A number of surveys are showing that a “Great Resignation” may be coming, so retaining talent in your commercial real estate firm is more essential than ever. In December 2020, the voluntary quit rate hit its lowest level in nearly a decade, meaning employees were holding off on looking for a new job. One survey has 25% of workers quitting outright once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. Although you won’t be able to retain all of your employees, there are three key factors that can help you retain top talent at your firm.
Every industry experienced unprecedented challenges over the last year and commercial real estate was hit particularly hard. As a result, everyone in your organization is probably feeling varying degrees of burn-out, frustration and unappreciated. Many employees are juggling more work in more challenging settings than ever before, due to pressures from work and at home. Start a conversation with your team that acknowledges the challenges you have all faced and highlight the areas where your group was able to make good progress. This will help build connections within your employees and make them feel more like a part of the team.
Building a stronger connection between your employees will benefit the team and the company in the long run. Open lines of communication also mean that you can try to alleviate burn-out and stress before it drives a good employee to quit. A discussion about each employee’s work load might reveal the need to create and hire for a new position you hadn’t considered to help handle the workload.
Many employees choose to start a job hunt due to a limited opportunity for professional growth. One study showed nearly two-thirds of respondents ranked it in their top three reasons to look for a new job. Employees want to be challenged to learn new skills and develop beyond the scope of their job description. They also may feel trapped in a dead-end job if the opportunities for growth and advancement are not apparent. Developing internal educational programs or mentorship opportunities can help you retain your top talent. And all hiring managers know that it is cheaper to retain good employees than hire a new one.
While many employees are looking forward to a “return to normal”, a number of employees have discovered that they like working remotely. Companies that have been entirely remote may find it hard to convince their employees to return to the office (and return to their commute) five days a week. Although the office has a number of benefits over remote working, many employees enjoy the flexibility of remote working. Additionally, your employees may have moved further from the office or accepted additional family responsibilities over the last year that may make a daily commute extremely difficult. Other employees may also be hesitant to return to the office due to health and safety concerns, despite the vaccine. Building flexibility into your return-to-office policy will help you address all of these issues. If you create a one size fits all policy, you may drive out some of the talent you are trying to retain. Creating an adaptable plan will help you retain your top employees while making them feel supported and valued. It can also help you retain talented employees who would have left for a fully remote position.
While some degree of turn-over is expected, doing what you can to retain your top talent is vital to any commercial real estate firm. It also offers employers an opportunity to identify and hire top talent at another firm where they may be looking for a change. Hiring over the next few months is likely to present a number of challenges and opportunities across the multifamily, office, retail and industrial markets as valuable talent considers their employment options.
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