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10 Employee Retention Strategies in the Modern Workplace

The demand for good talent is growing, which means it’s all the more important to retain your star performers. Here’s how.

People Ops

"I don't think this job aligns with my purpose anymore."

In a long list of the aftereffects of the pandemic, the change in people's approach toward their careers has been a prominent one. Many workers are reevaluating their priorities and trying to find the right balance between work and home. So, it's easy for employers to lose out on their best performers right now if they face low job satisfaction, an effect of the Great Resignation.

In essence, the Great Resignation is a wave of employees leaving their jobs, largely brought on by COVID-19. From the United States to Japan, the internet is flooded with research showing staggering numbers of people moving out of their current jobs to find something better. Some are even starting their own dream ventures, gaining the courage they initially lacked. Burnout, a growing sense of purpose, and having been through the worst during the COVID-19 pandemicthese have been some of the major reasons that changed people's mindsets toward balancing work and life.

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Economies are recovering. Organizations are no longer laying off employees, but employees are taking more ownership over the trajectory of their careers and choosing to find new jobs.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution for a problem that encompasses every possible kind of human behavior and personality type. Every employee will prioritize things differently and possess a different set of values. So, what can you do to make sure your best talent doesn't let go of you?

Here's a list of 10 simple and mindful employee retention strategies to ensure work satisfaction among your people. 


1. Make Zoom fun

Regardless of your current work statuswhether you’re working from home, working on-site, or a blend of the twoZoom meetings are an essential component of the new normal. The frequency of these meetings might change, but they have taught us how to operate beyond the conventional. But constantly staring at screens has taken a toll on employees’ health, leading to headaches and even affecting some people’s eyesight. We have some suggestions for how to make the most of time spent on Zoom:

  • Use the platform for employee engagement, relaxation, and interaction rather than just an interface for work and meetings. 
  • Organize a blend of old and new normal. Arrange an activity on Zoom that interests your team and lets them enjoy some downtime at work.
  • Make sessions interactive rather than one-sided instructions. Include some buffer time for non-work discussions and catching up.


2. Invest in upskilling and reskilling your people

With so much more free time, employees seek to upskill themselves to sustain and grow in their professional lives. A great way to engage your employees is to give them opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Per McKinsey's research, lifelong learning leads to happiness. Highly engaged employees, when given the skills to grow in their career paths, are more energized by new work opportunities and more satisfied with their employers. This is an excellent strategy for employee engagement and retention.

  • Instead of planning a learning and development module based on their current jobs, help your employees gain expertise and experience in emerging fields.
  • When a person is unable to perform well in a particular field, look out for alternate positions in your company they could be a good fit for and train them for it. 
  • Some skills will be must-haves in the near future. Make sure you give your employees time to acquire these skills through organized sessions.


3. Communicate and connect

Lack of communication from management is a common complaint at workplaces identified both pre- and post-COVID. Another pertinent issue in the work-from-home model is the lack of bonding possible within the restriction of Zoom screens. It's essential to make sure your team is aligned, and poor communication may interrupt that.

  • Establish a channel for your employees to have a transparent relationship with you and the rest of management. 
  • Plan monthly outings or a virtual off-site for fun activities and improving engagement.
  • Think of your employees’ families too! Schedule a family activity and witness a massive shift in how your employees see you.


4. Plan your working model wisely

Your company has an existing work structure, whether it’s a five-day or a six-day model. What's trending these days as an experiment (which is running successfully) is a four-day working model. Research shows that 20% of the workforce could work as effectively as they did in the office with three to five remote work days a week.

  • Make the fifth or sixth workday a work-from-home day, if possible.
  • Adopt a hybrid remote work model, especially for highly educated employees whose work is not very operational. However, this may create an impression of inequality among lower wage employees who need to come to the office to work efficiently. So, be sure to find the right balance.


5. Ask for feedback

Anonymous feedback does wonders for an organization. Some ways you can gather this feedback include:

  • Hold periodic meetings to understand how your employees feel and where you need to make changes. Let them feel seen and heard, then act on their comments. 
  • Welcome employee feedback and implement the changes that will help reduce frustration. Usually, what happens on the ground level never makes it up to the management level.
  • Identify the themes of pain points and find solutions that help improve conditions across these categories.

Ask your team the right questions with Polly


6. Pay your employees well

It's a trying time for many businesses. Complex markets, hard-to-manage operations, and the pressure to ensure that the company is moving in the right direction must all be juggled among the instability of the ongoing pandemic. 

When there is a growing demand for qualified people and increasing competition, the balance of power shifts from the employer to the employee, so if employers want to attract and retain the best and the brightest minds, they must offer an attractive value proposition to prospective employees.

  • Recognize that employees also pay the price in terms of hours, stress, and health hazards. Hence, their pay must compensate for the value they are offering.
  • Understand that paying your employees well not only makes them happier and feel more valued, but it also makes their switching costs higher.


7. Make employee health a priority

It's great if you offer health benefits and insurance to your employees, but that's not enough anymore. People are scared about their well-being and health, especially due to COVID, and the concern is justified. But when people know that their company cares for them, there will be low employee turnover.

  • Collaborate with a health agency or institute for free, regular checkups along with mental health seminars on stress-free life and ways to deal with pressure. 
  • Host these sessions online and invite employees' families as well.
  • Provide the physical tools needed to work from home, such as external monitors and ergonomic chairs, or compensate employees for purchasing them.

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8. Make use of emerging technology to enhance your employees' abilities

“Digital transformation” is the new buzzword. Make use of up-and-coming technology toolkits that enable your employees to work effectively and efficiently, both on-site and away from the office. 

  • Try tools such as Cisco's TelePresence system—a videoconferencing technology that makes two physically separate rooms resemble a single space—which can ensure productivity and virtual collaboration during remote working.
  • Implement apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams for project management, collaboration, and communication. Adding Polly can help detect the nuances of your employees’ behavior and mood on these platforms. 


9. Reward and recognize your employees

An employee-of-the-week award is not going to cut it anymore. You must reward and recognize your employees every time they go out of their way to do their jobs better. 

  • Identify uncommon and overlooked traits like "the team glue" or "the early riser." Positively reinforce these hidden traits in front of the entire organization. This will help people feel seen and appreciated for the behaviors they thought nobody noticed. 
  • Make a rewards program that operates on people nominating their teammates. This can help the team grow stronger, and individuals might feel more accountable for their behavior. 
  • Appreciate your top performers with as much importance as you encourage the average performers.


10. Create a culture of trust

According to Harvard Business Publishing, workers at high-trust companies experience 74% less stress, over 100% higher energy, 50% greater productivity, and 13% fewer sick days as compared to workers at low-trust companies.

  • Don’t question what your employees tell you. If you distrust your team, you may end up micromanaging, looking over their shoulders, and interrupting workflow. When your employees say they are not feeling well, trust them and help them get their work covered.
  • Create an atmosphere of positive, productive collaboration among teammates. This can help prevent toxic behaviors among employees, such as throwing each other under the bus or taking credit for others’ work.

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So, how are you doing on employee morale?

These suggestions are merely the beginning of a mutual, healthy relationship with your team. Let us know @polly_ai which of these techniques worked the best for you. And in case we missed something, feel free to let us know and join in the conversation. Remember: happy employees, happy you!


Try Polly for free to instantly improve your employee morale.

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