I have heard the new workplace landscape, since the pandemic began, described as adapt or die. Truly, in my twenty plus years in the industry, I have never witnessed a recruiting trend like it. A business owner, particularly a small business owner, can quickly become overwhelmed with finding the RIGHT adaptations to retain (and attract) talent amidst this shake-up. Take heart! My ultimate recommendations aren’t earth shattering. Treat your people like people. Address them as holistic beings, rather than roles and you will develop core supporters. Let me share some examples:
Find Your Style of Flexibility:
Take a hard look at what actually matters to you when it comes to environment and flexibility in your workplace. Flag anything you may be doing just because you’ve “always done it that way” and consider ways to shake it up. Ask your existing team what freedoms they would value most. Decide what environment and flexibility your team can realistically support.
Communicate it Clearly:
Communicate clearly and often, preferably through multiple channels. Team members should know the expectations. Leaders should prioritize providing a regular, obvious example. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking; Go for a run in the middle of the day if that’s what keeps you energized. Just don’t forget to put it on your shared calendar. Deliberately broadcast that it’s acceptable to take care of yourself during the traditional workday and your team will feel comfortable doing it too. Create an environment where a team member will come to a manager to collaborate on finding time for a passion. Their passion for your company will grow alongside it.
Support your colleagues through life’s biggest transitions:
Offer generous parental leave. Take care of people during this massive transition and allow them to take care of what matters most to them, and their loyalty will grow. They’ll come back to you with a clearer mind and be able to perform at their best. They’ll feel valued holistically, and not for their work alone.
Update bereavement policies to reflect our current times. Reword your policy to include ‘loved ones’. Nobody should decide on your behalf who is or isn’t important enough to grieve for. Empower managers and employees to work out bereavement needs 1:1. Schedule time near the end of a leave to reach out to the employee and ensure they are ready to return, as planned. A few more days won’t sink your company and will mean the world to someone who needs it.
Embrace Everyday Life Too:
Don’t allow apologies for pets and kids jumping into Zoom calls. Celebrate those most special to your team. Demands for parents don’t stop after parental leave and when we embrace working parents, they’ll continue to CHOOSE to work with us. Their kids will grow up seeing a career and a family as an integrated part of life. I’m not aware of any opportunities that have been lost because someone’s treasured pet barked at the Amazon delivery driver.
Schedule time during 1:1s or group meetings to share personal goals and triumphs, as well as professional ones. The team will get to know each other better and you’ll know how to better facilitate the passions and commitments that will spark loyalty and job satisfaction in your business’s most valuable assets.
These are just a few examples that I use in my own business. The options are endless and should be tailored to your team. The key is finding what works for your people, culture, and business and keeping an open mind and an open door. Want to share what’s worked for you? Need advice on your specific workplace? Message me!