The Great Talent Retention Challenge Beyond COVID

The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to see beyond what we previously thought was possible, opening up a wide range of possibilities that will revolutionize the traditional workplace. Now, as restrictions are lifting in many places around the world, we are starting to get a peek at how things will look post-COVID. A recent study reported by CNBC has revealed that 1 in 4 professionals is planning to leave their job after the pandemic. In this context, how are you keeping your best people fulfilled and thriving? We bring you three insights on making sure to attract and retain High Achievers in your company:

Flexibility in Locations and Timezones

While professionals invoke diverse reasons for their plan to pursue new work opportunities, the need for flexibility is a recurring theme throughout the study’s findings. Also mentioned by talents who are indeed remote-working, and not intending to leave their positions at the moment, as something that would lead them back to the job market if it were to be taken away from them, workplace flexibility is one of the currently most requested changes that a company can offer to their potential team members.

As we have addressed in-depth in a prior article, workplace flexibility allows high-performing individuals the precious opportunity to set up their ideal schedules and stations in accordance with a series of elements that work as a complex system, impacting their everyday engagement and performance. Two major factors at play in daily workflow design for High Achievers are:

Awareness of one’s internal body clock. Some people are Larks; others are Owls. Designing a schedule that compliments the talent’s energy flow throughout the day will allow them to fully take advantage of their potential and boost their productivity. Are you encouraging your team members to tap into their most effective hours of the day?

The ability to work from anywhere (not just from home). Different environments foster different types of work. High Achievers thrive in the opportunity to bring their workstations anywhere in the world and thoroughly draw on the inspiration that their ideal surroundings bring out in them. How are you supporting your team members’ search for their perfect work locations, wherever those might be?

Being Part of Something Bigger than Oneself

High-performing individuals overwhelmingly prioritize purpose over paycheck when it comes to their career choices. The traditional profit-only model is becoming obsolete as talents are looking to thrive in companies whose values and vision align with their own: contributing towards causes that are relevant to them helps team members feel energized, motivated, and engaged in the workplace. 

The centrality of purpose is one of the keys to the Future of Work, and it is a crucial element to attracting and retaining High Achievers in your company. So how are you, as a leader, championing the rise of the people and purpose-centric model? How are you helping your best people feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, which inspires them to perform at their highest every day?

Sense of Belonging while Remote

One of the challenges put forward by the sudden shift from more traditional workplaces to remote work was the need to nurture a sense of belonging beyond the physical distance between team members. However, when addressing a sense of belonging, it is not uncommon that companies think of it as a matter of words on walls, ping-pong tables, or online karaoke parties. Here, we would like to make a case for an understanding sense of belonging from an actual Future of Work perspective.

The key to a forward-thinking way of an understanding sense of belonging in the workplace is to advocate for the notion that, when culture is done right —and culture can, indeed, be intentionally designed—, work becomes a part of life that brings feelings of fulfillment and accomplishment to High Achievers, rather than being a dreaded activity that individuals do in spite of their actual life purposes.

So, keeping that in mind, a great way to cultivate a sense of belonging among high-performing team members is by promoting strategic collaboration between talents. Working together towards a relevant, common goal makes High Achievers engaged and boosts the sense of belonging and connection within the company — regardless of where team members are located. Empowering interdisciplinary talent to work together is crucial when trying to avoid feelings of isolation, especially as we are looking at a future where working from anywhere is the norm. Investing in interactive training programs on leadership and performance, where individuals from different parts of the company are encouraged to collaborate, is a valuable decision that will help team members strengthen a bond that will outlive the program. As we enter the Future of Work, having a stronger culture becomes a competitive advantage, which makes investing in cultural design and nurturing a sense of belonging in the company a necessity for visionary leaders.

Culture is the Silver Bullet

The times are changing. We are rapidly heading into a new era of work and productivity, as high-performing individuals’ desires are shifting towards companies that hold people and purpose at the heart of their business models. The most recent findings are a wake-up call for many leaders who come from the traditional profit-only model, to put culture at the front and center of their priorities: in April 2021, 4 million people left their jobs in the pursuit of better-aligned opportunities. More than 25% are planning to quit when the pandemic subsides. The good news is that culture can be designed, and a thoughtfully designed culture impacts everything, from talent retention to growth and profitability. High Achievers are looking for companies that will set the grounds for them to flourish and thrive while doing work that matters. So, how are you making sure to attract and retain the best people in your company? How are you empowering High Achievers to thrive post-COVID and beyond?

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