Recruiting, retaining, and engaging talent is at the forefront of every business. Organizations are coming up with ways to think outside the box and generate solutions to overcome the war for talent headwinds. What employees expect from their employers has evolved over the past few years, especially with the impact of COVID-19.

The Cooperative Network, WESTconsin Credit Union, and M3 teamed up to provide tools and best practices for their audience to win the war for talent. The Human Resource leaders, Alicia Kiser and Jamie Gower, have experience in a variety of industries and provide insight on the successful approaches to combat the war for talent. Katie Ott provides a different angle on the war for talent – across sectors – by addressing voluntary benefits, employee education, and benefit enrollment technology as a tool to attract and retain talent.


Moderator: Jen Pino-Gallagher, Director of Food and Agriculture at M3 Insurance
Panelist: Alicia Kiser, Vice President of Human Resources, Partner at M3 Insurance
Panelist: Katie Ott, Director of Voluntary Benefits, Partner at M3 Insurance
Panelist: Jamie Gower, Vice President of Human Resources at WESTconsin Credit Union

Watch the replay below to catch up on recruitment, retention, and engagement tactics from our panel.

Recruitment Strategies:

Attracting and recruiting quality talent is the first step to building a successful workforce. Each member of the panel spent time reviewing their approach to recruitment and how it has evolved since COVID-19.

  • Refine recruitment process to be comprehensive, with a quicker turn-around time
  • Be creative in where to find talent, including outside of your respective industry

The advantage (on looking for talent outside of your core industry) is that you’ll be amazed at what a fresh perspective can bring to your organization…and will challenge the way we engage with one another and also with our members.

— Jamie Gower
Vice President of Human Resources | WESTconsin Credit Union

Valuable talent can be found in organizations outside of your industry. Many industries and their employees have overlapping values that can blend well together, while providing a fresh outside perspectives. Opening this lens will allow organizations to find a diversity of talent with similar values.

Retention Strategies:

Once you have attracted valuable talent to your organization, determine key strategies to retain the talent. Understanding employee benefits needs and generational needs is the key to retention.

We are also seeing that employers are really understanding the need to hit on the four major categories of employee wellness: physical, emotional, financial, and social…so lots more interest and discussion around mental health benefits, care giver benefits, and student loan repayment programs. Those are some of the things I see as being emerging in the years to come. Getting your benefits plans rounded out with some of these table stakes and emerging benefits is going to help drive retention.

— Katie Ott
Director of Voluntary Benefits | M3 Insurance

Engagement Strategies:

The more involved and engaged an employee is, the higher satisfaction they will feel representing your organization.

  • Ensure employees at every level are recognized through rewards
  • Provide personalized benefits based on specific needs
  • Invest in leadership development, for both remote, in-person, and hybrid employees
  • Emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Use social media to showcase the culture, career development, and community support
  • Incorporate mindfulness activities during team meetings
  • Access to support groups within the company

Workers have very different expectations around the employer’s role in diversity, equity, and inclusion and so we (M3) have taken that very seriously and doubled down on the work we are doing through all levels of the organization.

— Alicia Kiser
Vice President of Human Resources | M3 Insurance

Key takeaways

Implementing recruitment, retention, and engagement strategies across different generations of employees is critical to win the war for talent. Additionally, employees now more than ever are finding value in personalized benefits based on employee demographics.

The war for talent has impacted every industry. M3 is a trusted partner that helps clients combat the war for talent and provides timely resources.

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