Tips for Retaining Top Talent in a Pandemic

These are trying times. Hanging on to your best, most talented employees in the middle of a pandemic and economic downturn can be a tricky feat. But employee retention is important, especially in a tight economy. The replacement and training of new employees can be costly. The following tips will help you to retain your company’s best talent.

  1. Be Flexible

This pandemic has changed a lot about how we live and work. Employers who are flexible are going to be able to retain their top talent better than those who aren’t. With the challenges of public transportation, virtual learning for kids, caring for elderly relatives, and/or quarantining to keep others safe; working the traditional 8-5 may not work for everyone. Consider offering flexible hours. This allows your top people to work when it fits into their schedule, freeing them up for all the other new things that have begun during the shutdown. Offer your employees the flexibility to work from anywhere, again, freeing them up for the other things on their plates.

  1. Give Them Space

Gone are the days of having everyone in cubicles in the big corporate office. It’s just not safe during this pandemic. No company wants their office to be a COVID hot spot. When you offer your employees the flexibility to work from anywhere, you are giving them choice and letting them know how much you trust they will do what needs to be done. If working from home is not a productive solution for one of your employees, think about finding a private office in a coworking space near their home. Coworking spaces in the suburbs offer the perfect solution for people who just can’t work from home at an affordable price. Rest assured that coworking spaces are taking the pandemic seriously and have numerous protocols in place to keep their members safe.

  1. Give Attention to Wellness

Even before the pandemic, we were experiencing a depression and mental health epidemic. COVID and the economic downturn have only intensified this. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Nearly 40 million adults, or 18.1% of the U.S. population, are affected every year (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2020). The number of people reporting anxiety and depression nationwide since the start of the pandemic hit an all-time high in September (Mental Health America, 2020). Depression is even a major cause of lost work productivity due to chronic absenteeism and even “presenteeism” (Rost, 2014). Presenteeism is when you go to work, but you don’t get a lot done because of mental illness. Create an environment that is free of mental health stigmas. Listen to your employees. Be open and transparent. Promote mental wellness. We are all human and are experiencing this pandemic differently.

  1. Use Technology

We have the technology to make working remotely safe and secure while enabling teamwork. Video calls and instant messaging keeps us connected while working apart. With web-based project management apps and cloud based file storage, staying connected and productive hasn’t been easier no matter where you are. Be sure you are on top of the latest technology and willing to adjust and adapt your company’s policies when the need arises. And throw in team building activities to your Zoom calls! We can have fun and feel connected even when we are in little Zoom boxes.