Here we are, endeavoring to recover from the worst public health crisis in modern history. Trying to regain a financial foothold in the wake of varying economic disasters the pandemic has wrought. Hoping for a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel as lockdowns lift and economies reopen.
Unfortunately, this much-awaited recovery has not looked at all like what many of us expected. Instead of an entrepreneurial renaissance, we’re finding ourselves in the throes of the Great Resignation.
While economists may be struggling to explain the flight of the American worker, management may well hold the key to averting the flight and protecting their companies, and their workforce, until the tide of the Great Resignation turns. It may not necessarily be an easy or an immediate process, as managers will need to strike a delicate balance between creating workplaces that are equitable for all and devising leadership strategies tailormade to incentivize employees who may have become increasingly unmotivated and disengaged in these challenging times.
Recognize Employees’ Evolving Needs
Your employees don’t have to have fallen ill or lost someone from COVID-19 to have been impacted by the pandemic. No matter who you are or where you may be, we’ve all endured a collective trauma in the past two years.
And that means that today’s workforce is not the same as in 2019. Your employees’ needs and priorities, expectations, and requirements are likely far different today than they were two years ago. After all, workers have had a lot of time and incentive in this COVID era to reflect and take stock of what they truly want in their life, including their work lives. While it’s true that no employer can be all things to all employees, it’s now more important than ever for managers and employees to closely collaborate in devising work solutions that simultaneously make sense for the best interests of the business and the team.
Keeping your team intact in these challenging but transformational times will require you to balance your own self-care with accommodating your employees’ evolving needs. For instance, you may find a 15-minute mediation or nap in the afternoon while working from home is something you want to continue for your own wellbeing because of how it boosts your productivity. It may be something you recommend for your team as a way to support immune system health. Overall, the way we work is continuing to change. Being open to this reality and looking for solutions will enable employees who are immunocompromised or who are caregivers to work remotely or do hybrid work so they can continue working for your company.
Similarly, your employees may be grappling with physical or mental health challenges, particularly in the wake of COVID. It is important to get at the root cause of this stress by offering in-person team building and bringing in outside support to navigate any communication challenges.
Supporting your employees’ overall wellbeing leads to a more engaged, loyal, and productive team. Above all, you will be demonstrating that you value your employees as individuals and care for their health and happiness.
It is important to recognize, however, that supporting employees does not necessarily mean offering an unlimited concierge service to all workers all the time. Trying to cater to every employee request will create chaos and complications. You can, on the other hand, cultivate a positive organizational culture in which employees feel free to express their needs and their goals without fear of reprisal.
When these requests are beyond the company’s scope, then in the spirit of collaboration and transparency, management should be able and willing to clearly communicate why this is so.
At the same time, of course, employees must be willing to listen to their managers’ perspectives and to respect the boundaries and limitations existing in the workplace. When they do not, despite the manager’s best effort to communicate, collaborate, and lead both with empathy and fairness, then that is perhaps the moment to sever ties and begin seeking new talent. At that point, as a leader, you can rest assured that you have done your utmost to judiciously balance the needs of the company with those of your employee.
Prioritize Rewards and Recognition
Let’s face it, we all want to feel appreciated. That’s especially true in these trying times when we’re all in recovery and recalibration mode. There’s been so much uncertainty in the past years, and your employees are likely to feel as if they’re just regaining their bearings. What better way to reassure and motivate them than to provide consistent, meaningful regards and recognition?
Studies show that employees need both recognition and appreciation in order to feel happy, engaged, and committed to their employer. Reliably recognizing and rewarding results, such as when an employee meets a desired sales target or successfully completes an ambitious project, can go far in creating a positive environment that will help motivate employees to resist the call of the Great Resignation.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your employees don’t just deserve kudos when they hit a home run for the company. They also need to know their efforts are appreciated every day, all the time, on good days and bad days alike. Because of the emotional, psychological, and even physical challenges we have all been through during the pandemic, after all, your employees may not have the same level of stress tolerance or resilience as they once did, at least for a while. Offering this bit of added support, affirmation, and encouragement can incentivize them to continue investing their loyalty and their utmost efforts.
Today’s workers are a dynamic lot. Gone are the days when a fresh-out-of-school employee joins a company, takes a job, and pretty much stays where they are for the remainder of their working life. Nowadays, workers want to be challenged. They want to grow. And if an employer doesn’t provide ample opportunities for them to develop new skills and upwardly progress in their career, then they may be tempted to take their talents and their time elsewhere. In some cases, it may be the best choice for all involved to let an employee go their own way and making that change sooner than later may be just the key to bringing cohesiveness to the rest of the team.
However, if you’re looking to hold on to your most valuable employees, then listen to them. Learn about their professional dreams and desires. Working with your employees to help them determine their short-term and long-range career goals can not only motivate them to develop new skills and hone existing ones but can also increase their loyalty. Then partner with them to design a professional development strategy that helps them get there. This way, you’re not only building a highly skilled workforce, you’re also winning your employees’ commitment to the company by demonstrating the company’s commitment to them! After all, an employee who feels like they truly have a future with your company is more likely to give your organization their all, with an eye toward bringing that professional future they envision to fruition.
How Casa Alternavida Can Help
At Casa Alternavida, we offer a variety of corporate retreat packages to facilitate teambuilding and to enhance your relationships with your employees. Our corporate retreats enable you and your team to cultivate essential skills, from effective communication to problem-solving to individual and group goal-setting, that drive cohesion, collaboration, and commitment in your workforce. Contact us today to explore the many specialized services and amenities available at our luxury facility located in beautiful Puerto Rico!
Casa Alternavida was founded on the principle that there are healthier, “alternative” ways to balance life and work. This alternative is to stop the unconscious addiction to stress, overwhelm, and struggle to focus on a healthy, balanced lifestyle that yields better results. Our practitioners are trained to support you with unraveling those unconscious commitments so you can actively create the lifestyle you want to be living, take charge of your well-being, and reset bad habits. We are experts at creating playful experiences in nature that inspire deep personal insight and long-term positive behavior change. Teams walk away from our facility with new excitement for their projects, practices to work smarter, and a deep appreciation of their companies. If you are a business that cares about your employees and wants to enhance your workplace culture, we are dedicated to providing alternative ways of building resilient leaders and teams.