A huge retention problem could hit many companies over the next few months. This article summarises the problem, the possible outcome and what actions Directors need to take NOW.
The first issue is overwork. Many companies cut back during the last 15 months to a core team of their best and most experienced people. In practice, that’s meant fewer people with significantly increased workloads! Not many have had a “proper” holiday since 2019 nor taken their full holiday allocation.
People have put up with this situation out of a sense of duty to pitch in and help out in difficult times, probably grateful to be in full-time work when so many were furloughed or made redundant. However, frankly, people are telling us they are completely knackered; “burnout” is rife.
The second issue is working from home. Only 15 months ago, Zoom to most of us was just an ice lolly and Teams were something you went to support on Saturday! Whilst digital communication has proved functional, spending all day in front of a screen is boring, tiring and unhealthy.
Our dining tables became temporary office desks where we attempted to concentrate whilst trying to remain civil to our partners/children. No wonder stress levels and mental wellbeing concerns have skyrocketed!
In summary, although we proved we could function working from home (and may continue to do so even as restrictions are lifted), the reality is that there’s:
However, almost all of 50 of the UK’s biggest employers questioned by the BBC, for example, have said they do not plan to bring staff back to the office full-time: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56972207
The Possible Outcome
To re-emphasise, if people feel the experience of work has just become a huge daily task list to get through in isolation, then there won’t be any real affinity felt for the company. That’s deeply concerning because the more valuable employees will look at the market and see maybe it’s time for change – companies are growing rapidly again and with many desperately trying to recruit, salaries are going up as employers compete to attract.
The recent survey of employers by Aviva reinforces this conclusion: https://www.aviva.co.uk/aviva-edit/in-the-news-articles/how-we-live-2/
Complacent companies could face both a retention issue and a recruitment issue; indeed, we are already seeing companies having to reduce their opening hours, products or services because of this very problem. What’s worse, people leaving adds even more work onto the shoulders of the already overworked!
Actions To Take
These five ideas could help you retain your best people:
Finally, if you are looking to recruit again or considering a promotion for someone, talk to Auricas; we have several options that can help you attract, recruit and retain good people, saving you an enormous amount of time and money. This short course is one example: https://www.auricas.com/management-leadership/recruitment-tips-advice/
Alternatively, if it’s management development coaching you are looking for then this may be a better option: https://www.auricas.com/management-leadership/management-training/