Flexibility a key attribute in best places to work

Flexibility, communication and a genuine concern for the welfare of employees have become leading attributes in the best places to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All those things are really starting to bubble up now, where companies are starting to stand back and realizing that these are important attributes that their leaders need to tap,” panelist Deb Andrychuk of Shaker Recruiting Marketing said Tuesday morning during a Daily Herald Business Ledger webinar, the latest in a series of business webinars.

Andrychuk urged employers to invest in their brand, culture and people.

“And if they're smart, they're doing it right now because they know COVID isn't going to last forever. And when it's gone, hiring is going to take off,” she said.

“If you're not taking good care of your employees, if you're not minding to your culture, to your brand, if you're not listening, showing empathy, your great employees can be looking at other opportunities,” added webinar moderator Mary Lynn Fayoumi, CEO of HR Source.

Fayoumi noted hiring is increasing, and employees find it easier to look for new jobs when they're working from home.

Still, letting employees work from home is a key factor in becoming a top workplace and will be even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peter Burke, panelist and president of Best Companies Group, said his firm surveyed 1,200 employers about returning to the office, and about 60% said they will allow or encourage employees to continue to work remotely after the pandemic. Some even will require employees to work remotely, he said.

Working remotely also is a perk more employees are looking for.

Sirmara Campbell, panelist and chief human resources officer of search firm LaSalle Network, said her company is insisting employees use their paid time off now instead of carrying it over to next year. Employees need the mental break now.

“Even if it's doing something around the house. Get away from the screen. Get away from being on call constantly,” Campbell said.

Campbell also suggested keeping an especially close eye on new employees who might not know their jobs as well yet or might not feel a part of the corporate culture yet and might need a morale lift.

The next event is the Influential Women in Business event, which will be livestreamed on the Business Ledger's Facebook page at 4 p.m. Thursday. A panel discussion on “Pandemic Conversations for Employers” will be on Zoom at 9 a.m. Nov. 19.

On Dec. 8, the Daily Herald Business Ledger will host a webinar on the 2021 business and economic outlook.

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