How to hang on to your workforce in a post-Covid environment

new normal working
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Nick Greenston, CEO of Retinue Talent Solutions, advises how employers can hang on to talent in the new normal working environment

Recruitment and retention have always been important for companies. Hanging on to talent is key to business success. It has been a challenging year for everyone and as we emerge from the pandemic with some caution, most employees will be seeking employment stability, thankful that they still have a job. Those employees who were treated well and retained their jobs will remember how they were treated and, just as importantly, how their colleagues were treated, which will give them a flavour and insight into a company’s ethics.


And, as part of being treated well in the new normal that we will be working in, companies need to better understand how to manage and look after their staff and implement schemes and benefits packages as appropriate. Employees want to be rewarded well financially and benefit from career progression opportunities. However, beyond that, flexibility will have become very important to them. They might now be seeking benefits that will help them to look after their children on a 50/50 basis with their partners, they might want flexi-work or to work fewer hours. And, along with achieving a good work/life balance, they will look to firms to holistically support them when it comes to their mental health and wellbeing; these are increasingly prominent considerations in the workplace and companies need to respond accordingly if they want to hang on to staff.

‘Take your dog to work’ day

Benefits will play a pivotal role and companies need to use the tools available to them to attract and retain staff. Whilst the ‘hard benefits’ like money, healthcare insurance and company cars are attractive and enticing, companies need to understand an individual’s needs. If you employ a group of dog lovers, introduce a ‘take your dog to work’ day, if you have individuals who have gone the extra mile then perhaps offer them a bonus paid holiday, for some employees with children, provide a baby-sitter once a month so that they can go out on a ‘date night’ with their partner or send in someone to get some chores done at home for them. For young employees or recent graduates and early career entrants who might not have families to support and rush home to after work, firms might want to consider introducing after-hours experiences.

‘Stay’ interview

During times of uncertainty as we emerge from the pandemic into the new normal a company must look at ways of retaining staff and listening to their needs as part of a stay interview could hold the key.

With WFH policies still very much in place in the corporate office world, it is more important than ever that managers find time to talk to their employees to establish how happy they are in their jobs and how they could be better supported. A stay interview or a stay conversation should be happening more and more in a post pandemic working climate to find out what keeps an employee working for the company and look at any aspects that need improving or changing.

A stay interview serves to:

  • Build trust and loyalty
  • Helps promote teamwork and collegiate working
  • Can address and nip problems in the bud
  • Can help employers gauge the company culture and its health
  • Helps employers assess an individual’s wellbeing
  • Helps energise employees who are feeling listened to

A stay interview doesn’t cost anything but can be hugely valuable in the long run to helping you understand your employees and hang on to them. Stay interviews should be perceived as a positive to help focus on sharing ideas and planning for a better working future for employees within a company. Asking their opinions and views about the company and how it functions helps employees feel engaged and questions that are open-ended lend themselves to a richer and more fruitful discussion so that both parties hopefully come away from the interview with more insight (the manager) and feel better engaged (the employee).  And remember, a stay interview is not a performance appraisal but an open forum to share and converse and foster ideas, a platform where employees can and must feel relaxed to be open and honest. Regular communication and regular stay interviews should help companies to be able to boost retention rates, hold onto top talent, and serve to attract new employees.


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