Our last blog covered taking the first steps to creating a workplace that attracts and retains employees by first discovering their concerns and addressing them, and creating a vision for a new workplace that provides the “why” for the work that is done. In this blog, I will discuss measures organizations can take in relation to pay and benefits, onboarding new employees, and training your leaders to attract and keep employees.

Workplace Benefits that Are On the Rise

While pay will see some changes and adjustments when it comes to attracting talent, benefits is what will set companies apart from their competitors for talent. The benefits that a company provides can really say a lot about a company’s culture, what they value and how they treat their employees. But over the past year, a lot has changed about what we value and seek in company benefits. How has the pandemic changed workplace benefits?

First, childcare and family benefits are increasing. Working parents are acutely aware of the challenges they face and more companies are investing in “non-traditional” benefits including childcare stipends and flexible work arrangements (benefitnews.com).

Second, stipends for home office support are being offered. With the rise in vaccinations, we are likely to begin seeing more offices reopening, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that remote work or the resulting benefits will come to an end. According to a recent survey, 92% of remote workers expect to continue to work from home at least one day per week, and 80% expect they’ll be telecommuting at least three days per week. We are likely to see companies respond with continued support for the home office needs of workers.

Third, mental health support. The many challenges of Covid-19 have certainly had significant impacts on the mental health of many workers, and made clear the need for companies to provide comprehensive mental health benefits. While mental health needs are not new, COVID just brought them to the forefront and is a benefit that can’t be ignored.

Finally, remote work and flexible schedules are becoming a new norm. This was addressed in our previous blog. Remote workers have gotten used to the flexibility of remote work and many may be reluctant to return to the regular nine-to-five in-person work life. Additionally, 78% of employees said flexible work arrangements made them more productive (Zenefits.com). Hybrid models, in which employees work partially remote and partially in person, offer the flexibility that workers crave, and combine the best of office culture with a more pragmatic and cautious approach to reopening.

Training Leaders and Onboarding New Employees

There’s more employers can do to improve confidence, bolster wellbeing and affirm their decision to stay with the organization. In bringing new talent to the new paradigm of hybrid work environments, employers need to rethink their approaches to employee engagement across an increasingly diverse and distributed workforce.

Put value on onboarding. Culture fit is a two-way street. New hires’ experience of their first few days and weeks in the organization can make a lasting impression that will inspire or discourage them to stay.

Train managers and leaders to successfully engage teams in a hybrid/flexible working environment. Managers need to be intentional and consistent in helping new hires adapt to existing dynamics within the organization. Double down on strengthening management’s capabilities for empathy, listening, responsiveness, creative solutioning, transparency and flexibility.

Rewrite the guidebook for performance management. Take a step back and rethink the expected behaviors from employees in a virtual/hybrid setup. In addition to meeting business targets, employees will need to develop skills for thriving in the new normal. According to the World Economic Forum, self-management and interpersonal communication are among the “hot” skills in the post-pandemic workplace.

Revisit your career framework and align it to shifting trends in talent and skills demand in the market. Currently, only one in every five organizations believe their existing job architecture and job leveling process support the need to develop a workforce for the future according to Flexible Work and Rewards Survey. A clear path for career development encourages new talent to stay and grow with an organization.

Enable time for a mentoring program. Regular, scheduled one-on-one check-ins are crucial for assuring new hires that they are on track and for managers and employees to get to know each other better. It is also beneficial for peer-to-peer mentoring for new employees’ colleagues to establish early social connections.

Simply retrofitting your current pay, benefits, management training and onboarding programs to the new work challenges is a short-term strategy that will not support long-term goals post pandemic. Employee engagement and retention requires a thoughtful, intentional effort that begins on day one. At Vantage we help clients learn the benefits of employees and leaders working together to gain clarity, insight and accountability to ignite their leadership engines, grow their businesses and improve their lives. We have the tools and resources to develop your organization’s talent into industry leaders. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you with your talent development.