How to make yourself a desirable employer
When COVID19 was in full force, many employees hunkered down and stayed put. Now, however, the UK’s vaccination programme is well underway and businesses are reopening. In fact, many employers are reporting staff shortages. This means that you need to make sure that you are viewed as a desirable employer. Here are some tips to help.
Survey your current employees
Ideally, you’ll survey your current employees twice, once formally and once informally (or semi-formally). The formal survey really needs to be anonymous. This is the only way you can be reasonably sure to get totally honest feedback. You may want to get some external help with putting the survey questions together so they are both focused and neutral.
The informal (or semi-formal) survey should be done as a face-to-face chat with a manager or HR representative. Generally, managers are better as there should already be a relationship of trust between the manager and the employee. This survey should give the interviewer a decent read on whether the employee is already a flight risk or likely to become one soon.
If they are, then you need to decide what, if anything, you want to do about it. In some cases, even if you’re not exactly happy to see them go, you may recognize it as a natural progression. In others, however, you may want to take action to motivate the employee to stay with you. This motivation might not need to be financial. It could mean new responsibilities or more flexibility.
Be as flexible as you can
Some employers genuinely cannot support any form of flexible working, especially not remote working. Some employers have totally embraced flexible working, especially remote working. Many employers sit somewhere in the middle.
If you’re leaning more (or totally) towards the “on-site is best” camp, you may want to think carefully about giving up some ground. All the signs are that the remote-working genie is not going back into the bottle. If you’re capable of supporting it but choosing not to, then you need to face the reality of staff leaving you to go and work for someone who does.
If you are really keen to get and keep people in the office, then try using persuasion rather than obligation. Make your office a “go-to” destination so that employees view it as a place they want to be even if they don’t feel they need to be there.
Support employee wellness and development
Wellness and development are really two sides of the same coin. People need to feel secure where they are in the present to be able to grow, successfully, into their future selves.
Promoting wellness means supporting your staff in their efforts to manage both their physical and their mental health. Promoting development means helping them grow personally and professionally. This support does not have to be intrusive. In fact, it’s generally a lot better if it’s not. Ideally, you should simply provide the tools your staff need to help themselves.
If your business is doing well, it is often much appreciated if you share the benefits with your staff through investing in their wellness and development. If, however, money is tighter, you can still make the effort to collect and curate resources for your staff. You could also, potentially, make smaller purchases like fresh fruit on a Friday.