Impact of COVID-19 on employee retention and how PR industry is working through it
Every great event in the history of mankind has had a physiological, psychological and emotional impact. COVID -19 is a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, and the effects have been felt all over the globe. As a skilled professional workforce, young Indian talent has had it really hard as compared to their contemporaries elsewhere, mainly due to no standardization of laws in India.
Happy & successful employees are a crucial asset for the success of any organization. While companies must consider how to retain employees at the best of times, employee retention became a pressing topic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Extreme uncertainty from the highest level of organization, coupled with devastating statistics from across the globe and the almost overnight shut down of countries forced the companies to change their strategies and set new structures and systems to bring about a version 2.0!
As we yet ride through these unprecedented times, it is a difficult time to discuss recruiting and retention in the Public Relations industry as it took the fair brunt of the pandemic-led apprehension in the market. Even top PR firms had to absorb furloughs, layoffs and salary cuts. Most of the agencies depend on the cyclical payment schedules of their clients to pay their employees, vendors, and other third parties. The cyclical cash inflow was disrupted and put a huge amount of pressure on the agencies to come up with a solution.
Today it is even more important for the people who make up an organization to know, with utmost faith, that their employer is right there for them & has their back. Through many avenues to engage and involve employees in the important decisions and taking their feedback can help in paving the way for a better employee retention rate in the agencies.
Transparency in communication should be at the core of any organization. Faced with a situation where the workforce are working online, it becomes even harder to build a community of like-minded people. As we move ahead, agencies should constantly keep innovating and evolving their best practices in line with their company ethos to have a diverse, highly-skilled, non-political and happy workplace for employees.
Retaining employees, especially in a post-pandemic era, is one of the biggest challenges faced by the PR industry. All organizations have their own targets set and personal strategies that cater to their management and branding. All in all, the PR industry as a whole is going through a challenging period. But the best part about challenges is that once we overcome them, we stand to come out stronger and more capable of overcoming whatever the future brings.
Here are some ideas, that employers can look into for building a rapport with their employees in these times
- Motivate employees by leading by example
- Introduce online meet and events for the team to get to know each other better
- Hear out your employees, be there to listen and help
- Introduce a 5 day work week
- Regular performance evaluations & applaud the good work
- Introduce power teams - an inter colleague mentor programme
As Steve Jobs famously stated, “Your organization is only as good as your team”, let's look forward to continuing to grow from strength to strength!