The Great Resignation is here, and it is affecting retention at the best of companies. The statistics are staggering, and HR professionals are all too aware of the effects. The US Labor Department announced that 4.4 million people voluntarily left their job in September alone; a record clearly showing there’s been a shift in how we work.
The issue at hand is easy to understand, but on the flip side is a not-so-easy task that business owners and HR managers must overcome. Let’s dig into what’s causing the shift, how outdated policies can affect your turnover rate and retention strategies.
What’s Causing the Influx in Resignation Letters?
As of the last day of September 2021, there were 10.4 million open jobs. A recent Forbes article described the current era as “a sort of workers’ revolution” and that “the quitters are making a powerful, positive and self-affirming statement”.
Self-affirming — that’s an interesting take on the matter and one we agree with. People are putting their personal needs, their family, and their goals first. Working around the clock leads to burnout. Commuting and working in an office is now viewed as a trade-off for things like taking the kids to school, catching a morning spin class, or embarking in bleisure travel.
For many, the trade-off isn’t worth it and they’re finding opportunities to support themselves financially while prioritizing their wellbeing. Meaning for many, it’s not a work-ethic issue, as some are quick to assume. It’s a work environment issue.
And as quickly as people praised working from home, for many it led to lacking engagement, decreased recognition, and poor communication — all negatively affecting morale. So if simply letting people work from home or work from anywhere isn’t the answer, how can we as managers and HR professionals retain quality employees?
Retaining Good Employees
In 2021, about ⅓ of new hires quit after about 6 months. You know, replacing employees is expensive, leading companies to get creative when it comes to revamping their retention strategies. Sign-on bonuses, tuition assistance, and higher wages are a few examples we’re seeing on “we’re hiring” signs and ads across the country.
Embracing remote work is at the center of most retention strategy conversations, and we do believe remote work is here to stay. A recent study showed that not feeling valued led 76% of people to seek a new opportunity. Let's learn how to properly support those employees so they feel valued and in turn remain valuable to your bottom line.
Set boundaries when it comes to work hours. When core work hours are adhered to, people can unplug at the end of the day. An employee who is recharged in the morning will bring more value to your team than one who is unable to mentally disconnect.
Good employees can worry less about their supervisor’s expectations. While there are occasional needs to work odd hours, the pressure to chime in on an email string while catching up on a Netflix series is drastically reduced.
Focus on Communication
Communication is key in any relationship, including the relationship between employees, managers, and human resources. Here are a few actionable examples:
- HR can anonymously survey employees to uncover unknown concerns.
- Invest in the proper technology that keeps your team connected. From workflow tools like Trello and communication portals like Slack keep everyone focused on a common goal.
- Create an ‘office hour’ where anyone can log on and chat.
- Spark friendly competition through a bike-to-work scheme.
Revamp Your Benefits Package
Wages, retirement plans, and vacation were once the pillars of a good ‘offer’ in the workplace. While wages are competitive, you may be surprised to find how highly millennials and younger workers appreciate new forms of compensation.
Here are a few examples you may not considered:
- SimplePerks: Everyone on the team gets a SimplePerks card and access to an app. Managers can easily give rewards and perks regularly or as needed/earned. From a cup of coffee on your work anniversary, to an education stipend, all rewards are made with a few clicks and the employee is automatically notified.
- Vacation — What if employees were allowed to extend their work trip by a day or two? It’s a great way to thank an employee for leaving their home life behind on behalf of the company. And the employee benefits with a bit of vacation and improved cultural agility.
- Fertility/postpartum benefits are important to many. Nursing moms expect an appropriate space to pump and store breast milk. Both parents deserve time off when a new baby is born. Some companies are even contributing towards fertility treatment and egg freezing.
- Show you’re an inclusive company by creating a benefit dedicated to those without a spouse or children. “Fur-ternity” leave is a unique and low-cost way to support an employee welcoming home a new pet.
A Modernized Workplace Is Essential
We believe a modernized workplace is essential to attract and retain quality employees during this era, and ultimately keep their business afloat. We’re here to inspire employers and HR professionals by thinking outside of the box when supporting traveling, remote, and work from anywhere employees.
The Great Resignation is here, it’s up to us to decide how we will react. We believe the companies who choose to focus on reducing burnout, increasing flexibility, and revising their benefits packages will find success in retaining quality employees.