Andrew Jackson – December 12, 2020
In the second post of his DFW SIM Fellows blog series on employment and management issues, BravoTECH President and Co-Founder Andrew C. Jackson offers a few ideas on building and strengthening teams in 2021.
My first piece of advice is to understand your team’s state of mind related to their happiness with their current positions. Retention is key, since it is time consuming and costly to replace staff. While the pandemic brought uncertainty to the tech job market for a time, most experts expect a gradual return to the labor shortages of the past. When this happens, expect your most valuable staff to get unsolicited offers from other firms.
You might try setting up one-on-one interim reviews to assess each team member’s satisfaction and team chemistry as a whole. Try to determine the stability and contentment of each individual and ask managers to do the same for their direct reports. There has been a great deal of turmoil caused by the pandemic – stresses related to being thrown into a work-from-home environment, processes that had to be adopted for virtual work, altered family dynamics, and in some cases the delay of incentives and bonuses. In addition, there is new competition for your workforce from companies outside of your area that have now embraced a work from anywhere policy. Your reviews can help you determine which employees may be considering a change, so you can address the factors under your control to keep your valued employees. Remember that it is an uphill battle to retain an employee who has already given notice.
My second point is, if you are planning to grow in 2021, do not wait until January to start the process for expanding your team. Fire up your recruiting engine now. At some companies, internal departments and associated processes take months to engage. Get the word out now within your network that you are building your team. Many prospective candidates will use their holiday vacation time to investigate employment options.
When talking about your opportunities with candidates, stress the benefits of your corporate culture (from my first article in this series). Share the exciting future a career with your team would entail. If your organization has embraced remote work, either part-time or full-time, be sure to include this in your messaging since it will increase the field of candidates. In 2021, millions of workers with parenting and caregiver responsibilities are now looking for permanent work-from-home opportunities. LinkedIn and other social media channels are excellent ways to expand your reach.
Finally, make your talent search a team effort. Encourage managers and line employees to refer qualified candidates. There is no better messenger about your company than those who live within it.
Next week I will share some ideas on managing remote workforces.