Almost a year into the pandemic, most people are still working from home. Although we’d all hoped to be back to normal by now, the truth of the matter is that we have all had to adjust to a new normal for the foreseeable future. With a new normal here to stay, it’s imperative that managers find new ways to keep their team engaged to prevent employees from jumping ship in search of better opportunities.
The longer employees are home, the less your previous office perks will keep them loyal to your company.
That’s just the truth. What good are the coffee and snacks you used to offer last March when it’s January and they’re still working from their couch? The memory of the things that made people love the office environment are fading, and you’ll have to find new ways to keep them loyal if you want to avoid them finding greener pastures.
For argument’s sake, if you’re working from the same office, eating the same lunch, have the same (zero) commute everyday, why wouldn’t you entertain a call from someone willing to pay you a little bit more money to do the same thing?
This is what you’re trying to avoid.
Money is the most obvious answer and possibly the easiest, get creative and invest in your superstars.
Regardless of your budget, you will be able to sway good people to your side by offering them bigger paychecks, but so will your competitors. By New York law (and in other states as well), employers are barred from asking candidates how much money they make. There’s nothing stopping someone on a $50k salary for asking for $70k, and if a company has the money and wants them badly enough, they’ll likely get what they’re asking for.
If you want to keep this from happening to you, something I recommend (which isn’t always a popular opinion) is to give your employees raises when they haven’t asked for them to show that you appreciate them. There’s nothing that makes someone feel appreciated more than being told their hard work has been noticed and they’ll be getting a salary boost because of it. An unasked for raise is equal to three and a half times a raise that’s asked for.
It may pay off big to create a form of profit-sharing for your company.
Even with the uncertainty of the world around us, people like feeling that their efforts are paying off. Giving your employees the ability to directly reap the benefits of their work efforts will make them want to stay working where they feel they have the best opportunity to make money. They also will definitely want to stick around to ensure they receive their payout, thus giving you time as well to implement some other ideas to really make everyone feel engaged and appreciated.
Become the problem-solver of your office.
It’s true that office culture isn’t so much a thing anymore, but you still want to make sure everyone you’re employing is a positive influence on your work culture. If you see issues between employees, make an effort to assist in finding a resolution, whether that’s adding an extra person to a team, coming up with a strategic plan to bridge a gap in different work styles, or hiring new faces that will bring positive energy and help shoulder some of the work that your team is struggling with. Nothing beats feeling like you have a boss that cares about how happy you are at work.
Offer perks that your employees can enjoy remotely.
An example of this would be paying for training courses for employees who want to take them. You’ll reap the benefits as their employer of having access to a new skillset, and they’ll feel like you’re investing in their personal success. If you want to replicate in-office benefits at home, allow employees to expense a meal a month, or offer extra days off when workloads are light.
When in doubt, just ask.
Talk to your employees about things they’d like to see from management. As an example, maybe they want more options to manage stress in their daily lives. An easy solution: give everyone a subsidy to invest in mental health or workout platforms or keep “Summer Fridays” going through the fall and winter. If your employees tell you they feel overworked, come up with a better plan for delegation, or vow to hire someone as soon as you have a budget for it, and give everyone more flexible working hours in the meantime.
Whatever the method might be, now is the time to step up and do more for your employees. This is the new normal, and it’s not changing anytime soon. Get ahead of everyone else, and make your company the one everyone wants to work for.