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Nick Greenston is CEO of Retinue Talent Solutions, which provides extra resourcing capacity and expertise to a company’s in-house recruitment function.  Here he reflects on the importance of looking after your employees as we return to the ‘new normal’ post-Covid workplace so that they feel well supported and rewarded.

Recruitment and, more importantly, retention have always been important for companies.  Hanging on to talent is key to business success.  It has been a challenging year for everyone and as we emerge from the pandemic with some caution, most employees will be seeking employment stability, grateful that they still have a job. Those employees who were treated well and retained their jobs will remember how they were treated and, just as importantly, how their colleagues were treated, which will give them a flavour and insight into a company’s ethics.

And, as part of being treated well in the ‘new normal’ that we will be working in, companies need to better understand how to manage and look after their staff and implement schemes and benefits packages as appropriate.  Employees want to be rewarded well financially and benefit from career progression opportunities.  However, beyond that, flexibility will have become very important to them.  They might now be seeking benefits that will help them to look after their children on a 50/50 basis with their partners, they might want flexi-work or to work fewer hours.  And, along with achieving a good work/life balance, they will look to firms to holistically support them when it comes to their mental health and wellbeing; these are increasingly prominent considerations in the workplace and companies need to respond accordingly if they want to hang on to staff.

Benefits will play a pivotal role and companies need to use the tools available to them to attract and retain staff.  Whilst the ‘hard benefits’ like money, healthcare insurance and company cars are attractive and enticing, companies need to understand an individual’s needs.  If you employ a group of dog lovers, introduce a ‘take your dog to work’ day, if you have individuals who have gone the extra mile then perhaps offer them a bonus paid holiday, for some employees with children, provide a baby-sitter once a month so that they can go out on a ‘date night’ with their partner or send in someone to get some chores done at home for them.  For young employees or recent graduates and early career entrants who might not have families to support and rush home to after work, firms might want to consider introducing after-hours experiences.

During times of uncertainty as we emerge from the pandemic into the ‘new normal’ a company must look at ways of retaining staff; they may have cancelled benefits to reduce costs over the last year, but employees will be seeking to regain their due benefits and those firms that deliver the ‘wow factor’ benefits will win the talent war, hang onto staff and attract more talent.

What is important is selecting benefits that stand out from the crowd and offering employees those benefits that make a real difference to them and their lives outside of work.  Show your employees that you are going the extra mile so that when they receive a call to entice them to another firm they will feel a sense of loyalty because they are being well looked after – make it easy for them to turn down another offer.

In a post pandemic working world, those companies that act now to introduce improved benefits packages tailored for each employee’s needs will win the battle to attract and retain staff.  Those companies that are not thinking about an employee’s benefits package today will be experiencing attrition, recruitment and retention issues tomorrow.

    Nick has enjoyed a successful career in the recruitment industry over the last 24 years. Nick was part of the team that helped build and shape Alexander Mann Solutions during his 21-year tenure. His unique blend of experience includes managing global client relationships, large multi-regional teams, and building shared service capability. He has worked extensively across multiple sectors and industries on a global basis.

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