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5 Ways to Help Attract and Retain Employees

If we had to use only one word to sum up the collective feelings of the last two years, it would be fatigue.

COVID fatigue has quickly melded into other aspects of our lives. With the strife and change that these long months have brought us, it’s easy and understandable to fall into thought patterns that cause us to question the paths we’re on. Our patience wears thin for situations that would have only been minor annoyances before 2020.

Employees from retail to the corporate sphere have had to take serious stock of their professional and personal lives within these two years, and many have gone through major upheavals within their careers, even switching industries altogether.

Let’s break down the implications of this unique fatigue, and how you can attract and retain both new and existing employees in a way that benefits all parties.

The Reverberation of the Great Resignation

Before the pandemic, most employees were early to rise and late to bed.

Days were filled with early morning exercise, school carpools, work commutes, crowded coffee orders, working lunches, and long days at the office. The same applies to trade workers or retail employees. The hustle and bustle of life was just something we did.

A novelty like remote work was a long way off for many organizations, a luxury reserved for consultants and executives.

As 2020 wore on, many employees relegated to the home office flourished in their roles, performed better, and enjoyed the ease and freedom that working from home afforded them.

Frontline workers continued to fight on or faced mass layoffs.

This workforce transformation was underlined on social media sites like Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram. Thousands discussed their jobs, the effect that the last two years had on their mental health, and eventually, people simply started quitting.

Frontline workers no longer wished to put themselves and their families at risk for meager pay, no health benefits, and sometimes abusive clientele. Corporate workers that were (perhaps prematurely) called back into the office decided that they weren’t willing to go back to long commutes and in-person meetings.

Many on both sides of the fence decided to pursue more lucrative careers in different fields, or they put more focus on passion projects or side businesses.

The Great Resignation had begun, and the power of social media has only fanned the flame. The common denominators are as follows:

● Employees want to stay safe and keep their families safe.

● Employees want to feel valued, respected, and earn a comfortable living.

● Low-wage employees want to leverage experience into more advanced opportunities that offer higher earning potential.

● COVID fatigue has pushed those in the workforce to finally pursue projects and careers that make them feel comfortable and fulfilled.

Of course, not all employees resign due to a drive to seek a new frontier, although this is understandable. Many employees resign due to toxic work environments, being underpaid, poor team management, company culture issues, and incongruence with company values. The fatigue of the last few years just makes these age-old issues that much more intolerable.

How to Attract and Retain Employees

Now that we’ve discussed why employees have been more apt to jump ship, let’s discuss ways that discerning companies can attract suitable new hires and retain current employees.

Provide Robust Benefits and Healthcare

There’s one glaring issue when it comes to The Great Resignation: healthcare.

Leaving a position that offers healthcare coverage can be a significant issue for those looking to resign. Once they leave, there may be a coverage gap that leaves the employee and their dependents at risk.

Offering a strong health insurance and benefits plan, in conjunction with other motivating factors, may inspire your employee to stay on board, or it may be the deciding factor for a scrupulous candidate for a new role your team is looking to fill.

Contact Nesbit Agencies to discover competitive group insurance plans.

Implement a Strong Onboarding Procedure

A new employee is as much evaluating your team as you are evaluating them, especially in the current climate. They want to feel it’s a good fit for them and their lifestyle, so they will be on the lookout for any red flags that may cause them to resign before investing so much of their time into a new company.

One such red flag is a lukewarm, unorganized onboarding process. The first day for any new employee is bound to be nerve-wracking, and processes that seem normal to you will likely be foreign to them, even if they’re an expert in your industry. It’s important to have practical matters such as payroll and health benefits squared away as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays or mistakes.

A warm onboarding process with a carefully planned itinerary conducted by a member of HR or a member of the executive team can make all the difference to a new hire.

Encourage Employee Growth

It’s critical to prioritize investment in courses, training modules, and conferences. Training not only benefits you as the employer—as your team will consistently be acquiring new skills—but it can also motivate ambitious team members eager to grow within the company.

Communicate and Collaborate

Now more than ever, communication is essential for maintaining morale among employees, be they remote or in-office. When companies foster a warm environment that encourages team communication, everyone wins.

Regular team meetings (both virtual and in-office), frequent brainstorming sessions, a clear workflow procedure, and consistent one-on-ones with team members are crucial for communication and will absolutely motivate your current and future hires to include your organization in their future plans.

Encourage Remote Work Where Relevant

The Great Resignation has one more common pain point: lack of flexibility.

Many companies have done away with the office environment entirely. Some have moved to a hybrid approach, and some are sticking with it.

It’s important to consider how the current pandemic world will influence the post-pandemic world. It’s clear now that many jobs can be performed at home effectively while improving employee quality of life, and office work has been irrevocably changed. Employees know this, and they are less likely to settle for returning to work when the time comes for restrictions to finally fade.

What’s more, allowing employees to work from home fosters a sense of trust and respect that your team can get the job done whether it’s at home or in the office. This is a powerful way to retain employees.

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