The Great Resignation is real, and it shows few signs of letting up. Pandemic-induced stressors have caused a shift in employees’ priorities as they struggle with the challenges of remote and hybrid work. It’s a labor seller’s market out there as candidates shape their own destinies.
Recruiting great employees has always been a battle, but never more so than now. If you recruit an awesome one, what do you need to do to make them stay? You can’t just throw things at the wall to see what sticks.
The best employees aren’t attracted by your compensation and benefits package alone. They’re seeking employment that fulfills them and treats them well. If you want a great hire to stick around, here are a few things you should consider.
Make Payroll and Benefits a Smooth Operation
Nothing will send an employee out the door faster than an absent paycheck. Whether you’re administering domestic or global payroll services, the process needs to be smooth and seamless. According to Remote.com, compensation, taxes, benefits, and regulatory compliance must all be handled accurately and appropriately.
Just because some employees rank other priorities higher than their compensation package, it’s not something companies can afford to mess up. At the end of the day, that package is important to a worker’s feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. They may struggle with other things, but employees need to be confident your payroll process will work like a well-oiled machine.
At a time when nothing seems to be certain, compensation needs to be. Pay in every employee’s bank account every payday as promised? Check!
Talk With, Not At, Employees
Everyone knows that good communication is key to success in just about everything. The ability to retain a great hire is certainly no exception to the rule. But good communication entails much more than sending out information to ensure employees stay up to speed.
Talking at employees may serve to advise them of whatever you want them to know. To keep employees engaged, however, means you need to talk with them. Messaging should always be accompanied by a request for input and an easy way to provide it.
Engagement is what causes employees to stick around, so make sure your systems accommodate two-way, responsive communication. A hire who feels heard will invest more in your business. Plus, you never know what great ideas they may express if given the opportunity.
Make Sure They Get What They Need
We’re now more than two years into the pandemic workplace upheaval. Although companies have become more agile and responsive than they were before, they aren’t all pivoting well. Some employees are still struggling to acquire the tools necessary to be productive working remotely or in a hybrid arrangement.
If employees are working at home, they need the hardware, software, internet speed, and other tech necessary to do their job. For example, if new hires are frustrated by a sketchy Wi-Fi signal in their home offices, provide a remedy. Investing in an extender or even paying for service with higher speeds may keep them on board and on track.
Bear in mind that some employees will only be able to identify a problem, not a solution. Put your IT talent on the task of recommending solutions to managers and training employees to use them. Arm managers with the authority and budget to give teams not necessarily everything they want, but certainly everything they need.
Don’t Neglect Your Managers
A workplace in constant flux has likely challenged and frustrated your managers more than anyone else. They continue to bear the burden of keeping employees productive and happy when impediments to both come fast and furious. A company that fails to keep managers happy will never keep great hires delighted enough to stay.
Managers are conduits to senior leadership, so empower them to make decisions that don’t require making the entire trip to the top. And while you’re giving employees what they need, make sure you’re giving managers the same consideration. A manager’s contentedness (or lack thereof) will rub off on their team members, and great new hires are no exception.
Reward excellent managers with bonuses or extra paid time off. But don’t overlook the sheer value of simply telling them, clearly and often, that they’re doing a phenomenal job. Everyone needs a pat on the back from time to time.
Some employees are leaving their jobs not because they know for sure what they want, but because they aren’t sure. They just know they no longer find their jobs safe, fulfilling, healthy, or a combination of these. Being flexible with vacillating new hires might keep them from leaving.
As difficult as it was for some employees to begin working from home, many adjusted favorably just as workplaces began reopening. For some, the thought of a commute, incessant mask wearing, and putting on real clothes is distasteful. If a great hire is wary of a return to in-office work, be flexible enough to discuss other options.
Employees who are asked directly how they feel about coming back to the office will feel valued. If they know you’re willing to address their concerns and wishes, they may have no reason to leave. Frankly, at this point in the brave new workplace, inflexibility is a sure way to show your most promising newbies the exits.
Give Them Something to Believe In
According to a recent Gallup poll, employee engagement dropped even lower in 2023 than it did in 2023. In fact, a meaningful 16% of respondents report being actively disengaged, which means they were working to not work. It’s hard to believe that engagement could plummet below where it was while workers huddled in their homes.
Companies must provide great employees with clear and achievable expectations, growth opportunities, and assurance that their voices are being heard. Employees also need to feel like what they do positively impacts not just the company, but the planet. Give them that sense, and they will engage.
In a world where many people are just seeking a little stability, peace, and kindness, make sure your company is providing it. That may mean changing some major corporate strategies and priorities to emphasize environmental, social, and governance goals. These efforts won’t come without cost, but your changes could make for higher retention numbers.
Great hires make great companies, so long as companies can retain them. The ones that can deliver on their promises, listen, learn, and adapt may find those stellar employees sticking to them like glue.