Many employees – in fact, over 90% of employees that have worked from home for the past 18 months do not want to return to the office full time. And 69% of employees are considering finding a new job this year, and of those 52% are actively job hunting.
You will have employees that have found their rhythm at home. They like getting up, making their own coffee, sitting in their home office and completing tasks.
Other employees may enjoy the reduction of stress, the mental health benefits, or many employees have experienced a reduction in financial costs.
Employees who worked at home have also enjoyed one of the healthiest years in their history. Since they were not exposed to other coworkers and their children had less exposure to germs, many employees reported an overall healthier year for them and their families.
The “Great Resignation” is coming in response to all the above. However, whether employees are looking for a new opportunity, more money or schedule flexibility, there are ways that you can improve the corporate environment and provide employees with a workplace where they want to stay.
Design rules and policies around vaccinations and flexible schedules
Despite the benefits named above, employees do miss their coworkers and getting out of the house. However, they want to continue having flexibility, and they also want to know that they will be safe in the office, especially now as the Delta Variant reaches almost 90% of reported COVID-19 cases.
To get employees excited about the return to the office environment and have a successful transition back to the workplace, you will need to overcome the uncertainty that employees feel.
- Create policies around vaccinations and mask-wearing inside the office
- Make sure the work environment is clean and disinfected regularly
- Communicate with employees that it is important for them to wash their hands often, disinfect areas before and after use, and wear a mask
- Improve the air quality and ventilation within the facility
- Encourage employees to become vaccinated and voluntarily share their vaccination status – the EEOC provides clarification for employers for what can and cannot be done
Finally, communicate with your staff so that they know that the office environment is safe, that they have schedule flexibility and that there are policies in place that will ensure their health and safety.
Reward those that helped you get through the hard times
The last 18 months were hard on everyone – businesses and employees included. If you had a team that stayed with you through those hard times and went above and beyond, find ways to reward those team members.
Many companies struggled, and in turn asked employees to go without promotions, raises and/or bonuses. That caused even bigger struggles for employees and possibly some friction in the employer/employee relationship.
Those employees are now being lured away to other employers that are promising better positions, bigger salaries and larger bonuses.
Employees need to remember those that were with you through the hard times. Consider doubling or tripling raise percentages and/or bonuses, offer “thank you” gift cards, gift vesting stock shares, promote employees that stood out, and add employee-focused benefits such as:
- Structure and benefits focused on mental health and financial health
- Tuition reimbursement
- Increased time off allowances
- Company stock gifting or buying programs
- School loan repayment programs
- Larger retirement fund contribution matches
Overworking employees is never a good idea. If the bandwidth of your employees is stretched thin, find innovative ways to improve their work/life balance:
- Consider implementing new technology to help employees work smarter, not harder
- Improve training for systems and procedures so employees can complete tasks faster
- Add technology improvements that allow employees to have more oversight responsibilities vs. needing to complete the tasks themselves
- Talk to employees and find areas of redundancy that can be automated or removed
- Provide time for training and cross-training so employees can learn new tasks and grow within the company.
Empower your frontline and promote from within
Your best employees and your brightest ideas will come from the employees that work one-on-one with your customers each day. Some corporations tend to forget that their frontline employees are doing the work that keeps them successful. These employees also know the best ways to improve systems, reduce costs and provide better service.
Empower your frontline employees to do what needs to be done to provide the best customer experiences. Companies like Ritz Carlton and Chewy encourage frontline employees to provide frictionless services and go out of their way to give good customers great experiences.
Once you allow your customer-facing staff to make big decisions, you will quickly find those that stand out above the rest. Those will be the employees that you will want to mentor and train to grow within the company and make bigger improvements along the way.
In any relationship, whether it’s a marriage, friendship or employer/employee relationship, there will be times when one of those parties doesn’t feel appreciated. Make sure you take the time to not only tell employees how much you’ve appreciated all their hard work, but also show them. It will go a long way and happy employees are much more likely to want to stay and work even harder.
Flagship's customizable approach to your facility's needs will help you incorporate solutions that will help you reopen responsibly and protect the health and safety of your occupants during operations.
We have experienced and professional teams ready to help your business with health and safety preparation, maintenance and facilities technology, as well as an assortment of other integrated facilities management solutions to meet your needs.