How to retain your staff in a post-Covid world

As we start to see greater numbers of people returning to their workplace, after months of working from home or other satellite locations, employers tell us that their next biggest challenge is to ensure they not only come back but stay.

In this blog we look at the importance of a having an employee retention strategy in place, in a post-Covid world.

In previous blogs, we talked about the high cost of staff turnover and how to create a workplace culture that re-built confidence in an organisation in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, as lockdown eases, and staff have had time to re-assess their current employment, it’s now even more crucial that employers introduce staff retention techniques to hold on to the organisation’s best talent.

As we’ve said before, recruiting the right staff to start with is one of the key factors in retaining staff. Recruitment should always be based on attracting candidates that are committed to the beliefs and long term aspirations of the recruiter. This is particularly relevant in these uncertain times.

From effective recruitment to competitive remuneration, there are a number of techniques aimed at encouraging your staff to remain with you. Let’s have a look at probably the most important tip first.

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Hire the right person

We know you would expect us to say this, but it’s true. You can introduce as many retention schemes as you want but if the employee does not fully value the long term opportunities with the organisation, then the chances of them leaving will be much higher.

What sort of techniques will help you stem any flow of staff leakages?                

The first part of developing a staff retention strategy is to ask yourself why people leave their jobs in the first place. Offering a competitive salary package is clearly going to be a key factor in initially attracting the right people but also goes a long way in ensuring they stay.

But it’s not the only incentive that will retain your talent. In fact, a high salary with little or no benefits can sometimes have completely the opposite effect. Today, the primary staff retainer is work-life balance, as workplace stress becomes an even bigger issue since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Working from home or away from the office has highlighted this even more. The demands of juggling home life with a busy work schedule but without the ‘always active’ support in the background, has led to increased anxiety and unease.

Agile working

One concept that is currently being promoted as a stress leveller is agile working, but is it more than just a combination of working from home and flexible hours?

Organisations that are looking to instigate a staff retention policy will now be looking at the many levels of agile working, that involves doing work differently to pre-covid. 

However, this new way of working is far more than hybrid working (a mix of home and office based locations). At its heart is an understanding of what incentivises staff to not only want to stay but develop as part of the organisation’s growth.

This concept of smart working is what agile working is all about and involves empowering staff. This means focussing on results and performance rather than previous parameters, such as time and attendance.

As many employers have discovered during the recent lockdown, 20th century maxims are no longer relevant in a 21st Century global economy. We know that if you create a positive workplace culture of trust and reliability, where staff are involved in their own future, productivity increases, efficiency improves, and staff retention becomes less of an issue.

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Individual support

It does, however, depend on the support each individual receives from the employer. Two key activities that increase staff retention are involving them in decision making, and actively encouraging and providing professional learning and development.

We know from our own feedback, that skilled placements are happier and more interested in their work when they have a learning and development plan in place.

As we start to adjust to a new way of working, now is a good time to flesh out a career development plan with individual employees. This is not only good for them but of major benefit to the company, as it factors in the objectives and goals of both the organisation and the person themselves.

There is no doubt that staff members who feel frustrated by the apparent lack of advancement or promotion are more likely to look elsewhere if they believe they are stuck in a rut with no recognisable signs of progression.

Establishing a growth plan in conjunction with the employee will create an aura of confidence and reassurance. This is integral to the branding value of the organisation, ultimately leading to an increase in the employee’s pride in their work-place. 

By setting goals and benchmarks, staff can more readily envisage their future.

This, along with a competitive salary package, a good work-life balance, a mechanism for generating feedback in addition to regular appraisals, along with a positive and diverse workplace environment will go a long way to making sure your staff have no reason to consider leaving.

If you would like to discuss your employee retention strategies, and how your next recruitment campaign can be built around this, please drop us a line on 01709 820102 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk