To date, the American way of life, particularly at work, has not made many provisions for health and wellbeing. According to a Market Watch article, almost 54% of employees that receive paid holiday didn’t take it all. Due to social norms and toxic workplaces, employees are less likely to ask for time off. Moreover, paid time off is not mandated in the United States making it harder for workers from low-income families to take time off.
Today, employees are realizing the toxic traits of their employers and quitting like never before. With mental health conditions such as burnout, depression, and anxiety exacerbated by the pandemic, employees are choosing to change workplaces or leave the job market permanently. Employees are in search of better jobs, both in terms of work environments and pay rates.
Frequently dubbed “The Great Resignation” by news channels and economists globally, employers, particularly in the United States, are seeing a trend where employees are quitting their jobs in search of a “dream job” and better working conditions overall.
According to the Labor Department, in the month of April 2021 alone, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in search of employers that pay more money, provide more flexibility, and make them feel healthier and happier overall. Another 3.9 million Americans are said to have quit their jobs in June.
Below, we provide you with six helpful tips to retain your top employees in a post-COVID-19 world.
- Create a healthy and supportive workplace through one-on-one meetings and weekly/monthly check-ins with employees
Workplace stress has been on the rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Creating a healthy and supportive workplace that makes employee wellbeing the top priority, through one-on-one meetings and frequent check-ins, makes employees feel safe and supported at work. Employees are also more likely to feel like they are being cared for, which would inspire them to put in their best work and enhance overall productivity.
- Allow employees a flexible schedule in terms of working times and remote workspaces
Life gets in the way often - even for the most productive employees. Providing employees with a flexible schedule in terms of when they start and finish work can reduce the workload on staff with caretaking responsibilities. Ideally, managers would lead by example and encourage employees to be flexible with their work times. Employers may also consider switching to a hybrid working model - where employees can choose whether to work from home or from the office.
- Create explicit work-life boundaries
Employers should discourage managers from sending messages and emails outside of work hours, as this may make employees feel pressured to stay connected outside of the office. Similarly, managers should be discouraged from emailing members of their team when on holiday. Taking this a step further, employers may consider including mandated paid leave into their company policies. This directly boosts productivity and wellness at work.
- Provide employees with customizable benefits so they can choose what they require.
Employees may each require different benefits to effectively deliver a high quality of work. This could include smoking cessation advice, vision and dental plans, healthcare insurance plans, child support, paid leave, and more. Provide employees with the option to choose what benefits they can have access to. Employees are more likely to consider job offers if the companies have a robust wellness program and benefits package in place.
- Communicate openly with employees so they know they are welcome to share their thoughts too.
Encourage managers to hold weekly or monthly meetings with your employees where they could bring up issues they have been facing within the office. During these meetings, ensure your employees feel heard and that the issues they bring up are addressed publicly or privately, based on the approach each situation needs. You could also make these meetings more informal, maybe have snacks and soft drinks around so your employees feel more at ease.
- Consider a pay raise or promotion
An often overused, but mainly effective way to get employees to stay, is to provide them with a pay raise or a promotion. Most employees leave their current employers for better pay or a promotion, although some leave for other reasons too. If you know that an employee is looking to find another job, or is quitting to join another company, consider matching the offer they receive from the other company. If the employee is not leaving because of a pay issue, find out the reason they are leaving and see if you can create change for future employees.
There are a number of ways in which you can effectively retain top employees in a post-COVID world. Applying the above tips, you will most likely be able to ensure your employees remain with you longer. Overall, these tips will also increase employee engagement, boost productivity and retention rates, improve health and wellbeing, and level up your workplace in terms of community, collaboration, and employee happiness.
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