Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we move past the pandemic, many experts are predicting a wave of voluntary employee departures and resignations that is leaving many employers worried. A look at what associations must consider doing now to retain employees.
Q: I keep reading that a lot of employees are considering quitting their jobs in the next few months. Some of this seems related to unknowns and concerns about the post-COVID workplace, but no matter the reason, I think we should be preparing for this. What advice can you give us for keeping our good people?
A: I hear you. Lots of effort goes into hiring, onboarding, and developing your staff, so you don’t want to lose them. Certainly, the global pandemic has changed the world of work in ways most of us didn’t anticipate. For example, many employees found that remote work appealed to them and don’t want to give it up.
If you already haven’t done so, evaluate whether you can inject some flexibility into your operations. People are looking for more work-life balance, so if you can offer a flexible schedule, you stand a better chance of retaining your staff.
This does not mean you have to go fully remote—just the ability to work from home part of the week, if the job allows for it, may allow you to retain some of your talented staff. One of the positive lessons learned during the pandemic is that people were far more productive at home than many managers thought possible.
After you’ve determined whether you can inject flexibility into your workplace, I suggest you look at each employee on your team. Does each one know how much you value them? How much feedback are you giving them on their performance? Are they being paid fairly and competitively?
People are looking for more work-life balance, so if you can offer a flexible schedule, you stand a better chance of retaining your staff.
You want to be sure that your employees—especially your superstars—know how much you value them. Consider re-recruiting them by using the same techniques you used when you hired them. Find out what is important to them and what is standing in the way of them doing their best work. Then, work to see how you can minimize the issues and roadblocks they’re facing.
Outside of offering flexibility and showing employees you value them, consider taking a look at how your association is scheduling meetings. Many organizations are designating “no-meeting days,” “Zoom-free Fridays,” or some nod to the fact that your staff needs time to get work done without the interruption of meetings.
Finally, listen to your staff. Ask people how they’re doing and listen carefully for unspoken requests that just might keep one of your superstars. We should always be listening to our team, but it is more critical than ever right now.