Examining the imperatives of talent retention in the post-pandemic phase
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the manner in which global populations live and work. A large number of companies around the world and in India have implemented the hybrid work from home model, incorporating a mix of work from home and onsite work for employees. Retaining top talent and keeping the team motivated in a virtual workplace is proving to be a crucial challenge for HR managers in these tumultuous times. With a view to tide over this crisis, HR departments of companies are restructuring their talent management policies to build organizational resilience and unlock workforce value.
Companies need to seriously determine what long-term value propositions they can offer to their employees in a fast-changing world where conventional workplace practices are becoming obsolete. Companies can drive employee engagement and productivity by integrating dynamic working in their corporate cultures. A dynamic work environment recognizes the fact that it is not necessary to make employees work within the rigidities of a typical 9-to-6 format. It enables the flexibility and freedom for employees to manage their work schedules and complete their tasks as per their convenience.
Rather than focusing on how many hours of work are put in by the employee, dynamic working places emphasis on pre-defined deliverables and the consistency in quality of work. The principle of dynamic working ensures that employees take ownership of their job, are result-oriented and solutions-focused in their work approach and align their individual goals with the vision and objectives of the organization. The concept of dynamic working leads to enhanced experience for employees through improved work-life balance. It can prove pivotal for retaining high-performance talent by making employees long-term participants and stakeholders in the organization’s growth journey.
The pandemic adversely impacted the physical and mental health of global workforces. Ensuring employee engagement with a positive mindset has become a top priority for company management. Businesses are realizing the benefits of investing in employee health, attitude and wellness programs. Such programs help in improving workforce efficiency, reducing absenteeism and creating awareness even while making themselves aligned with the long-term objectives of the organisation.
A healthy and fit employee is a productive employee having the capacity to deal with workplace challenges and the resilience to cope with unforeseen adversities. By focusing on the physical and mental well-being of employees, an organization lays the groundwork for a caring culture that values the importance and contribution of every individual team member. Healthcare benefits, wellness initiatives and cultural integration with team can emerge as key differentiators in not only retaining top hardworking employees but also drawing external talent to the organization.
A large number of companies conduct the exit interviews of employees when they are leaving. The purpose of such interviews is to understand the reasons behind the leaving of an employee, understand employee perception about the work culture and get crucial feedback to create future recruitment strategies. The flipside of exit interviews is by the time the company gains insights into employee motivations to leave, the employee has already left. The cost of an employee leaving can be substantially high for a company and adversely affect its productivity and profit margins. A company’s employee churn can be significantly reduced if companies focus on conducting ‘stay interviews’ instead of exit interviews. A stay interview can be described as a healthy dialogue or conversation between employees and management where employees can talk openly about company issues or problems affecting them. During such dialogues, employees can be encouraged to provide suggestions on implementing policies and practices to make the workplace culture more participative and inclusive. Stay interviews are a unique tool to re-engage with existing employees. It demonstrates the fact that company management are involved and concerned with the growth and development of employees. Proactive communication processes like stay interviews can be instrumental in retaining organizational talent and boosting its work competencies.
Employee-centric companies place an onus on empowering their employees to attain their optimum potential and ensure that good talent stays to achieve company goals and objectives. It makes sense to remember that talent is any company’s greatest asset. Though employee turnover in small numbers is inevitable and at times desirable, the key talent can be retained, nurtured and trained to take the organization to the next level of growth and expansion while making sure that they become the flag bearers of the company’s culture and ethos.