The impact of the pandemic has landed us in new business environments; it’s no longer business as usual. Business owners and leadership team members must move employee retention to the top of our priority focus. During my research for this blog, I came across a couple of articles by Sabina Nawaz in The Harvard Business Review that addresses the issue exceedingly well while also offering some solutions I believe we should all implement.
The first, titled “In Times of Crisis, A Little Thanks Goes A Long Way,” suggests that managers who express gratitude for their employees can positively impact how their employees feel and work. Nawaz writes, “As managers, it’s essential to express gratitude, especially in times of uncertainty and social distancing…. Almost every employee needs to know that their dedication is noticed, and it matters. Further, gratitude is proven to show improvements in self-esteem, achieving career goals, decision making, productivity, and resilience.”
In another article, titled “What Stops People On Your Team From Leaving,” Nawaz suggests that we should rethink the standard exit interview strategy and instead hold “stay interviews” as a way to support continued employee success. She writes, “A standard approach is to conduct ‘exit interviews’ to understand why employees are resigning and devise a solution. But narrowing in on why people leave may extract a price: neglect of loyal and engaged employees who want to stay in the organization. Instead, managers should spend just as much time understanding why employees choose to remain in the company through ‘stay interviews.’ These discussions involve asking key questions to your loyal employees that tackle common retention issues. These questions include: What’s your frame of mind today? Who do you feel connected to at work? What barriers can I remove for you? What new thing do you want to learn that will excite you and help you grow at work?”
The essence of the retention challenge in our collective post-pandemic business environment, is expressing gratitude to your employees and to hold stay interviews. These two strategies can go a long way toward helping our employees feel supported, successful, and valued in their roles. We can be fairly sure that employees who feel this way are inclined to stay in their positions and with their current employers. And don’t you want to be the type of employer who employees love to work for?
What’s been your experience with employee retention in this post-pandemic environment? Please leave your comments below.