What COVID Taught Us About Keeping Our Best Talent

Greeting one another with elbow bumps instead of handshakes. Meeting for coffee or drinks on the patio instead of curling up in your favorite corner booth. Matching your best dress shirt with a pair of comfy gym shorts on a sales call because you know your client won’t be able to see the bottom half of your body on Zoom. There is little doubt that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about the way we engage with each other, personally and professionally alike.

For many companies, one of these changes involves their ability to hire and train competent employees. As we’ve all seen in the news, businesses all over the country, from restaurants and hotels to tech giants and Wall Street Banks, are facing a massive talent shortage. And while there are several things business owners can do to ramp up their hiring and staffing efforts, one of the best ways to prevent yourself from placing a “Help Wanted” sign on your door is to retain the talent you already have on your payroll. The pandemic has certainly made this endeavor more challenging, but it has made it more urgent as well.

The best way to protect your organization from suffering through a resignation migration, is to learn these lessons from COVID, and adapt to the changing needs of your employees as they continue to weather the pandemic.

Staffing Lessons You Can Learn From The COVID-19 Pandemic

Remote Work Is Not The Enemy: Several recent studies have shown that working from home can actually be more productive than working from an office. So, while a certain subset of workers will always need to be physically present (retail clerks, essential workers, etc), the key is to provide your employees with as much flexibility as possible in terms of where they work, whether that means offering them the chance to work remotely full-time, or establishing some sort of hybrid arrangement, where your staff can split their hours and days between home and the office.

Schedule Flexibility Matters: In addition to offering your employees flexibility in terms of where they work, increasing their flexibility in terms of when they work is also crucial. According to a recent survey conducted by the research and advisory company Gartner, 43% of respondents said work hour flexibility is the main reason for any increase in their productivity during the pandemic, while 64% said they were more likely to consider a job that afforded them flexible work hours than one that did not. With technological advancements and the aforementioned rise in remote work, it’s important to remember that, on average, your employees will get more done if they are given greater control over their work schedule.

Employees Want More Training: After watching so many people lose their jobs during the pandemic (or potentially losing theirs themselves), a rising number of workers are experiencing career insecurity. The best way to mitigate this for your employees is to help them become more competent and marketable. Providing your workers with amplified training opportunities will not only make them a more productive and skilled part of your organization, but it will show them how devoted you are to their career trajectory and long term growth.

Benefits Have Never Been More Important: 98% of business leaders surveyed by the Harvard Business review plan to offer at least one new or expanded employee benefit moving forward. Whether it's more robust childcare or mental health support, it is important for every business to figure out which benefits are most prized by their employees, and prioritize them appropriately.

Work/Life Balance Isn’t Just A Buzzword: Work/Life balance is both real and possible. In the still uncertain months or even years ahead, most candidates will be looking for positions that present them the opportunity to spend more time with their families or discover and chase new passions. Your current employees will feel more empowered, and be less likely to leave, if they believe you are invested in them not just as a worker, but as a person.

Take these lessons to heart and your staff will be more motivated and happier than they’ve ever been before. Also, don’t forget to contact HRTailorMade if you have any questions concerning your business and its staffing needs.