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Employee retention strategies in the face of COVID pandemic


Editorial Team
03/08/2020 2:17 PM

Employee
retention refers to the ability of an organization to retain its employees.
Each company and industry has a varying retention rate, reflecting the
percentage of workers who remained with the organization for a fixed time.
Many
consider employee retention strategies as relating to the efforts by which
employers attempt to retain the employees in their workforce.



Pay
does not always play as large a role in reducing staff turnover as is typically
believed. {Allen, D.G. (2008). Retaining Talent. Retrieved from}



A
distinction should be made between low-performing workers and top performers.
An attempts to retain employees should centre on valuable employees who
contribute to the company. Employee turnover is a symptom of deeper unresolved
problems that may include low employee morale, lack of a consistent career
direction, lack of appreciation, weak employee-manager relationships or several
other problems. A lack of work satisfaction and the organisation's
dedication may also lead an employee to withdraw and start searching for new
opportunities.



All
of these examples represent turnover, but they don’t all have the same organizational
implications. To distinguish their implications below is a figure which defines
types of turnover.



Turnover Classification Scheme by David G. Allen,
Ph.D., SPHR



You
need to participate in a constant evaluation of the nature and causes of
turnover, as well as establish the right combination of retention strategies to
handle retention most effectively. That calls for thinking
about retention before recruiting employees while working at your company, and
after they leave. You have a vital role to play in the cycle as an HR
professional.



How,
then, should you approach the task of developing the right retention management
plan for your company? The figure below shows the important
steps in this process of developing a retention management plan.



Developing a Retention Management Plan by David G.
Allen, Ph.D., SPHR



Over
the past few months, COVID-19 virus has spread to different continents,
infecting people in many countries around the world. As the virus spreads, the
society, economy and business are being impacted. The major issue is how to
reduce the business impact of the epidemic, its performance results and, most
importantly, on employees – these are the key topics of concern for any leader
in the organization.



According
to a Deloitte article “How to reduce the pandemic impact on employees: A guide
for company leaders” 46% of respondents expect a reduction in
performance targets in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.



Strategies
to Retain Your Employees During COVID-19



Below
are some of the suggestions to keep your employees happy on the job, feel
secure in their work and not only remain with your business but deliver at the
highest rate of productivity currently possible:




  1. Encourage Engagement



When
employees are not engaged or don’t feel engaged is when the job search usually
begins. One
study (Jim Harter & Amy Adkins, 2017, ‘Are Your Star Employees Slipping
Away?’) showed that 56% of employees who don’t feel sufficiently engaged will
look for another job, and 73% of actively disengaged employees will want to
leave your company.



Even
if you are operating remotely and have no real face-to-face contact, you need
processes in place to keep engagement level up.



  • Maintain Business As Usual



The
world is anything but unusual right now due to the pandemic. This is exactly
why your employees need to feel like at least some things will stay the same such
as their jobs.



Keep
up your regular meetings with team members. Keep your projects
pipeline plans updated, and make sure you and your team are still focusing on
their long-term personal development. Ongoing training is now even more
important, to give your team a sense of direction and, at the very least,
distract them from potential catastrophic thinking.



  • Be Flexible



Employees
are likely dealing with unusual situations working from home: internet
disruptions, children going stir crazy, potential illness, or caring for sick
loved ones.



Trust
that, if someone needs to take a little extra time now to take care of things
at home, they will make it up to you. The more understanding you are about
their situation, the more likely they are to want to repay that understanding
with extra productivity. Work with your team to find a schedule that works for
you both.



  • Address Uncertainties



It’s
normal to feel uneasy in these times. Sooth your team members by reassuring
them that their fears are normal, that they are being heard. HR department and
other relevant professionals need to talk to your team members to let them vent
their fears and frustrations. This is the best time to hire in an expert to
help you do this like psychologist. The important thing is that your staff
feels heard.



  • Be a Leader, Not a Boss



People
follow leaders, not bosses. Many people who leave their company cite their
managers (Jim Harter & Amy Adkins, 2017, ‘Are Your Star Employees Slipping
Away?’) as the reason for them leaving.



Be
a leader in your company and your staff. Make sure you have a
strong purpose and communicate what you stand for. Treat
the workers with dignity and ensure that they are sincerely listened to,
ensuring that they are genuinely understood.



Given
all the threats and pressures as a result of COVID-19, it is important to note
that we have in the past faced crises like this. First of all, it poses a
threat to the culture and management practices of the organization. When you
believe that people are the company's most important asset, then you need to
connect, prepare and be consistent. Show up, and help employees.



Taurai Masunda is a Business Analytics
Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and
human resources consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/taurai-masunda-b3726110b/
Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or email: taurai@ipcconsultants.com  or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com


Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC


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