Employee Retention: Why It Matters Post-COVID
3 Can’t-Miss Things to Minimize Turnover of Top Talent in Your Company
Problem: The squeeze is tighter for employees and middle managers. As usual, the easiest place is to cut to maximize profits concerns employees. Retaining employees seems like a thing of the past. However, this is a short-sighted error, particularly in the digital age.
Opportunity: For those business leaders who see long-term, an excellent opportunity exists. By focusing on employee retention and integrating technology and data fully, massive optimization exists. What’s more, competitors could consider the strategic union of people and technology an unfair advantage. In short, they don’t know how to duplicate it.
Resolution: Business leaders need to realize that retaining employees is a plus. Moreover, by playing the long game and not panicking, this is an opportunity to reinvent businesses to maximize business revenue growth in the digital age.
You wouldn’t think that employee retention matters if you pay attention to the news reports. For instance, the headlines scream about the layoffs and furloughs by companies such as United Airlines, Uber, and Ford. Sure, that is distressing, and it’s tough for communities when tens of millions find themselves jobless. However, this disruption is primarily a permanent workforce adjustment. In other words, what is happening is the remains of the accelerated shift into the digital world.
The short-sighted leader seeks to cut, cut, cut, and does not invest in their most valuable asset aside from technology—humans.
In New York City, for instance, companies had a lot of permanent office space. But, now the city finds itself getting remade, as cities do, as needs change. Still, this massive disruptive change affects not only New York but almost every city, town, and hub for work in the country. That said, employees have a firmer footing than what it may appear at present. So, as a leader, you have to consider using your unfair advantage, which is retaining employees.
What’s Really Happening and On the Minds’ of Employees?
If you think that employees will do anything to keep their jobs, you may be correct. However, as an employer, you need to understand that the dynamic is only temporary. In fact, as soon as the dust settles, which it always does, you will see lots of worker movement.
First and foremost, the job market is now democratized.
Based on our conversations and internal research, here’s why it’s smart for you to prioritize employee retention. First and foremost, the job market is now democratized. As a result, any worker knows every opportunity that exists in their chosen industry. What’s more, they could easily search through job platforms and research to see what companies offer. Therefore, it’s not difficult to know, with platforms such as Glassdoor, what teams think about working at any company.
Second, workers and middle managers also understand what’s happening. It doesn’t take rocket science or an MBA to understand the massive shift. Again, with themselves, families, and friends remote working, workers understand that there’s no going back to an office for many. In fact, 77% of employers envision employees will work mostly from home after the pandemic.
Savvy company leaders know that employee retention of top talent, coupled with top of the line technology, equals success and growth.
So, the very nature of work suddenly shifted in 2020. And, lest you think that the epidemic will continue for years, you would be incorrect. As you probably realize, there’s an epic global race to crush the pandemic with a vaccine. Commerce, business, government, and the public will not be denied a fast end to the crisis. In other words, there’s a collective will to stop what happened in 2020.
Therefore, leading-edge executives understand that the combination of workers and technology is an unmatched advantage. Savvy company leaders know that employee retention of top talent, coupled with top of the line technology, equals success and growth.
What You Should Focus On For Top Talent Employee Retention
As you realize, digital transformation in society and business is well underway. But so is the democratization of data. Therefore, for your team, with technology at their fingertips, as they work from their remote locations, they could do what would take workers of the past days, weeks, or even months.
Before we go further with retaining employees, let’s understand what data democratization means. In short, anyone, including your junior team, could gather, review, and analyze data without the help of data specialists. Furthermore, through the use of tools such as dashboard reports, managers and executives could make critical decisions in real-time with massive amounts of data crunched and presented concisely.
For you to retain the best of the best, you have to invest in retaining employees who are top talent material.
As a result of real-time data, leaders could make much faster decisions. As you know, in a world where immense continual change is embedded in its DNA, rapid decision-making is crucial. It’s the difference between you or your competitor winning. What you want on your team now is the best top-tier talent who thrive in this environment and appreciate a culture of learning.
Look, the reality is that AI and technology are not coming for all jobs. However, as some jobs come to an end (e.g., manufacturing), other modern-day opportunities arise, most depending on digital technology. And, for these jobs, you need a new breed of workers who thrive in learning, disruptive, and fluid environments. Further, for you to retain the best of the best, you have to invest in retaining employees who are top talent material.
In a democratized workspace, all they have to do is get on their computer, network a little, and move to your competitor. Once the dust settles, a tremendous pent up energy exists for tech-savvy and talented workers to find the market’s best opportunities.
3 Can’t-Miss Things to Minimize Turnover of Top Talent in Your Company
Understanding the need for top talent and the nexus between technology and workers is half the battle. The next necessary item for ensuring employee retention of top performers is to focus on their needs. Yes, as a manager and business owner, you want to make sure that you retain the best.
Artificial intelligence and technology maximize your profits in conjunction with talented humans, making crucial decisions.
Again, jobs will not wholly disappear for employees. And, as powerful as they are, artificial intelligence and technology maximize your profits in conjunction with talented humans, making crucial decisions. So, let’s take a look at three things you have to ensure going forward to make sure you keep the best and brightest.
1. Invest in Professional Development to Retain Talent
It’s no secret that hatchets have obliterated professional development budgets. As a result, employees have had to invest—out of their own pockets—in professional learning. Therefore, if you want to attract and ensure successful employee retention, and beat your competitor, invest in your workers. You could do this easily by adding to the budget a line for professional development.
If you want to attract and ensure successful employee retention and beat your competitor, invest in your workers.
Not only do today’s workers have to understand data and technology, but they have to know how to communicate well. Moreover, because continual learning is now an essential skill, making sure people have up-to-date skills necessary for their current and future roles only helps you. While we live in a digital age, human nature does not change. So, present professional development as a reward. Top talent always wants to learn.
2. Operate with Data at the Core and in a Remote Environment for Employee Retention
Would you like to know what modern workers want the most, aside from a good salary and benefits package? They want to work for a modern, data-centric, and remote working (part or full-time) company. The best of the best appreciate data, and yes, that also includes those who work the right side of their brain more.
The best talent wants to work for the best companies. And the best companies embrace data at its core for all decisions.
How data gets presented (e.g., visual reporting) has changed and made data easy for anyone to understand. Gone are the days when data meant knowing code or asking your data engineers to decipher and translate. The best talent wants to work for the best companies. And the best companies embrace data at its core for all decisions. Further, they demonstrate flexibility by not having their teams tethered to office work desks. (Learn how to master remote working).
3. Work-life Balance Matters for Your Business and Workers
Finally, when technology and remote working brought offices into homes, many workers felt overloaded. In other words, the boundaries between work and home life got pulverized. However, for digital nomads, working from anywhere at any time is just a matter of work and life balance skill.
For employee retention in the digital age, workers and employers need to understand how to create space between them. For workers, it is essential for their overall mental and emotional wellbeing. And for employers, understanding that while your business could now be 24/7/365, individual workers need balance.
But, how to do it takes understanding from experts with expertise garnered by working across many businesses and industries.
In other words, technology and location-independent work offer continuous work. But, while some team members in Europe or Asia work, your U.S.-based team sleeps. This adds more productivity and operating time for your business. But, how to do it takes understanding from experts with expertise garnered by working across many businesses and industries.
In sum, the short-sighted leader seeks to cut, cut, cut and does not invest in their most valuable asset aside from technology—humans. However, maximized growth goes to those leaders who understand and appreciate the powerful union of retaining employees who out-perform and having them partner with technology.
Ben Stroup is Chief Growth Architect and President at Velocity Strategy Solutions where he helps leaders design, develop, and deploy smarter business growth strategies. Ben is a futurist, disruptor, and data champion. He leads a team that takes a structured learning approach to business challenges, which allows them to assist leaders in bridging the gap between ideas, innovation, and revenue—taking ideas from mind to market.
Velocity Strategy Solutions is an on-demand, next-generation business strategy and management consulting firm which provides clients with a relentless focus on data, execution, and results that positively impact the bottom line. Velocity delivers integrated people and revenue strategies combined with a disciplined approach to growth architecture that elevates the capacity of leaders, teams, and organizations to succeed and win more.