EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IN THE LAST LEG OF THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND
Industry Leaders|March 2021
The pandemic has forcibly separated teams, resulting in many employees forced to work remotely which has led them to feel isolated and disconnected.
Lucinda Carney, CEO of Actus Software

Although the news of the national lockdown lifting brings hopes for a return to some form of normality, this is still a transition period, offering us an opportunity to reassess our employee engagement strategies, ensuring teams return to work feeling motivated and empowered to progress within their organizations.

This raises the question of how employees can remain motivated and resilient despite the challenges ignited by the pandemic. If we continue to work in a hybrid fashion, how does this impact the visibility, development and internal mobility of key staff? Has the term ‘talent management’ perhaps overused just 12 months ago disappeared for good or will it reemerge as we consider opportunities for internal mobility as an important engagement strategy as we reimagine the workforce of tomorrow.

The situation

Recent Actus research indicates that prior to 2020, an average of 1 in 4 new hires left an organization within the first 6 months. Reasons for this fell into the following areas: the role was not what people expected; they didn’t agree with the company culture; they didn’t work well with colleagues or they saw no path for progression.

However, the economic downfall caused by COVID-19 has meant that those who are lucky enough to have retained their jobs are more likely to stay put within their company for longer - for now, but this doesn’t mean they are always completely satisfied with their role.

The reality is, external recruitment has become the norm to such an extent that organizations lack the established systems for internal development, leading to a high chance that businesses are retaining expensive, but disengaged and unmotivated new hires. Likewise, existing employees become easily unfocused as their skills are simply not being acknowledged, thus creating retention issues propelled further by companies hiring from competitors and vice versa.

For instance, a research project conducted in 2018 by Two Heads Consultancy with Kelly Services, found that two of the top four reasons job seekers gave for choosing one organization over another were the opportunities for training and development, and for promotion within the role

This leads to a vicious cycle of unsatisfied employees constantly searching for external positions, which can only harm productivity, particularly in a virtual workplace.

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