Staff retention is raising its head more and more with each passing week, as reported by McKinsey, article on Attrition/ Attraction. It's also often the best employees that are thinking about a career change. While the pool of talent to recruit from is richer, the equation is always a negative one.
Darwin spoke of the ‘survival of the fittest.' He is often quoted as saying that the quickest to adapt will succeed – very appropriate to where businesses find themselves now.
The quickest to adapt have a competitive advantage
We need to understand why so many people are making moves. Are they finding themselves thinking negatively about their employment? Do they think the grass might be greener elsewhere? Are other organisations managing this new world of work better?
From what we are seeing, here are some actions you can take to circumvent the unspoken, probably inexplicable feelings many employees are having:
Communicate – then communicate again. Make it a dynamic 2-way process, and really listen to what people are experiencing. Feed back what you are hearing, tell your staff what can be addressed and what cannot – and why. To break any perceived heuristic about communication, ask an independent contractor to help.
Be deliberate and be brave – prototype new ways of working, and be prepared to keep trying. It’s common for staff to comment that it seems their organisation is floating through this period of flux, and they can’t see a plan. Maybe there isn’t one, but if they see you trying, that can go a long way!
Pay attention to meeting dynamics, where some or all staff are participating remotely. All the clues are there. We work with teams in ‘live’ environments, and it is obvious quickly who is invested and who is not really showing up. That isn’t necessarily to denigrate staff who are finding it tough – it’s the cue for you to ask them how they are and can anything be done to assist.
We hope these observations and suggestions are helpful – let us know what you are seeing and feeling. Survive & thrive is the name of the game, and we need our people pulling together to achieve it. We have to adapt to the new world of work we find ourselves in regardless of our starting point.
Next time, we’ll discuss innovation and ideation in remote and blended environments.
By Peter McDermott