Retain Employees with Trust, Flexibility, and Wellness Coaching

Savvy employers are keeping their workforce intact with top employee retention strategies focused on trust, flexibility, and wellness coaching.

Beware “the Great Resignation”

Employers that ignore the factors driving “the Great Resignation” risk watching their top talent walk out the door. An Allwork roundup of recent surveys and reports paints a stark picture of a workforce that has been “sheltering in job” during the pandemic but is ready to move on to new roles: more than half (52%) of North American employees plan to look for a new job this year, and 47% of employees said they would look for a new job if their employer didn’t offer the option of hybrid work (remote and in-office). Based on what she’s seeing as an executive search and placement specialist, EBA Associates founder Liz Capants recommends that employers offer flexibility, trust, and wellness coaching in their efforts to retain employees.

Focus on trust and autonomy

“In so many cases, there’s been a shift in the balance in the relationship between employers and employees,” Capants observes. “For example, after working from home successfully and productively for the past year and a half, employees need less supervision and management oversight than before. If you have a manager who likes to micromanage, that could cause friction if people have learned to be their own managers. The key is for employers to acknowledge that while still setting boundaries for how those relationships between managers and their direct reports will work.”

Offer flexibility and hybrid working modes

Along with trusting your employees enough to give them that autonomy, it’s important to offer flexibility in schedules and work venues. “Employers need to trust that their employees who’ve been successful at working remotely during the pandemic will continue to be productive with less hands-on management,” says Capants. A recent World Economic Forum article noted that a McKinsey & Company report found that most employees want to work from home three days a week, and more than half want more flexible hybrid virtual-working models, for better work-life balance, among other reasons.

Provide wellness programs to address anxiety

A third employee retention strategy is increased attention to employee health and wellness, specifically benefits that address mental health. Capants says she is seeing “many coaches being brought in by employers to help people deal with anxiety as it relates to the return to the office environment.” The McKinsey report also noted that anxiety can reduce work performance and job satisfaction, resulting in productivity loss. “So, providing wellness benefits that help employees reduce anxiety is a good retention strategy to use,” Capants adds. “And as hybrid work continues, we’re also seeing companies offering workshops on keeping and motivating teams to stay cohesive and engaged in a virtual environment.”

“Thank you” is a powerful motivator

The bottom line? “Treat your employees well as they are your biggest advocates and they will stay,” says Capants. “It’s not always about the money. It’s about the gratitude and acknowledgement you show your employees for work well done. The most powerful motivator can be something as simple as a note to acknowledge their work. A thank-you makes each person feel important and valued, which in turn raises their self-esteem and confidence. Make it a priority to appreciate your team and their commitment to the organization. This inspires them to continue doing more.”

Offering trust, flexibility, and help with wellness concerns can go a long way in retaining your best employees in a challenging time.