How To Retain Your Superstars


February 16, 2021

“The more that you’re talking to your employees and getting to know them, the better.”

Meghan Popoleo is the Director of Director of Sales & Marketing at The O’Connor Group. Meghan talks with Anthony about the best ways to retain your employees during this pandemic and how to build your dream team.


Current Statistics

Meghan: “65% of employees are open to looking for new jobs now. I think it was around 30% pre-pandemic. It was interesting to me because Indeed just put out an article that said that 2021 is the year of jobs switching. That’s scary. That’s scary for a business owner, whether it be a small company or a large company. People are just so much more open to making a job switch.”

Meghan: “Not to mention that many people are hiring people that are already employed rather than hiring unemployed people. That’s something that every business owner has to keep on their radar. Businesses under 100 employees, maybe under 75 employees, really have that family mentality. They have to do right by their employees and have that employee first mentality. They did a really good job of finding things that their employees can do, saying, ‘I’m going to do every single thing I can before I let somebody go.’ I think that’s an indicator that you’re going to make those employees such brand ambassadors for you, that they’re never going to want to leave you.”


Having a Remote Workforce

Meghan: “The opportunity of a remote workforce is something that they may have not been able to experience in the past. Most of our business is virtual, right? We had a pretty strong service area in the mid-Atlantic region. Now with this virtual workforce only increasing, the opportunities are endless.”

Meghan: “If I want to go take a job in California and I know that I can be remote five days a week, they’re ready to go. People can just get up and go. So I think that is going to be huge, that people have the chance now to work anywhere. Most of them want to feel like they’re part of an organization that matters. Aiding in the community is sometimes more important to them than money. Those are the two key things, the ability to work anywhere and the company has passionate and innovative ideas on how they can make a difference.”


Communication & Transparency

Meghan: “The word communication is so important right now. I don’t think there was even an ability whatsoever to over communicate. The more that you’re talking to your employees and getting to know them, the better. That is how you make those standing long-term relationships with them.”

Meghan: “If a leader is way too optimistic and is over promising all of these things, that makes employees scared. I think if you go too transparent, you can make them feel scared for the future based on how the company is doing. It’s challenging. Finding that mix between optimism, transparency, and over communicating to your people is huge. We’re obviously all virtual right now, we all have our own clients, so it’s hard to talk to each other on a daily basis.”

Meghan: “We try to have a monthly standing meeting and it’s just at lunchtime. We just check in with each other and we just say, ‘What’s going on? What’s happening in your personal life? What milestones are you experiencing with your family?’ Those things go such a long way. Everybody’s at different stages in their lives, so find out what works for each person. Finding out what each person wants, what drives them, and what makes them successful in the workplace is really so important.”

Meghan: “I want to go a little bit further on transparency. This is one thing that I have been a huge advocate for my entire career. Not only is everybody at the top communicating and being transparent with where the company is, where we’re going, what challenges we face, but also what opportunities do we face as well. I feel like when you’re transparent to your team and to your customers, there leaves less imagination for them to go in a different direction.”

Building a Dream Team

Meghan: “Something that we think about internally at our business is our dream team. Of course we spend most of our time focusing on our employees that we have on our team, but we spend a lot of time looking at who would make the best fit from a cultural and skillset perspective.”

Meghan: “Even if we’re not quite ready for them yet, we start to look. I’ll look on the market and see who we like, who would be a good fit for us, and we start to draw them in. We start to set up one-on-ones with them. We invite them to company lunches. We send them resources. Then we might say, ‘listen, there’s not a spot for you yet, but we really like what you have to offer, and we hope you will come join us one day in the future.” I think this is so important to do, because then you have these people lined up that want to work for you.


To learn more about Meghan Popoleo, connect with her here on LinkedIn.

 Listen to Meghan’s full podcast episode
Tyler Daniels is a Senior Marketing Specialist with Integris.

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