Since the pandemic there can be no hiding away from the fact that companies need to change the way in which they engage with their employees, engagement has seen a big dip, but what is it that employees need now in order to stop them leaving?
Here are 5 things that employees say cause them to re-think their place of work.
- Lack of transparency
- Trust in leadership
- Work-life balance
- Wellbeing support
- Career path visibility
Lack of transparency
According to a study by Quantum workplace, since January 2021 8% less employees stated that they felt they were being clearly communicated to about changes within the workplace. This shift suggests that since the pandemic there has now become a mis-alignment between senior management and employees within organisations. This lack of transparency, leads to employees becoming less engaged with what the organisation is doing and ultimately less connected to the importance of what it is they are doing and why.
A company that invests in the time to communicate the direction will often see a greater buy-in from its employees, and ultimately see a more productive workforce that sees things through to the end.
Trust in leadership
Pre-pandemic around 90% of employees trusted their leaders, but skip to today and that has since dropped to around 84% and falling!
Trust in leadership is hugely important for employees, just like lack of transparency, this can cause employees to feel dis-enagaged or a lack of respect for leadership and ultimately lose belief in the importance of what the organisation is looking to achieve, and quite simply this is a huge driving force in why employees leave.
To circumvent this, try to design processes and structures that develop trust and communication across your organisation, keep highlighting all the great milestones both individuals and the wider organisations reach.
One positive the pandemic has shown us, is that work-life balance and flexibility is not just desirable but it also works well when done right. We have seen some organisations take this to the extreme and almost completely close off their offices and elect for a fully remote workforce, whilst others have just opted for the odd couple days, and more recently we have seen the UK and other countries successfully trial a 4-day work week.
These flexible working patterns may not suit everybody, and it is still very much in its infancy in terms of anybody getting the right balance, but what it has shown is that flexibility and moving away from a presenteeism culture to a more production focused one is something that does work and is highly desirable to top talent.
The key to flexibility is finding the right balance for your organisation between employee freedoms and business success.
Top talent is highly attracted to companies that actually care about their needs and not just the bottom line, in exchange for this support they tend to go over and above to support their company in obtaining their goals.
Providing adequate employee wellbeing support comes in multiple varieties, but the best way to start is to start at the top and lead by example, and this doesn’t mean taking expensive holidays every other month or playing golf on extended lunch breaks. Instead , look at ways you can create certain processes that tell employees it’s ok to take a break, examples of this could be:
- Setting a period of screen downtime - let them know in everyone's diary there should be a 15 or 20 min period perhaps once or twice a day where they should look to step away from the screens or phones and just take a moment for themselves.
- Have flexible office hours - some people like working early and finishing early, others prefer a slow morning and working late, see if you can accommodate this.
- Help them eat healthier - It could be as small as having a daily fruit basket, through to providing a weekly team breakfast or lunch, healthy body, healthy mind and happier employees.
- Build social connections - We spend probably 75% of our weekly lives at work, so making sure we all feel part of a team and wake up looking forward to seeing those we work with is vitally important. Try hosting a weekly team gathering or quarterly team events - It’s not about how much you spend on the vent, but the fact you give them opportunities to interact outside of work.
Career path visibility
Opportunity for growth is one of the biggest attractions for employees, especially the newer generation and the lack of a clear path or understanding on how they are able to grow is probably the fastest way to lose great talent.
Some of the ways you can do this could be:
- Have a dedicated careers page that shows the progressional pathway and how they can achieve each milestone
- Leverage regular one-on-one opportunities in order to help individuals better understand their place in the organisation & what they need to do to move up the ladder
- Invest in opportunities & resources for employees to grow or gain additional skills