According to Achievers Workforce Institute’s annual Engagement and Retention Report, a stunning 52% of workers plan to leave their job in 2021! In some ways, that might not be entirely surprising since the Covid-19 pandemic forced all of us to rethink our lives and how we do business. Yet this news can be devastating for employers, as it takes both time and money to recruit, onboard, and train new hires. In most cases, it’s in your best interest to do what you reasonably can to retain your existing employees instead. Here are a few strategies that can help you keep more of your workforce.

Seek and Act on Feedback

If you have an open line of communication, your employees are likely willing and even eager to tell you what they need and want. Start sending out surveys now and also open channels for unsolicited feedback. Find out how you can improve upon key areas like diversity & inclusion, social justice, company culture, safe reopening, and the overall employee experience.

But asking for opinions isn’t enough in a vacuum. You also have to be willing to make changes based on what you learn. It’s true that not every employee suggestion is feasible, but all should be given fair consideration. Synthesize the data, act on the key points that are frequently raised, and above all, be transparent. Let your employees know what you are changing, why you are changing it, and how they can get involved.

Improve Recognition

Employee recognition is an important strategy to boost company culture. Pandemic precautions over the past year have left many workers feeling disengaged from their employer. Go out of your way to create recognition programs that make your employees feel valued. You might choose an employee of the month, ask workers to recognize each other for things that happen throughout the week, or give out small notes of appreciation as you walk the floor. Consider using small rewards, such as a gift card or an extra break, to show your thanks.

Pay Attention to Work-Life Balance

During the pandemic, many employers were worried about simply staying afloat, and it was only natural to focus mainly on ways to keep up productivity under the new guidelines. But after more than a year, employees are exhausted. Consider letting go of any remaining results-oriented management style in favor of one that prioritizes your team members’ needs. Help them find ways to get back into balance and model healthy behaviors by not sending work messages at night or on days off.

The year 2020 was tough on everyone. In 2021, employers will need to take active steps to keep their employees engaged, balanced, and on the right track.

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