04 November 2021
How to build your post-pandemic retention plan
While some people are thriving in a remote working environment, others struggle. Employees express dissatisfaction over reduced social interaction, increase in workload, lack of well-being and mental health support, and workplace health and safety concerns. As a post-pandemic reality draws nearer, adopting new employee-centric guidelines and flexible practices that put employee well-being first will play a role in managing post-pandemic turnover rates.
Planning for the post-pandemic
Understanding employee retention and turnover rates is just the first step. As the most destructive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pass and a post-pandemic rebound mounts, organizations need to start re-evaluating their employee retention programs and strategies in order to retain and attract new top talent. Their responses and strategies in place to counter likely questions of "What did you do to protect employees during the pandemic?" will be crucial.
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More often than not, employee turnover is the result of disengagement and other preventable causes. Top reasons include lack of growth and career development, work-life balance, poor manager behavior, job characteristics, well-being, and a lack of adequate compensation and benefits. The challenging and difficult circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented means that people are placing greater stress and priority on these factors. To prevent high turnover rates post-pandemic, solid and effective retention programs need to be in place to give employees what they really want from their career and lives. Here are several considerations to improve retention and reduce turnover.
Compensation and benefits
Competitive compensation, perks, and benefits play a big role in making workplaces stand out and boosting employee morale. People will stick around for longer if they receive the compensation they deserve and an excellent benefits package.
A lack of recognition is one of the biggest obstacles to workplace engagement. Efforts to acknowledge employee contributions, whether big or small, and make them feel appreciated will increase their involvement and productivity as they feel valued, and counteract turnover.
Positive work environment and culture
A pleasant work culture and environment that employees are excited to go to everyday is essential for employee retention. Foster teamwork, diversity and a spirit of community.
Onboarding and mentorship programs
Seamless onboarding integrates new hires effectively into the company culture and sets them up to thrive. The support provided on the first day sets the tone for an employee's time with an organization. Add to the onboarding process with a mentorship program that helps employees feel supported and pushes them to be their best.
Empower employees by maintaining open lines of communication and feedback so employees feel heard, be it concerns, questions or ideas. Regular and honest communication helps businesses thrive, constantly improve, and can prevent problems from building up into serious issues. Especially in the pandemic context, communicating with the people in your workforce regularly tells them you value them and are concerned about any issues or difficulties they are facing. Updating employees regularly on crucial information and company efforts or decisions in such uncertain times also relieves anxieties the people may have over work, health, and life.
Providing employees with opportunities for training, development, and career advancement motivates employees. It shows them that organizations are fully invested in and concerned for their personal growth, future and success
Well-being and work-life balance
Mental, physical and financial aspects need to be taken into account for a holistic approach to employee wellness. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means that people place greater importance on whether organizations provide enough well-being and mental health support. Adjustments that show increased empathy and kindness from employers to employees will convince employees that their organization values them as people rather than 'talents'. These adjustments could include specific mental health strategies, special arrangements for vulnerable groups with chronic conditions, ensuring workload is properly managed and distributed fairly, sick leave for quarantine or to care for children, and more.
Flexible working arrangements that promote a healthy work-life balance are now a necessity, especially in the current pandemic context. This applies to those who need flexible schedules to accommodate childcare and those who prefer to work remotely. As a post-pandemic reality draws nearer, it's important to offer employees the option to continue remote working or to return to a safe workplace environment.
Start building your plan
As employees re-enter the workplace after the pandemic, organizations need to implement strategies to communicate to employees that it is safe for them to return and why, protect employees from the risk of contracting the virus at work, and handle the anxieties of those who are reluctant to return. Organizations that find sustainable and cost-effective ways to support their employees across all the above dimensions will be well-positioned to hire and re-engage employees post-pandemic.