How to Retain Employees throughout the Great Resignation
The unifying spirit begins long before the shoot
In the wake of Covid-19, a phenomenon dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ has been taking the US by storm. Employees, particularly in the US, have been resigning in droves. In August 2021, it’s estimated that over 4 million people quit their jobs. In addition, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, 40% of the workforce are considering leaving their current employer within the next year. These are alarming figures that point to widespread unease within the current job market.
The pandemic has certainly precipitated this fallout, with workers revaluating their priorities and purpose and seeking greater satisfaction amid ‘pandemic epiphanies’. Concurrently, whilst a shift to remote work was already underway, this has now been all but solidified with a year of practice using Zoom; today, geography is no longer a restraint. To add to all of this, the way employees’ bosses have treated them throughout this period has shone a spotlight on negative workplace culture. In other words, many workers are tired of the excessive demands of their employers and this is particularly the case for Gen Zs and Millennials (with 77% and 63% respectively looking for new employment soon, almost twice that of Baby Boomers).
Where does this lead? Mainly, an increase in the well-documented ‘turnover costs’. This is without mentioning the huge social costs implicated – weakened team morale, an extra burden on remaining employees (who are likely themselves already overstretched). Perhaps the worst part about this is that it is entirely preventable. Retention then, is the name of the game.
Aside from the obvious (raising wages, ensuring employees are paid on time; according to an ADP Group research, nearly 70% of employees have already faced this problem), what are the long-term solutions to this development? Some of the answers may seem surprising and contrary to traditional work culture. However, for change to happen, and for ultimately greater productivity, some difficult habits need to be broken.
Sources: Gallup, Microsoft Work Trend Index, Pew Research Center
Focus on the human
The first step for making employees feel more valued certainly revolves around the R word: respect. Given that research suggests that workers are leaving as they don’t feel valued, it’s only natural then that treating them better could make a world of difference. This especially applies for the managers among you who are the bulwark between unhappy employees and the door. The figures say it all: 92% of employees would stay if their managers treated them with more empathy.
What’s more, half of employees say that in the three months before leaving, neither their manager nor any other leader spoke with them about their job satisfaction or future within the organisation. Statistics aside, employees don’t feel that their managers are invested in their long-term careers nor their happiness. So make it a priority to treat them with kindness and take an active interest in their development. Your bottom line will thank you for it.
Another key is to focus on engagement. This may appear a lofty term, but in reality it’s actually quite simple. It involves making sure your employees are aligned with the company’s goals and values, fostering a relationship of trust and commitment. The benefits are numerous: reduced staff turnover, a healthier work culture, an increase in productivity/profits and most importantly, happy, efficient and dedicated employees. So how can companies actually go about increasing employee engagement? Through long-term development and learning. One survey found 94% would stay at their current employer if they invested in their long-term learning.
On a more practical level, this could involve training programs (indeed, companies with effective company training see 53% less attrition), or allowing employees more chances to develop their skills by increasing their responsibilities. It could also mean demonstrating to employees the benefits of this personal development, whether in terms of pay rises or promotions. In short, providing all the necessary means and incentives for employees to grow and flourish, giving them a sense of purpose and meaning to their work.
To assist in this endeavour, you can make use of Rapidmooc portable video studio to create your training programs and carry out your virtual classes in style. With its full HD camera, slim design and 4 wheels, the Rapidmooc studio is an all-in-one, ready-to-use video studio that opens up a range of possibilities … all you have to do is to add your ideas.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning the need to ensure that employees actually feel that their work is meaningful. No amount of training will motivate them if they don’t see how their responsibilities contribute to the company’s mission or objectives in the first place. So make sure that this is made crystal clear from the beginning.
Now that we’ve discussed both respect and engagement, there is one last step to ensuring you retain your employees throughout this difficult period. And that is flexibility. If the Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated anything, it’s that workers want more freedom in their day to day lives. Indeed, according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Global Talent Trends Report, companies with optimal flexible work arrangements saw a 137% higher headcount growth. Still not convinced? Consider that over 70% of
workers want flexible remote working options to continue. In any case, flexible work is here to stay, so there’s no point neglecting the opportunities it can bring.
If you were one of the lucky few who haven’t already had plenty of practice with remote work, you may be wondering how to go about it effectively. The key is to let employees choose what’s best for them. Do they prefer telecommuting, working in the office only part of the time. Perhaps they would rather be fully remote, entirely away from the office. Or maybe they just want more leeway in their schedule whether as a condensed workweek or just flexible work hours. Sound simple?
Then all that’s needed is the right technology, and ensuring work culture is adapted to this new way of operating. Be clear about what is expected of employees and be sure to check in often. In fact, remote working does not have to mean isolation, and it’s up to the company to offer effective communication channels and to keep the company culture alive and well. Whether this means team-building activities or occasional on-site events, it’s important to keep these employees in the loop and help them feel included. This will only foster engagement and ensure your employees are in it for the long haul.
Embracing a new working world
The key takeaways are that respect, engagement and flexibility are the new mantras in our post-Covid world, and supporting your employees to have more of them will only boost your productivity and bottom line.