“We are closing as of X due to provincial orders. Do you want to be laid off?“
That was all that was in the email to my son when he found out he was being laid off from his restaurant job a few weeks ago. And it’s been crickets ever since with zero further correspondence. They could have copied and pasted “THE END” like at the close of a black and white movie.
Guess what he did the next day? Started looking for another job. Sure, in part because he needs money. And, because there was no indication there was a future—kind of like a breakup.
However, is a layoff a breakup? Or a long-distance relationship?
Recommit with Recognition to Retain Your People
Even if you’re facing a lockdown dramatically impacting your industry, where you’re faced with laying off staff, shutting your doors temporarily, or dramatically changing the nature of your work, you can still recognize your people to retain them, so they come back!
Recognition is essential even if you need to exit staff during downturns, furloughs, and lockdowns. How you do it and what you do when you’re all in a holding pattern communicates how much they matter to you. They’ll make other plans that don’t include you if you don’t show you care and they’re still on your mind.
Here are a few ideas:
- Send a text, “thanks for being patient in these zany times”
- Send emails with a brief update
- Create a FB group to keep people connected; post helpful videos, positive images, relevant quotes
- Create a video of how grateful you are for people’s loyalty
- Design a Canva of a “top 10” list of specific examples of teamwork at its best prior to lockdown
- Call to check in on how they’re doing
- Invite them to participate in virtual training programs
- Extend the invite to take e-learning courses
It’s in the tough times that loyalty is demonstrated: yours to them and theirs to you. Remind them why they chose you in the first place, and don’t give them a reason to question it.
Humanity doesn’t take a holiday when we’re not altogether; in fact, we need to be more intentional about building it. Out of sight need not be out of mind. Stay top of mind and full of heart. These small yet impactful intentional acts have an even greater impact on people when there aren’t other work interactions at play. Your actions ARE the story.
Be the employer, boss, colleague, and “workmunity” (work community) that people long for. And do this through random acts of recognition.
Here are more great resources to help you retain people by creating recognition:
- Virtual Connection and Recognition
- Random Acts of Kindness: Recognition Style
- How Do I Give Recognition That’s Sincere?
PS. Want to create a Recognition Habit that works to make your team feel appreciated? Learn how easy it can be in these 15-minute practical lessons in our micro-learning course.