Don’t take workers for granted, especially in a crisis

Maintaining a great workplace culture where employee engagement can thrive is important – or even more important – during turbulent times. After many discussions with Top Workplaces leaders, we know they have doubled down on listening to their employees. From town halls and virtual breakout rooms to team check-ins, engagement surveys, and pulse surveys, they continue to lean in and connect with their employees. And these companies are reaping the rewards of their efforts.

Don't take workers for granted

Still, our survey data show employees are increasingly interested in considering new positions. While there was less interest in looking for a new job in April and May – at the height of the pandemic – more recent data show employees are now more likely to look for new opportunities. As a result, employee retention concerns have emerged.

With these retention concerns, now’s not the time to take your best employees for granted or assume they are content to stay. Don’t use the pandemic to say, “Well, we don’t need to worry about retaining our employees.”

The war for talent has entered a new phase. With the pandemic and remote working, many companies have opened the aperture on recruiting. Now, they can hire from just about anywhere. This increases the fluidity of the job market and it gives job candidates more options than ever before. As a local example, we’re seeing West Coast employers such as Facebook hiring aggressively in Philadelphia. That hasn’t happened before.

But this also means companies have an opportunity to expand their reach to attract recruits from a broader base. According to Harvard Business Review, CEOs of the top organizations operating remotely cite access to distributed talent as a key competitive advantage.

While we’re in the early days of this new phase, companies that don’t get out ahead of it are likely to get run over. Strengthening your employer brand with credible recognition can help. Research shows companies with a strong employer brand, including third-party recognition, attract more qualified candidates, and experience reduced employee turnover. And that’s important employee retention concerns now on the rise.

Employees want to know what it’s like to work for your organization before they ever choose to apply. In fact, along with pay and benefits, it’s number one, two, or three among those three topics. Many go to employment review websites to do their homework. But sites like these offer a poor reflection of companies. Often, the anonymous feedback is dominated by disgruntled employees or those who have been coached to post positive reviews.

That’s why it’s critical to gain credible, authentic, third-party employer recognition based solely on employee feedback. Top Workplaces offers just that.

Doug Claffey is founder and chief strategy officer of Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces. To nominate your company as a Top Workplace, go to

The trusted source for DC's Employers

Sign up and post a job now

Post a job today

Back to listing

The Washington Post Jobs Newsletter

Subscribe to the latest news about DC's jobs market