Employee Loyalty in the Age of COVID

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Recently Prudential Financial’s “Pulse of the American Worker” survey indicated that a quarter of all workers were planning to look for a new job as the pandemic subsides. So basically, take a good look at your employees…and plan to lose 1 out of 4 of them this year. Sure, there are some that you probably should lose, but you’re probably more likely to lose some of the ones you most want to keep. 

A recent article from our partners at Gusto talked about different ways to re-engage your workforce and inspire loyalty. A couple of those items really resonated with us, so we decided to go into a little more depth on them.

“Stay” Interviews

Most of the time interviews at an employer fall into two categories: the initial job interview and the exit interview. But what if you started conducting “stay interviews?” Exit interviews are the common place to ask people why they are leaving the organization, but how much better would it be if you were proactive and asked your employees on a regular basis, “What can we do better?”

You may think you already know what the company is doing right, but maybe they have different ideas…it would be great to get their perspective! Then ask them about the problems, the pain points, and the challenges they encounter in their job. What can be done to make them feel like you care about them personally AND about the job they are doing? How can you make them feel like a more essential part of the organization and its future?

“Stay” interviews give you the power to address problems and unrealized goals in your most valuable team members before they are headed out the door.

Letting Go

You won’t keep everyone…even those that are the most valuable. You may have an employee that you just can’t imagine being without, but then they come in and let you know they are leaving for another opportunity. Maybe you even went through the above process of “stay interviews,” made concessions and changes in the organization to entice them to be a bigger part of the future, and even gave them a raise. 

Here’s the thing: everyone is replaceable. Everyone. At least they should be, because your business should never be totally reliant on any one person to survive. If someone is hell bent on pursuing some other opportunity elsewhere, your best option is to wish them well and move along.

Your time is better spent ensuring that their transition away from the organization is smooth and engaging the employees who will be staying around…and probably taking over for the one leaving! And it shouldn’t be ignored that you’ll very likely have to start looking for a new employee to fill the spot that is being vacated.

A Couple Other Things

Of course, these items aren’t the only things you can do to motivate your best employees to be loyal. You need to be attentive to what your employees are saying. How can you make the workplace and your company a more inspiring place to be? Give your employees a bigger stake in the future of the company by allowing them opportunities to “create the future” of the business. Encourage and fund ways for them to gain new knowledge and skills that can help them do their jobs better. Prioritize them having a better balance of work and personal life.

What did we overlook? What are other ways you prioritize retention of your best employees? Leave a comment below!

Employee Loyalty in the Age of COVID