Best post-pandemic small business employee retention strategies

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Jasmine Williams

The pandemic has had a significant impact on small businesses across the globe. It’s made small business owners and team leaders rethink the strategies they use to keep their employees. The pressure is on them to find ways to make employees want to stay with their business.

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the strategies you can implement to keep your workforce intact.

Guarantee job security

The COVID era has been highly challenging for many professionals. With all the businesses shutting down, it’s only natural that workers are concerned about their job security. If your business offers long-term career prospects, employees will be more likely to stay. Moreso, they’ll be able to imagine developing professionally and growing within your company well after the post-pandemic era is over.

When employees see that they don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, it builds loyalty and trust between you and your workers. Often, when individuals go through hardships together, they build a lasting relationship. You can do the same with your employees as you navigate running a business together.

So how can you demonstrate your willingness to guarantee job security to your employees? You can start by writing a crisis playbook for your company. A crisis playbook is a set of protocols and contingencies to ensure your company and employees are set up in case of an emergency. When employees know there’s a plan, they feel assured that their jobs are safe.

Also, show leadership. Your workers need to know they can rely on their leader to carry the business through the post-pandemic era. A strong business leader encourages the feeling of safety. When employees feel safe and trust their managers, they won’t doubt their job security.

What about offering other kinds of support?

Offer mental health support

A good way to keep your employees is to support their mental well-being. The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on many employees; they’ve been through lockdowns, experienced economic hardships, illness and even the loss of loved ones. By supporting their mental health, you show your employees you genuinely care. If employees feel understood and cared for, they’ll be far less likely to leave their position at your company. Even if you’re facing hardships, they’ll stay loyal.

A study on the impact of Covid-19 on the labor market by Hays has found that well-being and mental health support are now more important to 61% of job seekers, followed by regular communication from employers (60%). Support from employers was an essential factor before, but after the traumatic experience of the pandemic, its importance has grown.

When the employer pays attention to mental health, employees feel valued. Start by allowing your workers to open up about their mental state without fear of being judged. Tell them it’s okay to open up about how the pandemic has been affecting them. If possible, give them time off to work on their mental health, or ask them what you can do to support them. Finally, encourage them to seek professional help from a trained psychologist.

Ask for feedback regularly

It’s easy for the work experience to deteriorate during the pandemic and its aftermath. To keep your workers, actively ask for their suggestions for improvement. Asking for feedback will help you understand your worker’s perspective on the post-pandemic company dynamics.

As you know, your employee’s workspace has dramatically changed since the pandemic began. By asking them for feedback, you’ll know precisely in what way. More importantly, you’ll know the critical problems they’re experiencing that might cause them to be dissatisfied with their position and eventually leave.

Employee feedback is necessary to restore the company dynamic from before the pandemic. Obviously, you must change something to make the workspace better if your workers feel dissatisfied. Chances are they have suggestions for improvement.

Start thinking about how you’re going to collect feedback from your employees.For instance, have feedback sessions on a weekly or biweekly basis. Explain to your employees that you’re open to any suggestions that will improve the work dynamics.

After you’ve completed a project, make sure you solicit feedback from everyone involved. In case some employees are hesitant, do 1-on-1’s. Employees can be shy about sharing opinions, but when you’re having private conversations with them, they can open up and give you invaluable feedback.

Once you’ve collected enough feedback, act on it to ensure you keep your employees after the pandemic.

Offer flexible and remote work arrangements

Offering flexible and remote work arrangements will be mandatory in the post-pandemic. Because of the pandemic, many workers had to switch to remote work. For many companies, the switch was successful.

Many workers could enjoy a more comfortable work environment by working from home. Workers see remote work as a considerable advantage, affecting their decision to stay with an employer. If a company offers flexible work arrangements, it’s more likely to keep employees: as many as 99% of employees report wanting to keep a degree of remote work present after the pandemic. The overwhelming majority of surveyed workers see it as a positive change. It would be wise to create a remote-friendly environment to keep your best employees.

If you want to move your small business towards such a workflow, it’s best to talk to your employees and see which operations you can move to remote. It’s a good call to make gradual changes until you’ve developed a flexible hybrid model that satisfies both you and your workers. Implement team management tools like Airtable to improve remote scheduling and tasking.


The post-pandemic era is a challenge for employee retention. If employers want to keep their top workers in their positions, they have to think of new strategies to show value, care, and support. Sit on these strategies and think about how you can implement them in your small business. Try them out, and we’re sure your employees won’t be going anywhere.


Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Contact her @JazzyWilliams88.

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