By Lynda Odhiambo
Operating a business has its ups and downs and each season calls for celebration because with it comes a win or a lesson. When comes to some challenges that businesses have been facing globally recently, access to financing models, high operational costs, lack of top-tier talent acquisition and retention, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic era.
- Promote flexibility.
- Offer good perks.
- Build good company culture.
- Invest in their career
- Provide positive onboarding
- Regular team bonding
- Performance review.
- Leverage good technology.
The period has proved tough for these entities such that most of them shut down operations for the larger part of 2020 as global governments went ahead to put strict covid-19 measures such as the lock-down, self-quarantine and the reduction of business hours to curtail the spread of
In Kenya and beyond, Layoffs were the order of the day as
businesses could no longer sustain employees.
Banks and SMEs laid off hundreds of employees, remaining
with only a handful considered “The most crucial employees ‘. For these
employees, they had to undergo massive salary cuts, some amounting to up to a 50 per cent cut of their salaries.
The effect was not only felt in banks and organizations
but also in big corporates such as Kenya Airways and major hotels. Remember, travel bans did the biggest damage to airlines and the hospitality/tourism industry, which saw most of them closing down their hotels completely.
Globally, similar scenarios were experienced. Businesses
shut down and closed temporarily, greatly affecting their profitability.
On top of all these, a huge number of employees quit their jobs and opted to either stay at home or source alternative sources of income.
According to The International Labour Organization, ILO,
Director-General Guy Ryder, nearly 3 million people die from work-related causes each year. And this could be subject to conflict, and most recently the COVID -19 pandemic has raised havoc, leading most employees to leave their jobs in search of other things to do.
As the “Great Resignation” shows, people are making new
demands of what want from their work; and some governments are adjusting their actions as consequence. “Not harm” is the absolute minimum; workers need more fulfilment – in the words of the ILO Constitution, more “self-realization”.
He calls for action by employers and employees to create a safe and conducive work environment to foster growth not only for the
organization but also for the GDP of respective countries.
This data is additionally backed up by the latest coined term, “The Great Resignation”. This is a scenario whereby workers have quit their jobs starting in 2021, amid strong labour demand and low unemployment as vaccinations eased the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Investopedia.
There are many reasons for the great resignation. Some employees are quitting as they need a job change, others are quitting to do personal business and others are quitting as they search for higher pay. The reasons are different and personal.
The Great Resignation is here with us, whether we like it or not, there are many reasons why businesses need to up their game to maintain a steady workforce. Why? Because without employee retention, there is a higher risk of your business collapsing as you cannot solely rely on technology.
So how can a business foster employee retention during such a scenario?
According to the BrighterMonday Kenya Employee Contentment Report 2021, 90 per cent of Kenyan employees feel that job satisfaction boosts productivity. Meanwhile, just under half of those respondents claimed they are satisfied with their current job.
These insights highlight what matters most to employees. Businesses may use this to increase employee satisfaction and eventually maintain them.
Career Advancement Options
Employees establish goals for where they want their careers to go regularly; a business that allows for this will have loyal employees.
Employers must meet their employees’ career growth requirements, according to HR expert and my colleague Kimani Kinuthia, to enhance satisfaction.
A new survey reveals that Kenyan employees of all ages and genders regard career advancement to be one of the most important intrinsic features a company should possess. Businesses should consider outlining a career path for job responsibilities and educating staff on how to advance within the organization.
Internal career workshops and mentorship on a routine basis are excellent places to start. Invest in training classes for your employees so they may improve their abilities and advance professionally.
We have heard about the work-life balance time and again.
This is proving to be one of the most valuable aspects that employees look out for when applying for jobs. Flexible alternatives are valued by employees because they result in a higher quality of life, especially following the impact of COVID-19.
A business should be able to determine the most effective methods for helping its staff in achieving a sense of balance in their life.
Give your employees the tools they need to work from home and communicate clearly and in advance when you need them to come into the office. You may also build an office setting or use a hybrid method that allows people to drop in on their own time.
It is important to also consider the fact that mental health is a big concern in the country, therefore, ensuring that the work environment and culture are healthy enough to allow an employee to have a life outside of work.
Programs promoting health and well-being
Businesses should consider new ways to provide this to
their employees to give them the confidence to stay with their organisations.
Consider rewarding staff with gifts that enhance well-being and encourage
emotional intelligence growth. You may also present vouchers to cover wellness visits or seminars on occasion. Implement strategies that will keep your employees psychologically and physically fit.
When it comes to assessing employee satisfaction and devising affordable strategies to retain them, there’s a lot more to consider.
People are a company’s most valuable asset, and despite the Great Resignation happening globally, we must continue to improve employee morale.
Lynda Odhiambo, Communications Specialist, BrighterMonday