Hanna Wiljebrand, HR Specialist/Business Developer, Create Business Incubator


Studies show a marked reversal in the labour market in recent years, with workers gaining more and more influence: the 'workers' market'.  Several reasons are highlighted, including a lack of the right skills when appointing positions, but also challenges in retaining employees over time. In order to be able to recruit the right employees, an employer branding work that works in practice is of course required. However, the work must not stay there. When we have succeeded in recruiting the talents, we also want to make them stay and develop with us!

It is important that you ask yourself: What makes our company a unique workplace? Next: How do our employees view us as an employer? Is there a correlation between our offer to workers versus what workers feel they are getting?

As I see it, there are three crucial factors that allow you to create an attractive workplace. A workplace that today's and tomorrow's employees not only want to apply to, but also want to stay with and develop together with. We are also living in a time when more and more people are resigning and starting their own consulting business, which creates additional challenges. How can you as an organization retain and develop your key employees?

The answer is, of course, complex, but starting from a large number of interviews with people who have left different workplaces (so-called exit interviews), a clear pattern can be found. Namely, employee demand for clearer purpose with business goals, better communication and clearer expectations and feedback on performance. So, what lessons can we take away from this?


Today's employees are looking for a workplace where there is a clear purpose for both the company, their role and where they can contribute to a higher purpose.

To successfully convey purpose, it is not enough to read bestseller Simon Sinek's Start With Why. A book that, as the title suggests, highlights the importance of the starting point, both in strategy and implementation – something we sometimes rush past. After all, the receipt of your success will be how the recipient perceives your purpose. When employees' motivations are in line with what the organization strives for, 1 + 1 = 3.

Working with the purpose is a mutual process that is about both setting a direction in the organization, but also harnessing the individual's driving forces in the role. It is when we manage to sync this that the really positive leverage occurs.

Strive to move from what to why and how in your strategy, then you can then present your offer to both external candidates and internal employees. Employees in the labour market today want to be part of your clear visions, rather than the company's financial goals. Sustainability and social responsibility are today not "meritorious" but a requirement when employees choose where they want to work.


Traditionally, delegation has been about clarity, accountability without the ingredient commitment. More and more companies have realized the value of starting at a different end – something that is also in line with what today's and tomorrow's employees are looking for. These organizations that dare to rely on starting in the individual employee's engagement get in results employees who thrive and also deliver fantastic results.

This approach requires clarity on what is to be achieved, but freedom in how to get there. On the one hand, this can be seen as the manager "losing control", on the other hand that completely new conditions are born in the organization. The shift means that the manager takes on a different role.

As I see it, more time and resources should be devoted to factors such as trust and feedback, rather than control. The focus should be on development instead of structure. To dare to build a corporate culture through people rather than risk minimisation. It's about seeing the individual employee, having a continuous dialogue throughout the year and not just relying on the "annual employee conversation".

Put people more at the center and let the task become a confirmation that human interaction works. This is much more effective than focusing on control in the first place and then being surprised that people choose a more "attractive offer" elsewhere.


More and more people are resigning and starting their own business. Reasons include freedom and flexibility around where and when you work. It has been seen that this today outweighs the security of having an "indefinite employment". The proportion of people who take the step of moving forward in their careers, starting their own business or switching jobs to more flexible workplaces is predicted to continue to increase. How do you meet this? In the past, employees were given responsibility and, above all, freedom when they "performed". Today's and tomorrow's employees see these opportunities rather as a condition.

Consider how you express your offer to your external candidates in a recruitment process. When, how and in what way do you then ensure how your internal communication is perceived by your existing employees?

Do you do exit interviews when employees leave? What are the main lessons you can learn from them? Courageous leadership is about listening to the exit interviews and learning both from these – and safe ways to listen to the existing employees for real. How else are you going to bring about change? In this way, you get both a direction and a clear result on what works and what does not work in the organization.

Hanna Wiljebrand has worked with HR issues for the past 11 years. Today, she works with business development at Create Business Incubator and has developed the STEP program, which helps growth companies with team building. Hanna has worked in Mentor's app for the past two years and clearly sees the importance of having a structured opportunity as an employee to work with her individual development in the organization.

With Mentor, you make it easy for you to create an attractive workplace for your employees, through transparency, clear goals and follow-up.