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How to boost staff morale

Reading time:  3 Minutes

In the face of employee burnout and ‘The Great Resignation’, companies need to work harder than ever to retain staff and show them a bright future

The pandemic has been a major catalyst for change. In the world of work, we are seeing an exodus of employees leaving their jobs in search of new opportunities. Why? They might be shifting priorities, becoming a parent (and therefore needing more flexibility), unhappy in their current role or pursuing a dream.

According to a recent Microsoft survey of 300,000 professionals from around the world, 41% of them said they were thinking about quitting their job or changing their profession in 2021. While recent IWG research revealed 83% of office workers would be more likely to apply for a job if it offered hybrid/flexible working.

‘The Great Resignation’, as it has been called, is a problem for companies, as it means their talent pool is being rapidly drained. Here are six ways to motivate staff and encourage them to stay for the long term…

1. Organise an appraisal

Most people have had a tough time over the last 18 months, so arrange to have one-on-one meetings with employees to find out how they are doing personally and what their professional situation is like. Ask them what their ambitions are and how you can help them on the journey to achieving them. Offer praise for specific projects, and keep the tone constructive and positive, even if there are areas for improvement. Remember to say thank you – that goes a long way.

2. Award an unexpected pay rise

After months of furlough, many staff members will be struggling financially and, consequently, looking for better compensation elsewhere. They might also assume your company won’t be able to give them the salary they are looking for but, if you can afford to up people’s pay (bearing in mind the cost of recruiting if they leave), give as many employees as possible a generous pay rise. Given that lots of companies are hiring, salaries will become competitive. (KPMG recently observed that starting salaries are rising.)

3. Offer unlimited flexibility

Look at what other benefits you can provide. Most people of every age appreciate the flexibility to work the hours and days that suit them, and from a combination of home, office and coworking spaces. (In a 2021 survey by McKinsey, 52% of employees said they wanted hybrid working, post-pandemic.) Staff might even want to work some of their time from abroad – or even relocate, which is something Regus can help with thanks to its extensive network of flexspace around the world.

We all know that ‘presenteeism’ is an outmoded concept and that remote working is effective, so show your trust and appreciation by guaranteeing freedom. IWG research underlines the value people place on flexible working practises: more than two thirds (67%) of those questioned in a recent survey said they are happier in their jobs now that they can work flexibly, while more than half (52%) said hybrid working had made their working hours more manageable. Meanwhile, 72% would prefer the long-term ability to work flexibly over going back to the office with a 10% pay rise.

4. Book a team retreat

Endless video meetings and dispersed teams due to hybrid/virtual-first working mean finding the time for real-life face time can be a challenge. Although international travel is complicated, booking a team retreat in a domestic location can still give a huge boost to morale – especially if it’s in a gorgeous residential property with great food and wine. You can create an itinerary for the daytime but make sure there are lots of enjoyable team building activities outdoors as well. Laughter is a great way of bringing people together.

5. Unveil new perks

Being creative with company perks can act as a big incentive for staff to remain loyal. Inspiring examples include Nike, which recently gave all its employees the week off for a ‘mental health break’, Apple and Facebook, which have been offering subsidised egg freezing for potential parents, and Asana, which offers free life coaching and Uber credits for commuting.

6. Suggest a sabbatical

If someone wants to leave a company, suggesting they take a sabbatical instead could give them the chance to recharge and take stock, giving them the chance to return refreshed. It’s also a great way of helping people avoid burnout. Many companies such as PayPal offer paid sabbaticals as a perk after employees have completed a certain number of years of service.

With locations in thousands of neighbourhoods all over the world, find out how Regus can help your business thrive in the new, hybrid world of work