The COVID-19 pandemic has affected industries across the board when it comes to their bottom lines and managing employees. While the former is likely a top priority, an updated business strategy without enough engaged and motivated employees to carry it out seems pretty pointless.
In particular, business and organisation leaders need to ensure that employees’ needs are met and determine how to reduce turnover. One report by the Society for Human Resource Management says that more than half of employees across North America are planning to look for a new job in 2021.
Recruiting and retaining employees are two halves of the same coin – both will affect your organisation’s turnover rates and overall productivity. Now that we’re entering a post-pandemic era, it’s worth it to rethink your own strategies to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to engage your team members effectively.
Before diving into specific tips, let’s walk through some of the current common reasons for turnover.
Taking the effort to optimise your work culture and compensation strategies to meet potential and current employees’ needs is critical.
Common reasons for post-pandemic employee turnover
During the pandemic, quit rates were the lowest they’ve been in nine years, but only because many employees were not confident in leaving their current role during a time of instability. Now that the pandemic has calmed down, many predict that voluntary churn will increase significantly.
Why might this be the case? According to the Achievers Workforce Institute, here are some of the most common reasons for post-pandemic employee turnover:
- They want better compensation and benefits (35%)
- They seek better work/life balance (25%)
- They want a deeper connection to their company’s goals (46%)
- They want a more active company culture (42%)
Many of these reasons were caused or exacerbated by the pandemic, economic troubles, remote work, social injustices, and other events from the past year. For instance, remote work, while adding flexibility to jobs, actually caused many employees to disengage from their role and become overstressed due to isolation and a lack of in-person interactions.
Taking the effort to optimise your work culture and compensation strategies to meet potential and current employees’ needs is critical. This will not only attract qualified candidates if you are looking to expand your team, but also retain those who are currently there.
Five employee recruitment and retention tips to keep in mind
Now that you have a little more context on why employees may want to leave your organisation, it’s time to discuss the steps that you can take to counteract this:
- Keep your top performers engaged. While your top performers may be producing phenomenal results, that doesn’t mean they’re insusceptible to burnout. If you want team members to stay engaged and excited to continue working with you, offer career growth opportunities to show them how they can progress within and past their role. Training, certifications, and promotion opportunities are some ideas.
- Recognise good employee work. The Achievers report found that 74% of employees want more recognition for their work. During a time when some of your employees may still be working from home, it can be hard to not only come up with ways to show genuine gratitude through a screen, but also keep track of every time good work is done. Try showing gratitude through email announcements, during team meetings, or even with attractive incentives.
- Listen to employees and consider their needs. During the pandemic, leaders had to do a lot of talking at their employees – updates on the work from home policy, new initiatives to increase efficiency, and more. It’s important to pause and listen to your team members as well. You might send out a company survey or set up one-on-ones to gain more insight into any specific needs or concerns your employees have.
- Conduct external exit interviews to better understand turnover risk. It’s not easy to determine turnover causes, especially if it’s the manager conducting the exit interview. If someone does decide to leave, consider asking a third party to conduct the exit interview so you get a truly authentic response on why they’re leaving.
- Use performance management software. The pandemic might have been limiting in some ways, but it did push more leaders to start digitising their processes. Employers of all sizes can benefit heavily from a solution like performance management software. This tool can keep track of both your remote and in-person employee engagement, streamline performance reviews, track areas for growth and promotion opportunities, as well as assist with exit interviews and analysis. And, all that important data will live in one accessible, centralised location.
The best way to both recruit and retain your employees is to focus on your engagement, management, and compensation strategies. This not only incentivises your passionate workers to keep working, but also builds a positive reputation for your organisation and brand, ultimately attracting the best prospects to your job listings.
About the author
Jennifer C. Loftus is a Founding Partner of and National Director for Astron Solutions.