If you’re furloughing staff: Make sure they want to come back.
There have been numerous studies which show it is more expensive to recruit a new employee than it is to retain one. If you have had to furlough staff, the biggest risk right now is losing their loyalty. When your company comes together again, you want your staff to have your back. Furloughing staff is already much better than letting them go and shows your commitment to them in the long term, but employees may not realise this, thinking it’s just free money from the Government. So how can you keep your teams on board? With strong leadership.
“The Government will kindly be paying your staff 80% of their wages for the next few months, but they will not be responsible for setting your future culture, only you can do that.”
The company your furloughed staff come back to may not be the same as the one they left. Don’t neglect your staff right now. It’s not just about money, it’s about continuous leadership in good times and bad.
The most important piece of advice I can give is don’t forget your furloughed workers. I send regular video comms to mine, via email. I simply tell them about what we are doing, how we appreciate them and want to see them back at work soon. I am also sharing data about our performance and this also shows that we know what we are doing as a management team.
Remember: Communication is two way
Be approachable as a Leader. You can’t exactly open your office door now most of the workforce is working from home or being furloughed, but you can and must make a means of communication available to your staff. It’s important to listen to their concerns and address them honestly too, don’t just make your dialogue all one-way. Right now I don’t have a lot of spare time. My business has been hit by the Covid19 pandemic and I’ve been on back to back conference calls for the past two weeks. I still make time to answer employees who contact me.
Listening to employees
Here are some emails : one I received from a staff member thanking me for my video update and another reply I sent to a different employee who did the same.
It means a lot that we can still keep employees engaged and on-board in this difficult time and I am looking for ways to get them back in as soon as I can. I’m working toward making my organisational culture better, not worse after #Covd19. Are you doing the same?