The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way that organizations approach employee recruitment and retention. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than half of employees in North America plan to look for a new job in 2021.
The report stated that prior to the pandemic, approximately 3.5 million employees left their jobs monthly. In April 2020, this number dropped to 1.9 million. By December 2021, projected turnover is expected to climb to 3.3 million and this pattern is likely to continue once the pandemic ends.
While the nationwide unemployment rate has gradually decreased to 5.4 percent as of July 2021, according to the Statista Research Department, many businesses are still struggling to find and retain a post-pandemic workforce. Companies must find ways to retain employees after COVID to ensure that there is sufficient talent to meet demands.
1. Schedule Flexible Work Hours
The pandemic caused uncertainty in the lives of many families. From job cuts to school closures, employees must navigate an unpredictable path at both home and work. Offer flexible work hours to enable employees to accommodate unexpected changes. Consider offering longer shifts to allow for an additional day off each week or staggered shifts that let workers maintain a better work-life balance.
2. Recognize Hard Work
Employees are under a lot of pressure post-pandemic due to a lack of workforce and stricter policies. It is important for companies to recognize their employees’ hard work and motivate them to continue doing a great job. Employee recognition can take many forms, such as spotlighting certain employees in the monthly newsletter, sending emails to the entire team, encouraging peer-to-peer recognition, giving shoutouts during meetings, or giving out rewards like cash, gift cards, or company swag.
3. Provide Remote Work Options
Many people fear going back to work due to the possibility of catching the virus. Some employees are unable to return to work due to at-home obligations, such as caring for a child or family member.
Provide opportunities to work remotely if the nature of the job allows for this flexibility. Create a policy to set expectations for remote work and measure productivity over time to ensure that employees are keeping up with their work.
4. Offer Career Advancement Opportunities
There is a direct correlation between lack of career growth and poor employee engagement. Businesses that want to retain employees post-pandemic need to ensure that they are offering opportunities to employees that promote career development. This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as developing education and training programs that allow employees to expand their skill set and become more experienced.
5. Make Wellness a Priority
Employees want to know that their company cares about their health and well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant stress over the last year and many people have suffered from physical ailments and mental health conditions. A post-pandemic employee benefits package should include a variety of wellness benefits, including group health insurance, life insurance, gym memberships, nutrition counseling, and other workplace wellness programs.
6. Encourage Employee Feedback
Business leaders do not always understand what employees are thinking and feeling, especially in a post-pandemic workplace. Take the time to engage with employees to learn more about their concerns and preferences. There are many ways to collect feedback from a workforce, such as through observation of workers, employee surveys and polls, or by hosting meetings and allowing employees the chance to speak and share ideas.
7. Rethink Attendance Policies
It makes sense that companies want to have their employees present and working as much as possible, but this is not always possible, especially post-COVID. Workers want to know that they can take time off without fear of losing their job.
Consider temporarily relaxing attendance policies to support employees that may be tardy or absent for reasons beyond their control. Develop a paid time off donation policy that enables employees to voluntarily give their earned paid time off to other workers in need.
8. Create a Healthy Work Environment
Employees want to know that they are safe while performing their job duties. Create a safer work environment with stricter cleaning protocols and strategic safety policies. For example, a business may implement alternative work schedules for different teams or require employees to wear masks when they are not seated at their desks. Offer ample disinfecting equipment, such as sanitizers and wipes placed throughout the building.
Speak with an Employee Benefits Consulting Firm
The right employee benefits plan can go a long way towards helping businesses retain top talent in a post-pandemic world. New City Insurance offers a wide range of benefits consulting services that seek to keep employees motivated and determined. For more information or to speak with an experienced employee benefits consultant, request a consultation with New City Insurance.