Is your senior team about to leave you?
With the end of the lockdown fast approaching, it’s safe to say the nation is breathing a big sigh of relief. This third lockdown has seemed particularly hard and everyone I speak to agrees to varying extents.
It’s not just people who have been going out to work every day, such as those in the NHS or in logistics. Those in senior roles, running companies from their homes, have really felt the pressure this time too. In fact, Lodge Court has identified a trend where large numbers of this group are leaving their roles. Not only that, but they’re leaving without another job to go to. The reason? They have hit breaking point and have had enough.
A senior exodus is not what you need now, when your business has a chance to rebuild and recover from the damage caused by the pandemic so what can you do to provide support and retain them?
To solve the problem, we first need to look at what has caused it.
Lodge Court is an HR consultancy so we have conversations every day with businesses and individuals looking to improve their working environment. The number of cases we have seen in recent weeks of senior management and executives who have left or are considering leaving their jobs because they cannot keep doing their role in its current form is extraordinary. And the cause is the effect of the pandemic and working from home, which have led to people losing their ability to engage “normally” with clients, colleagues and peers.
People also have no “closure” from work each day. By not having to travel home, there is not sense of finishing the working day properly so the tension persists and the working day creeps on. Cue the headaches, diminishing eyesight, back problems and exhaustion. There is no release.
And holidays? Why take them when there’s nowhere to go? And whether you take the odd day off or not, the emails and calls continue to flood in as colleagues no longer have the benefit of checking you’re at your desk to see if you’re working. The assumption that everyone is working and available to answer calls or deal with problems any day of the week.
If we’re seeing this trend, it’s likely any one of your team is feeling this way. Offering more money is not the answer. Here’s my advice on what to do about it.
First look at what you are currently doing to retain staff.
You may have a great retention programme in place with training, extra days holiday, company events and team lunches, as well as bonuses for hitting exceptional targets. But how much of this is valid during lockdown? I’m guessing very little.
You need to revise this programme to impact staff now while in lockdown and over the coming months while they find their rhythm with working from home and from the office.
Look at working conditions
Form a working group of those you expect are most feeling the pain of working from home and task them with finding ways to improve working conditions. They can think about the length of the working day, equipment, rewards and more.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Ban meetings 12-2pm to give staff the chance to take a proper break and get fresh air
- Give your senior team extra personnel support by hiring virtual Personal Assistants for them
- Invest in quality home office equipment for staff
- Consider hiring yoga teachers, personal trainers and wellbeing coaches
- Send gifts or vouchers to employees’ homes to show your appreciation for their hard work and commitment
This is not a trend to ignore. By supporting your senior team, you will in ensure the commitment, engagement of your wider workforce too.