Recently there has been a lot of media commentary about the changing face of our workforce.
A shift in employee attitudes towards work and career has largely been triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are taking time to reflect on their priorities and values, creating a desire to live a more fulfilling and flexible life.
Not surprisingly, retaining staff will be a key priority for employers in 2022. Keeping your team engaged and connected to your purpose will be crucial.
Business owners and employers need to drive focus on this priority and have a plan. So what needs to be in play to keep staff engagement and stability within your workforce?
Here are some actionable tactics to consider implementing in your business.
Show genuine care
A good leader shows care for the well-being of staff. As we live through a global pandemic, never has this been more important. It’s simply the right thing to do.
Recently I read about an employee whose family member had tested positive for COVID-19. Leadership quickly jumped into “case management mode” and notified all of her co-workers. However not one of that worker’s managers or unit leaders took the time to reach out to her and check how she was feeling and coping. How would this have made her feel?
A good leader would have checked in and genuinely cared for this team member and offered whatever support was needed.
The reality is “life happens” so business processes need to be flexible. But what exactly does it mean to be flexible?
Where possible and appropriate, businesses should allow employees to:
- work from home or in remote locations
- work flexible hours
- have time off work to deal with issues and important events as and when they arise.
Support your team
The past 2 years have been incredibly stressful, not just for business owners but for people in general. It’s important that team members have access to networks and structures that can support them through periods of high stress. This may include giving them access to:
- professional or skill development opportunities
- mentors or coaches
- employee assistance programs
As a leader, your team will look to you to make clear decisions about business operations and structure to guide them through uncertain times.
While it’s important they have a voice and the opportunity to provide feedback, ultimately your team wants clear action and behaviours to provide structure for them to work within comfortably.
Culture culture culture
Why does a team member stay with you and why would a new team member want to join? Team members want to enjoy what they do and have a sense of belonging. Ask yourself, what does your business stand for? This extends beyond Friday night drinks, team lunches and birthday cakes.
While these things are important for providing a sense of fun and enjoyment, your culture runs much, much deeper. As a leader you need to be able to clearly articulate and demonstrate what your culture is and the behaviours you expect.
Measure team morale
Employee surveys give valuable insights into the sentiment of your team, what’s motivating them and what’s holding them back.
Survey your team at least once a year to seek feedback and gain a pulse check. Review your employee survey data and look for indicators where you may have a problem in the future.
Questions that are strong indictors of team morale are their willingness to recommend your business to a friend as well as their likeliness to still be at the company in the next 12 months.
Getting recruitment right
Attracting the right talent is crucial. New recruits not only need to have the right skills and experience but need to be the right fit for your culture.
How can you easily and innovatively communicate your culture to prospective recruits? Here are some ideas:
- Use video content to show your culture and personality
- Share team member testimonials
- Involve your team in recruitment of new starters– they are you greatest advocates
- Make sure recruitment agencies know and understand what you stand for as a business and will act as advocates for you
Trust your team
Finally, in my experience 99.9% of team members want to do the right thing. Use this a benchmark to manage your team and outcomes and always have this front and centre in your decision making.
We can help
For more information or advice get in touch with our friendly team today.