Turning the Tide on the Great Resignation

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2021 was a year to remember, as The Great Resignation made headlines as a record number of employees quit their jobs. This pandemic-driven phenomenon is largely attributed to people re-evaluating priorities and rethinking how and where they work. This hypothesis is further developed, as the results of a recent Gartner survey show that 65% of employees thought about the place that work should have in their lives in the midst of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the high level of layoffs that is driving a more volatile labor market is expected to continue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in December 2021, and 73% of currently employed workers say they are actively thinking about quitting their jobs, according to Joblist. According to Statista, the number of Americans who have left now has exceeded pre-pandemic highs for eight consecutive months.

If large and small businesses fail to find a solution to the problem, business turnover and growth will continue to struggle. It is vital to address this issue and look for ways to improve employee retention, loyalty and engagement. As The Great Resignation continues, the only way to retain employees will be to evolve and adapt.

What is the solution? Adopt an employee-centered approach that includes strengthening the relationship of managers with their direct subordinates, adopting flexibility, expanding company welfare policies, and providing opportunities for professional growth.

Related: As resignations increase, companies need to make an effort to retain talent

Strengthening relations between managers and subordinates

Having a set of great executives will help build the loyalty of the company. According to Gallup, senior executives reduce turnover more effectively than any other role in an organization, and find that a salary increase of around 20% is needed to lure most employees away from the executives who hire them.

In the midst of The Great Resignation, consistent two-way communication between managers and employees can help strengthen their relationships. Intentional communication in touch meetings once a week or informal “coffee chats” to catch up on what employees are working on and what issues they may have is key to developing relationships and managing goals and goals more effectively. results. In today’s remote and hybrid work paradigms, managing at a close level and paying attention keeps employees engaged and builds trust. All of this encourages employees to be as open as possible with their managers, providing opportunities for real-time feedback and discussion.

Today’s employees also want to know that the work they do is important. Simply throwing employees into a system where they have no skin in the game entails disengagement and potentially an employee joining The Great Resignation. To avoid this, clearly communicate the mission of the company and where the employees fit to make it a reality.

Related: How to Keep Your Most Valuable Employees During “The Great Resignation”

Embracing flexibility

To stem the tide of The Great Resignation, listen to what employees want. A survey by Ernst & Young found that nine out of 10 employees continue to demand flexibility in their work and 54% of employees consider leaving their job if they are not offered any flexibility in the place and when they work. . In 2022, adapt work models to support hybrid or fully remote work to keep employees happy.

Think of the structure of work in the same way that your employees think. The bottom line is that employees want work integrated into their lives.

The old hierarchical, 9-5 in the office, just no longer works. This is especially true for working women. During the pandemic, as schools and daycares closed and quarantined, many fathers (especially mothers) left the workforce to take care of household responsibilities and care for children. . Between March and April 2021, approximately 3.5 million mothers living with school-age children quit their jobs: “moving to paid leave or not, losing their jobs or leaving the labor market all together,” according to data from the census office.

To stay in the workforce, many women need the flexibility to work from home. According to a FlexJobs survey, 80% of women feel Remote job options are among the most important factors to consider when evaluating a new job.

Most current employees expect flexible work arrangements to support the reconciliation of work and family life. Provide this flexibility, including free time and flexible hours, so that employees can take care of their families and achieve that balance. Providing a level of autonomy over where and when work is done avoids employee exhaustion, increases employee satisfaction and productivity, and improves outcomes. If this flexibility is not provided, in-company turnover will continue to increase.

Expand company welfare policies

Because survey results show that 48% of employees say employers don’t prioritize their well-being, integrating employee well-being into the company culture is a priority. A Paychex survey shows that less than half of respondents (48%) reported that their employer prioritizes their well-being.

This could include the implementation of new parenting policies, such as paid parental leave for women, men and adoptive parents, on-site nursing homes, and a return-to-work program. Promoting healthy snack options, providing fitness programs, providing access to third-party behavioral health service, and providing access to employee assistance programs are also great ways to promote employee well-being.

Financial well-being is another area where companies can help support employee well-being. The Paychex survey found that nearly a third of employees identified financial well-being as a component they struggle with the most. Providing financial education can go a long way in reducing employee stress and building greater loyalty. From personal experience, one tool that has been found to be effective in reducing employees ’financial stress is to provide personal health advisors who review employees’ medical bills. This creates a foundation for healthy personal finances and minimizes the worry of overpaying for surprise medical bills.

Related: Innovative strategies for achieving well-being in the workplace

Offering opportunities for professional growth

Employees want professional growth opportunities. If they don’t find it in an employer, they will give up. Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey found that among employees surveyed who plan to look for work after the pandemic, 80% said they were concerned about the growth of their career.

This finding underscores the importance of investing in employee growth and development. Programs such as training groups at all levels, personalized employee development opportunities, and training and career development planning can support employee development and provide training and opportunities for employees. fly.

The Covid-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way employees view their work-life balance. This change is driving The Great Resignation and creating an imperative for employers to transform the employee experience. Adopt an employee-centered approach that focuses on strengthening the relationship of managers with their direct subordinates, adopting flexibility, expanding company welfare policies, and providing opportunities for professional growth.

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