Meeting the challenge of securing talent and engagement during a pandemic

Now, as much as ever, employers are faced with the development and engagement of their work force.

Challenges have only been intensified with a global pandemic. As we saw in the medical industry when transitioning to electronic charts just over a decade ago, small and midsize businesses are faced with sharpening operations and investing in virtual workspaces. In so doing, operational blemishes are only amplified. Here are five ways that employers are coping:

1) Using natural attrition to revisit job duties and leverage high caliber employees with use of temporary staffing. Temporary staff can focus on routine duties while direct hire talent leverages their strengths and organizational knowledge. This affords the organization an opportunity to improve efficiencies and take on projects without replacing higher ranking staff. Maintaining continuity while modifying and improving workflows.

2) Adjusting document management and access to platforms that create a more unified and collaborative approach to work. The integration of new software platforms allows virtual workspaces that improve collaboration and access to pertinent information, on-demand, anytime, and anywhere.

3) Introducing and training employees on how to better use the tools and teaming resources the organization already has, but just did not take the time to leverage. Utilizing existing technology to enhance efficiencies and save money.

4) Improving how Key Performance Indicators, or KPI, are monitored. With so much of the workforce at home, and often home schooling children, employees have to adjust work life balance and collaborate with supervisors in new ways. Looking at the goals and desired outcomes over the “9-to-5” availability allows employees to feel accomplished while under the pressure of restrictions, home schooling, and delivering.

5) While some things have been relaxed, such as “business casual,” others have been heightened. Communications is far more intentional. With the rapid evolution of virtual meetings and teaming concerns, with the millennial workforce in particular, communication has improved between generations, each adapting to their audience.

You can’t under value the passing conversations at the water cooler, we all miss them, this is where creativity happens. Organizations are learning to monitor morale via virtual meetings. These meetings are not always business, sometimes they are intentionally not business. Staying connected and maintaining relationships will build trust and engagement.

Evaluating processes, leveraging technology, improving efficiencies, monitoring KPI, and equally monitoring morale and engagement are not easy tasks for leaders during a global pandemic. However, minding to these areas will most certainly contribute to a successful transition to what, for now, is our new normal.

Paula Bradison is the President of Alaska Executive Search and Bradison Management Group.

11/25/2020 - 10:22am