Retention Strategies to Keep Top Talent Post-COVID

While hiring has ebbs and flows, the “Great Resignation” we are facing now just keeps continuing to make it extremely difficult for businesses to hire top talent. But there is hope! There is a way to minimize turnover and work on your retention strategy.

Looking to fill open positions is necessary for businesses, but working on retention strategies to keep that top talent that is already working for you really works to minimize lost time on the production floor, reduces staff turnover and stress on your current staff, and keeps your customer service at it’s best. 

Portrait confident male worker standing in cold drink factory

So how can you do work to fill these positions in a year that showed us that it was even more challenging with filling open positions quickly? 

Here are our top tips to work on your employee retention into 2022.

Build employee engagement.

This is something that is talked about a lot, but it’s even more important after the “Great Resignation”. Employee engagement is integral to keeping your top employees engaged and committed to their job and your business. 

There are a variety of ways to build and maintain your employee engagement. A great one is making sure you have the right people in management and that there is a cohesive management style across all departments. Prioritizing how employees are coached and making that consistent and fair across all departments gives employees a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what happens if they fall short. 

Two colleagues at a factory

Provide professional development and career plans.

People want to know where they can go next and you should want to show them that! If they can see a clear career path and growth within your company they are going to be more invested in their jobs. 

Promote professional growth and development in all of your employees, cross train in departments they are interested in, and give your employees time to learn additional skills to add to their resume and help you create a very valuable and skilled workforce within your organization. 

Mentoring and job shadowing is also a great way to encourage professional development and employee growth. Pair older assistants with newer ones to transfer knowledge and wisdom and create a strong skilled workforce. 

Portrait of a young worker at a large metalworking plant. The welder engineer works in a protective mask.

Be as flexible as possible. 

There are times when production needs come first, but showing your employees that you are flexible while COVID-19 still presents in people’s lives shows that your employees aren’t just a body, it shows that they are a valuable asset to your company. 

Balancing work-life as much as possible goes a long way in retention strategies post-COVID. Giving time off, honoring PTO, and letting employees shift their schedules to accommodate appointments goes a long way to keeping them happy!

African American woman happy worker engineering working smile labor in heavy industry factory with good welfare concept.

Beef up your incentives.

This can mean a lot of things, so here are a few suggestions! First, add great employee wellness programs or consider paying for the cost of a gym membership for your employees. They can work on ways to be healthier and more productive and you can foot the cost of the bill proving you are invested in their health.

If you offer little to no tuition reimbursement, consider even adding in some help to those who are seeking to further their education and obtain higher certifications and degrees. This again helps show employees that you value their time and are excited to see them pursue greater things.

You could even create a bonus system where an employee gets to choose their own bonus as a fun game or spin-the-wheel experience. Care packages, after-work social events, or fun things like ice cream trucks in the summer all help to keep your employees happy, engaged, and appreciated. 

Portrait of worker in overalls with crossed arms, industrial steel factory background.

Be transparent and up front.

Communication is key and transparency will help keep your employees working for you. But how? 

When it comes to communication in businesses, it’s often disjointed or disconnected and that causes both upper management and your employees to not be happy. When employees feel undervalued and not heard they tend to get upset and eventually could leave. 

When employees feel included in any decision making process and in-the-know of changes happening, they are more invested in the mission, vision, and goals of the company. When being transparent, there are a few key takeaways:

  1. Share information across all the levels of your organization. 
  2. Explain decisions whenever possible and whenever it makes the most sense. 
  3. Be upfront about the highs – and lows – of the business with your employees.
  4. Encourage feedback and allow employees to have a voice. 

Feedback, communication, and transparency are keys to making your employees feel heard and creating a thriving work environment for them to excel in. Start small and see success!

Industrial engineer programming machine at control panel. Cropped shot of woman in uniform working at plant. Manufacturing concept

Listen to your current employees. 

Keep your feedback loop open for everyone. Even if you have a hierarchy that someone should follow when providing feedback or voicing a concern, keeping the lines open (and telling your employees that) makes employees feel heard and valued. 

Conduct employee surveys often and use the information to make changes. It’s one thing to ask your employees what can be done to make their environment better and their jobs more engaging, but it’s another to actually follow through and make the changes that you can. Keeping a pulse on what might be annoying your staff helps reduce the number of preventable departures. And this is important, because a whopping 77% of employee departures are preventable! 

Let the experts help. 

We have been placing candidates in roles for over 18 years and understand the unique challenges that businesses face. We can add extra muscle to your hiring so you are getting quality candidates the first time and saving time and energy during the process. 

Contact us today to learn how we help businesses with our holistic approach to recruiting and hiring and how we can help you find top talent today.