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Zhike Lei Article on the Challenge of Retaining Reluctant Talent Published in the Harvard Business Review

October 27, 2021  | 1 min read

Zhike Lei profileAs COVID-19 continues to shift the way people work, companies have found it harder and harder to onboard new, or retain existing, talent according to an article published by Zhike Lei, associate professor of applied behavioral science at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. Previously, some companies have successfully attracted new employees by offering one-time incentives like increased pay or sign-on bonuses. However, recently published research suggests this may not be the best approach. 

Dr. Lei’s co-authored article, based on a two-year long study of more than 450 employees, found that, “While these approaches may be effective for filling vacant positions, they are unlikely to yield long-term employee engagement and high performance.” Instead, companies should consider the employees’ fit with the organization and employee relationships. Companies should also consider evaluating the effect of other factors such as raises, bonuses, training assessments, and peer evaluations, on employee retention.

“The pandemic changed how we work and how we view work. To reverse the tide of the Great Resignation, leaders need to center attention and energy on the conditions that will help employees enthusiastically, rather than reluctantly, stay and thrive — namely, a sense of fit and purpose, a support system at work and in the community, and personalized packages that would be hard to find anywhere else.”

The full article is available on Harvard Business Review.