of purpose’ and ‘seeking a fresh challenge’.

What businesses have quickly learned is that recruitment and retention go far beyond economic compensation. All workers possess a need to feel fulfilled and worthwhile, particularly during times of uncertainty. This is particularly true today, when we are living through an economic downturn characterised by chronic ‘stagflation’ (i.e. stagnant growth and high levels of inflation.

We spoke to Wai Foong Ng, leader in the field of employee retention and attraction and CEO of Matchable, who knows what motivates and attracts top talent.

Foong is an expert in employee fulfilment and has been a guest speaker at Imperial College Business School and appeared on stage on behalf of the Evening Standard at Excel. Her company, Matchable, has been named a Top 100 company to Escape to by Escape the City 3 years running, a list that recognises organisations that put people, purpose and planet on par with profit.

Foong’s business, Matchable, has identified not only how to turn the drive for something meaningful into retention and attraction, but how this can improve the bottom line for businesses. This comes in the form of an innovative method of engaging employees in worthwhile causes.

“For a long time, progressive businesses have realised that in a competitive modern market where the battle for not only attracting talent, but retaining talent, is key to business success, outplacements and employee volunteering can have a significant impact.”

“There are several reasons for this, but overall, it satisfies the urge for employees to feel they are making a difference. It enhances their perception of the organisation, and more importantly, it engages them in something important that feels interconnected with the organisation and its values.”

Matchable developed an innovative and simple to use platform that matches employees with volunteering projects mirroring their skills, interests, and available time commitments. The platform has been so successful, it has turned the volunteering space on its head, and the results speak for themselves.

87% increase in staff retention

Data shows that the platform achieved 217% more engagement than other employee volunteering initiatives. Incredibly, businesses using Matchable saw an 87% increase in staff retention from employees using the platform.

It’s no wonder the company has been used by several leading financial service companies and banks, as well as well known brand like Dentsu, Primark, Indeed Flex and Kroo. In fact, Matchable has seen 174% year on year growth.

Foong adds “What attracts many volunteers to sign up is that projects start from as little as 30 min online, so busy professionals can do it during a single lunch break.”

“Because it matches them with their skills, passions and interests, engagement is extremely high. Even with small time commitments, employees feel they are making a tangible difference to projects they are passionate about.”

However, it’s the wider benefits for businesses that Foong says employers need to be made aware of.

Businesses having a positive social impact, whilst retaining the best talent

“Top talent, as well as customers, are increasingly looking at businesses’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental (ESG) credentials and strategies.”

“Successful businesses realise they need to send strong messages to the market about the company’s values and purpose. This doesn’t only permeate through to clients, but also to candidates, and employees.”

Foong says “Employee Volunteering is not a new concept, but like anything, making it simple and accessible is key. This is what increases engagement, and ultimately delivers the wide-ranging benefits to employees and employers.”

Matchable is particularly popular with forward-thinking companies looking to refresh their teams through new challenges and experiential learning because the volunteering projects extend far beyond the usual types of projects found on other platforms.

Foong says “It’s not just painting fences and planting trees. Matchable links employees up with really innovative nonprofits, charities and ethically responsible impact startups that are thought-leaders in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

“For example, users could volunteer to help reforest the Amazon using NFTs, transform ashes into coral reefs to regenerate the marine-ecosystem, or support underrepresented communities into careers through an AI-enabled platform. This also helps ensure that, not only are the projects engaging, but they also help upskill the volunteer.”

Upskilling the workforce, whilst improving retention and morale

Foong adds “Many of our clients actually use our projects as ways to enhance soft and hard skills and prepare their teams for the future of work.”

This is where Matchable has been the standout performer in the sector. “Making the platform simple and easy to use was huge to us”, says Foong. “It’s critical that it’s easy to use to initiate high uptake, making the user experience as easy as possible”.

“Best of all is that the platform allows us to gather data about the direct impact on a business’s bottom line. Demonstrating both the value for money in terms of retention and attraction, and the positive social impact delivered via the business – it’s a win-win for companies and staff.”

Win-win for companies and staff

“I think in the current economy keeping morale high, holding on to key employees and keeping them engaged but refreshed has been high on the agenda for our clients. In addition, all businesses should strive to be a positive force in the world.”

“Giving an employee that feeling they are working for a forward-thinking, socially responsible company, leaves a strong positive mark. Furthermore, once they are engaged in volunteering on a project that is meaningful to them, no matter how much time they can dedicate, we’ve proven that retention of top talent within the business is increased.”

“The overall message is that keeping and attracting top talent is about more than their compensatory pay packet”.

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