How Recruiters Can Help Clients Retain Staff Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 staffing

In our current remote-working environment, your clients may be struggling to keep their employees motivated and engaged. As a recruiter and trusted advisor, this is the perfect time to help them put systems in place to ensure they motivate and retain their most valuable asset – their people.

Keeping team members motivated in the current environment poses a number of challenges.

For example, how do businesses ensure a high level of productivity while their entire workforce is operating remotely? Also, working outside of the in-person team dynamic can leave employees feeling that they are not connected to each other – and  connection is key to productivity and morale.

A new study found that while the majority of workers would prefer to work from home, the process is not as efficient as it could be. A good number of companies are not taking full advantage of social collaboration technologies such as Slack, Trello, Zoom or TeamworkPM to help keep projects moving and team members collaborating in real time much as they would in person.

An additional challenge is that team members may still be in fear of potential layoffs, which affects their ability to maintain focus and truly engage in their professional duties. With the predicted number of jobs lost at 47 million, which equates to a 32.1% unemployment rate, job security is a valid concern.

Your clients’ employees may also be in fear for themselves and family members or may actually be grieving over those they may have lost due to the pandemic. The latest numbers suggest that there are more than 1.72 million cases of Covid-19 in the US as May 27, making it very possible that someone on your team has been touched by this in some way.

Finally, it is likely a number of staff members are dealing with unforeseen challenges and responsibilities with children and partners all under the same roof all the time. So, how can you help your clients navigate these challenges?

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Here are five tips to help clients retain top talent during this time:

1. The game plan. Create and communicate the game plan for operating during this time, making sure to highlight the areas of opportunity and growth that currently exist. For example, make sure that team members have access to and are taking advantage of social collaboration tools.

Additionally, it helps in times of uncertainty to over-communicate the benefits – now and in the future – of a new way of working. This focus on the future helps team members feel engaged and can help ease job security fears.

2. Growth goals. Reassure team members that even though the company needs to pivot, their managers are still aware of each team member’s growth goals. While the evaluation and goal-setting process may need to be approached differently, you are working to ensure that everyone can succeed.

3. Contact. Schedule one-on-one calls to assure staff that they are being seen and heard. Ask them how they are adjusting to working from home full-time and follow through by providing what they need to be most productive. For example, use of a company laptop or an adjustable standing desk can go a long way in keeping team members motivated.

4. Get feedback. Carve out time to gain feedback on how everything is going. Making it clear that team members are welcome to share their opinions on how best to move forward. Then, incorporate that feedback into next steps when possible.

5. Keep planning. Finally, senior decision-makers shouldn’t shy away from making plans for the future and sharing them with their staff. This will assure everyone that they can be an integral part of getting their company through this phase in its history.

Although no one could have planned to operate during a global pandemic, providing strong and thoughtful counsel allows you to strengthen your client relationships. Delivering added value now will continue to be beneficial for you and your clients when this is all over.