Keep Your People Happy in the New World of Work
The past year was a tumultuous time for companies and employees, alike. Internal shakeups, project pauses, even layoffs. Employees are trying to understand what the “new normal” means for their careers. Companies are exploring what staffing models look like in the future. Through all of this uncertainty, retaining your most valuable resources is essential.
While the pandemic is unprecedented, over the years, the Mavenlink team has weathered market crises and staffing challenges. Today’s challenges are distinct, but the underlying approach to the best retention strategies are the same: make sure your employees enjoy the work they do, feel valued and supported, and know you care about them as people as much as resources. The added benefit? Paying attention to the things that improve retention also positively impact internal costs, profit margins, and productivity, all of which contribute to your company’s long-term success.
1. Wow Them With Virtual Work Environment Support
The year 2020 was the year remote work exploded across the globe as companies sent workers home for their health during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the year went on, it became clear that virtual work may be more than just a short-term safety solution. While there will be more changes to public health guidelines and safety rules over the coming months, it’s likely that remote work will remain. However, many employees are likely not equipped for the long haul in virtual workplaces.
While in the end, it’s up to each employee to create their own at-home workspaces, companies can provide valuable support:
- Cover the basics – Make sure your team members have good WiFi, strong phone service (oh the frustrations of living in a cellular dead zone), and an ergonomic home office set up. And be clear about reimbursement policies.
- Provide good collaboration tools – In the past, remote work has fallen short because distance has made creating a shared culture challenging. Today’s technology tools can help with this. Ensuring effective collaboration capabilities are part of your professional services and resource management platform is important.
- Keep connected – The relationships we build with colleagues are vital to creating a shared culture and strengthening ties to your organization. Make sure you have regular points of connection and even some social activities like coffee breaks or team lunches to build those vital interactions we all miss.
2. Up-Level Training and Development
According to the Future of Jobs Survey, at least 54 percent of all employees will require significant retraining or re-skilling by 2022. This is due to the continual development of industry needs and the constant evolution of software required to effectively work in today’s world. Even the most highly skilled and experienced employees will need training to be the most effective team members possible for their companies.
With disruptions having been the name of the game in 2020, it’s time for organizations to recognize the importance of training for change. Training and development teams must stay on top of industry trends, identify current gaps, and strategize the next-level skills that their teams will need to remain effective in the new world of work. Training and development sends a powerful message to your staff about their importance to your organization and your belief in their value. When individuals feel confident that their employer is investing in them and that their career is on a healthy path, loyalty grows.
3. Finding the New Norms in Work-Life Balance
The surge in work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally shifted how team members begin and end their workdays. Employees no longer have the clean separations that keeping work at the office afforded. By necessity, work and home life have blended together more than ever. While this offers the schedule flexibility many people crave, it’s a complicated question of balancing expectations and maintaining boundaries that people need to stay effective in their jobs.
For employees who have felt the work changes they’ve experienced over the past year have been negative, this encroachment can become a reason to seek an organization that seems to value work-life balance more. Personal connection is the key to understanding where your employees are at on this issue. Anonymous HR surveys can help provide an overall understanding. And managers should be using one-on-ones to encourage employees to honestly express their concerns and ensure they have a clear understanding of each individual’s situation. Additional clarity on your company’s norms should be established and well communicated. From agreed-upon off-work hours and guidelines for online communication to ensuring work requests respect boundaries, the goal is to make sure your employees feel connected to their managers, the company, and one another. No one should feel overlooked.
Your People Are Your Power. Keep Them!
Retaining your best resources is at the heart of your continued business success. And human connection is key to making sure they feel appreciated, important, and connected. That’s where collaboration tools can help. Learn how you can strengthen your teams and the way you work together with our free ebook, “How to Win at Collaboration.”