Employee Retention and COVID-19

November 16, 2020 • Chau Tran

Employee Retention and COVID-19

Many have experienced the upheaval of their daily lives due to COVID-19, but steps can be taken to limit the effect of the pandemic on employees.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, school, work, and life changed. Workforces are dealing with these items on a personal and professional level. An unexpected departure of one employee can create many challenges for an employer, including work productivity, employee morale, and filling the vacancy. Those challenges are multiplied when several employees depart at the same time. This is the reality for many employers in light of COVID-19.

Tips for engagement and retention

The following tips, recommended by Human Resources Today and LinkedIn, can help entities retain employees, not just through this year, but for each year thereafter. It’s important to keep employee retention as a priority and follow employee retention strategies consistently.

  • Set up mentorship programs for your workplace: Whether an employee is a new hire or an existing employee, everyone can use individualized support and guidance. This also provides a sharing environment for ideas from new hires and tried and true methods from veteran employees.
  • Increase one-on-one discussions: Personal attention from supervisors allows employees an opportunity to express their feelings and concerns and provides a setting for work project check-ins. One-on-one meetings can make a world of difference in keeping employees engaged and connected to the organization, as well as to each other.
  • Improve total employee compensation: Compensation is more than just salaries; consider increases to paid time off, bonuses, retirement, and health/dental benefits. Although money drives many decisions regarding employment, COVID-19 has put overall quality of life in focus for many people who will be drawn to more appealing compensation packages.
  • Add employee perks: Extras such as fitness membership discounts, free coffee and snacks, recognition programs, and care packages for remote employees can help employees feel appreciated and help boost their morale, therefore encouraging them to stick around.
  • Use technology to stay connected: The increase of employees working remotely has led to an increase in the use of technology. Employers should take caution not to allow technology to create a disconnection between team members. Instant messages are great, but a video conference or phone call can assist with longer conversations, as well as promoting a connection between employees and their supervisors.
  • Plan fun activities:  Events like virtual happy hours and online trivia games allow employees to connect on a personal level outside of work topics. This can lead to stronger bonds and a sense of fulfillment at work.

Flexibility is key

Employee retention is not an exact science, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it can become an even bigger challenge than in the past. Being flexible with employees’ needs can be a game changer. Leaders should communicate with their teams to find out what type of flexibility will help individuals be better and happier employees. Employees who are happy, productive, and connected to each other and their organization, tend to remain with their employers.

Chau Tran is a senior data analyst at TASB HR Services. Send Chau an email at Chau.Tran@tasb.org.

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Tagged: Hiring, Recruiting, Retention, Staffing