How to Retain Top Talent During Periods of Change

By Maria Forbes
June 19, 2020

If your company is undergoing a period of change, you should focus on retaining its top talent. Maybe your company is preparing to enter a new and unfamiliar market, or perhaps it’s appointing a new Chief Level Executive (CEO) whose vision is starkly different than that of its current CEO. Employees are oftentimes sensitive to internal changes, and a major shakeup could be the driving force that compels them to quit. You can retain your company’s top talent, however, by utilizing these retention strategies.

Be Transparent

Keeping your company’s employees in the dark about an internal change will only increase the risk of them quitting. Employees want to what’s happening so that they can mentally and professionally prepare for it. Failure to disclose the change that’s taking place will only drive your company’s top talent away.
You should be transparent about the change by informing your company’s employees about what’s going on and how your company expects deal with it. Doing so will make your company’s employees feel included, and they’ll also feel more confident knowing that your company has a plan in place to deal with the change.

Give Time Off

When your company undergoes change, you may need extra manpower to run it. With that said, you shouldn’t make employees work excessively long shifts or for too many consecutive days. Even if an employee has been with your company for many years, he or she may quit due to burnout.
According to a survey conducted by Gallup, nearly one in four employees suffer from burnout. Burnout is a phenomenon that occurs when an employee is overworked to the point where it causes fatigue and lack of motivation. An employee may excel at his or her job, but once burnout settles in, the employee’s performance will tank. To make matters worse, burnout is one of the most common reasons employees quit. You can prevent your company’s top talent from experiencing burnout during a period of change by giving them time off.

Ask and Listen

Many employers and managers make the mistake of creating one-way conversations with employees. They spend all their time talking to employees and no time listening to them. While you should always take the time to ask questions and listen to your company’s employees, it’s particularly important during a period of change.
You really won’t know how an employee feels about a current or upcoming change unless you ask. When you encounter an employee, the employee how he or she feels about the change. You can also use this opportunity to see if the employee has any concerns. If an employee is worried that your company will go under, perhaps you can ease his or her concerns by answering the employee’s questions.

Create a Comfortable Workspace

Another strategy to boost employee retention during change is to create a comfortable workspace. Research shows that over 60% of employees believe a comfortable workspace is important. If your company’s workspace is poorly designed, it may compel employees to quit during a period of change.
You can create a comfortable workspace by improving both its aesthetics and ergonomics. Aesthetics is the visual appearance of your company’s workspace, whereas ergonomics is the “human factor” that determines how comfortable the environment is for employees to use.

Offer Perks

Offering perks can help your company retain its top talent during change. A perk is any time of reward or incentive beyond that of an employee’s standard pay. A common example is a monetary bonus that’s issued in addition to an employee’s typical paycheck. Employees appreciate perks because they are an unexpected gift. And during a period of change, perks may encourage your company’s top talent to stay.
Perks can be monetary or non-monetary. Rather than a monetary bonus, for example, you can offer free snacks or lunches to your company’s employees. Some companies even reward their employees with health-oriented perks, such as gym memberships and meal-planning programs. Regardless, you can use either monetary or non-monetary perks to bolster your company’s employee retention rate during a period of change.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Don’t forget to give credit to your employee’s top talent. An internal change may force you to shift your attention to other aspects of your company, in which case you may neglect to recognize employees. If an employee doesn’t feel recognized, he or she may quit.
You can give credit to employees with a verbal “thank you.” It’s a signal of appreciation that shows employees you not only notice their hard work, but that you also appreciate it.
In any given year, about one in four employees will quit their job, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Companies typically have the hardest time retaining employees, however, during periods of change. Regardless of what major change your company has encountered, you can use these strategies to retain its top talent.

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