In September, Built In hosted a discussion to learn how companies can tackle the impending Great Resignation by focusing on retention. Worker’s expectations have changed and so too should your retention efforts. Upping your retention strategy will allow you to focus solely on recruiting new talent while keeping your existing workforce happy and engaged. 

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In the webinar titled “Retaining Your Remote Workforce,” Sheridan Orr, CMO at Built In spoke with Brett M. Wells, Ph.D., director of people analytics at Perceptyx, Inc. to understand how employee engagement has changed during Covid-19.

Wells was able to share a unique perspective as Perceptyx, Inc. has a plethora of people analytics data from before Covid-19 and during. He offered trends and insights into how retention can be improved based on direct employee engagement statistics.

Keep reading to hear the highlights of the discussion. For all of the insights shared, be sure to download the entire webinar here.




Listen & Take Action 

Covid-19 brought a lot of uncertainty to both a company and an employee’s life. This uncertainty caused the need for a company to bring more care into the workplace. And for Wells, there is one key way to do just that.

“There's no better way to show you care than to listen,” said Wells. “I think the first step is listening and being an active listener. Ask a lot of questions. And then take all of that insight and do something about it. Take action to make the employees’ life a little bit easier.”

And this advice is proven in the data.

“Organizations who asked questions routinely and more importantly acted on it, were more than twice as likely to achieve outcomes, both financial performance and engaging and retaining talent,” said Wells.

The key here is to actually care about what your employees have to say. Don’t just put in the work to listen, take what they are saying and build an action plan from it. That’s what will really bring care into your workplace and make employees feel valued.


Onboarding Is Key  

A key player in an employee’s experience is onboarding. The first impression of a company can have a lasting effect on how engaged the employee will be throughout their tenure. 

Wells mentions that before Covid-19, employees almost always had a “honeymoon phase” when they first started a new job. Everything is new and exciting, the office, meeting your team and so much more.  

However, when the Perceptyx team compared the sentiment of the employees who onboarded with a new company prior to Covid-19 to those who onboarded during, they noticed a shift. 

“They looked far more like they've been in the job for three to five years,” said Wells. “They never had a honeymoon period, it was jump in and hit the ground running kind of attitude.” 

Why? The ability to build true relationships with their colleagues and team became much more difficult while working remotely. The connections they could typically build in the office more quickly became of less importance. 

In order to successfully onboard new employees and start off retention on the right foot, companies must focus on how to develop colleague relationships more quickly.  

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Flexibility Must Remain

When the pandemic first happened, flexibility was seen as a must-have; children were home from school, burnout was creeping in and leaders were stepping up to make their employee’s lives a little bit easier. However, now that this new normal has set in, companies are pulling back on flexibility, but should they? 

Perceptyx data shows about two in three people want at least some flexibility after Covid-19. 

“What I think is interesting is despite this resounding employee sentiment that we want flexibility, very few organizations are willing to offer or meet that flexibility that employees want,” said Wells. “So when we look at all the available job posting data less than 8% of all job postings are classified as remote friendly.” 

Companies must lean into this idea of flexibility if they want to retain their existing workforce.

Retaining Your Remote Workforce

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