Since remote working arrangements kicked in widely around the world in response to Covid-19, employees and employers alike have been ruminating about what a post-Covid workplace would look like.
Some are planning to return to work while incorporating social distancing and other safety measures. Others are heading towards a hybrid model with some teams continuing to work remotely and others coming into the office. Yet some companies such as Twitter are allowing their employees to work from home indefinitely even after coronavirus dangers subside.
Whatever the case, most experts agree that the pandemic’s impact calls for a realignment of talent management strategies.
HR leaders tell us that regular, transparent and empathetic communication is a priority for them. This ensures that employees feel supported and secure during this particularly turbulent period. Many are also looking at how to engage remote workers to ensure healthy morale and productivity.
However, this is but one of many actions that companies need to take as part of a truly cohesive talent management strategy.
According to Mercer’s 2020 Global Talent Trends study, job security is a top reason workers join and stay with a company.
While Covid-19 may have dampened expectations of job security, the sentiment in itself may not disappear.
To retain and continue to attract high-performing talent, companies need to exhibit a commitment to providing security through stability and growth opportunities.
With this in mind, here are a few steps we recommend you take as you realign your talent strategy.
Recalibrate Benefits (Beyond Money)
In a downturn, companies may have to reduce these.
However, employees should be able to view these through a crisis-era lens.
In the current context, while accepting pay freezes or cuts, employees are watching to see what steps you’ll be taking to ensure their physical and mental well-being. In this spirit, more companies are looking into beefing up employee medical coverage plans and wellness plans.
Others are considering a “Work from Home allowance” to help defray the higher costs of utilities and equipment incurred by their remote employees.
Invest in Reskilling, Upskilling and Continual Learning
While professionals are being urged to take charge of their learning by augmenting their existing skills and picking up new ones, employers have to be just as involved in the process.
Showing employees that you are actively investing in helping acquire the competencies needed for the ‘new normal’ is key to retaining talent.
Some organisations may see this as a cost that they’d rather not deal with at this time.
However, thinking about what you’ll need to rebound and grow post-Covid might help change your perspective on this issue. Investing in your employees will improve your chances of emerging stronger.
Tailor Your Approach
Knowing your employees is as important as ever. Not every employee is the same and tailoring your approach accordingly remains vital.
For instance, many experts have been recommending “over-communicating” during this period.
However, we recommend a bespoke approach instead.
Employee A might perceive frequent check-ins during the day as a sign that you care. On the other hand, Employee B might see it as a reflection of a lack of trust.
Review and Adjust
How you respond to the crisis could have an enduring impact on your employees and their level of commitment. While you may not get things right every single time, showing that you’re making an effort goes a long way to inspire confidence and commitment.
Frequently reviewing and adjusting your approaches based on feedback is an effective way of doing this.
Businesses that prioritise people tend to thrive as an emphasis on a shared future increases productivity and commitment. It might be tempting to focus on short-term gains, but Covid-19 has shown us that taking a business-as-usual approach will not work in an uncertain world.