The pandemic has altered the way we work. A recent Gallup analysis found that 48% of American workers are either actively job searching or watching for job opportunities that may arise, contributing to what experts have dubbed The Great Resignation. Gallup has given it a new name: The Great Discontent, connecting the dots from workplaces that don’t evolve with current times to employees who’ve re-prioritized what’s important to them and are searching for a company that aligns with their values. This has left many companies wondering how to retain employees during COVID, and what steps to take to meaningfully engage them in this new normal. Read on for employee retention ideas during COVID that can serve your company well no matter what the future holds.
If you want to know how to retain top talent during COVID, start by listening to your employees. This could come in the form of a survey about how employees feel regarding remote work, returning to the office, or participating in a hybrid structure. As Gallup states, “Ultimately, surveys themselves don’t solve problems — they prompt the right kinds of conversations.” The responses can tell you a lot, from how your employees have experienced remote work to what will and won’t engage them in this altered work landscape. From there, you can delve into deeper conversations that address concerns, validate experiences, and look for solutions that work best for both employees and your company. While you can’t please every single person, you can find solutions that make more employees want to stay with a company that prioritizes their wellbeing — which helps make them more valuable contributors to your company and its culture.
Honor work-life balance
In a recent global analysis, Harvard Business Review found that 8 in 10 workers want more remote work in order to attain a healthier work-life balance. A significant portion of employee turnover during COVID has been attributed to the desire for more flexibility that remote work has allowed, and the reluctance to stay with a company that doesn’t acknowledge this. In order to retain current employees and learn how to attract talent during COVID-19, The Society for Human Resource Management advises being upfront about how your company is handling the pandemic. They share, “Top talent wants safety, flexibility, growth, and opportunity for themselves and their families. Be straight with your candidates about how the pandemic has impacted your business, what assurances you can offer (e.g., sick leave, virtual workspace, health benefits, flexible hours, etc.) and what future opportunities may be on the table.”
It’s a good idea to revisit your flexibility policies and update them, particularly with findings from your employee surveys.
Thanks to technology, you don’t have to be in the same space to collaborate with team members. And as Harvard Business Review points out, “We aren’t simply collaborating; we are running businesses, visiting family, attending weddings, and educating our children through technology, making the virtual world more humane, forging deep digital connections that are founded on true human connectedness.”
You can engage your employees by utilizing technologies that keep them connected to one another and your work culture. Everything from video meetings to virtual happy hours to a social engine that encourages fun communication amongst co-workers makes a difference by helping them feel less isolated and more involved in your work community. Remember: “Culture doesn’t exist within walls,” Harvard Business Review shares. “It exists within people, so you have to build culture through people, wherever they sit.”
If you want to learn more about the role employee engagement and recognition plays in retaining and attracting talent in the ever-changing work landscape, connect with one of our employee experience partners today!