Retaining your employees during the Great Resignation
By now, you’ve probably heard of — or experienced — the ‘Great Resignation’, a term coined by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, to describe the wave of employees rethinking or quitting their jobs post-pandemic. Some 4 million people quit their jobs in April, the highest reported number since 2000. More than 3.6 million people voluntarily left their jobs in May.
Prudential posits one in four US workers will look for a new job when the pandemic eases up; Microsoft research finds that 41% of the global workforce is weighing leaving their current employer this year; Monster reports as many as 95% of workers are currently considering changing jobs. There are 9.2 million job openings, but employers can’t fill them.
Employees will resign for a number of reasons. A key driver for employees leaving can be feeling undervalued. According to a recent survey, 63% of employees feel that they don’t get enough praise. And 83% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift. Making sure employees are valued and recognized can be a key driver of retention.
But there’s another reason people might quit their jobs: burnout, which disproportionately affects working mothers. One in four women with children under 10 say they considered leaving the workforce during the pandemic, compared with only 13% of men with younger kids, according to research from McKinsey & Company. Women told researchers that they were exhausted from taking on more household and child-rearing duties.
A recent Microsoft study confirms employees want the best when it comes to workplace flexibility, with more than 70% of workers desiring flexible remote work options to continue. As organizations get real with remote and hybrid work, they learn that those able to provide workers with the flexibility to work where and when they want to enjoy significant competitive advantage. Research shows 85% of US employees who worked remotely during the pandemic prefer to work either remotely or in hybrid arrangements permanently.
According to one study, approximately one in five employees reported leaving their jobs in 2020 due to pay and benefits concerns, with unsatisfactory pay being the top reason. Research shows 72% of companies are updating pay and benefits programs in 2021 to address multiple challenges. They continue to modernize and personalize their health benefits and recognize savings and retirement are a top priority of employees, increasing their focus to further strengthen employees’ financial security.
During 2020 and 2021, employees and organizations demonstrated resiliency in light of significant challenges. At the same time, research shows a decline in physical, emotional, financial and social well-being. Employees reported feeling disconnected and the deterioration of workplace social connections has created productivity and stress challenges that can hamper performance. Employers focused on efforts to drive resiliency through efforts that consider workload, time off, counselling, behavioural and mental health assistance, as well as financial well-being support and continuous skilling and development.
Unlike 40 years ago, lower-paid employees cannot afford to buy a home or pay for college tuition on their income. College benefits are becoming more popular among all types of employers, including those in the restaurant and retail industry. Some of these programs are even geared to the children of team members instead of workers themselves. Providing access to free or discounted higher education can help improve recruitment and retention efforts. Employers are not only considering solutions such as free college benefits but are also considering matching contributions.
While some people welcome going back to an office environment, the reasons for those who dread it are varied and personal. Some are experiencing sadness on missing out on dinner with their families or the freedom to take a walk in the middle of the day. Women and marginalized people may fear experiencing more microaggressions in the office setting. There’s also no denying the increased polarization of political and social views amplified during the pandemic.
Creating a work culture built on trust, transparency, and empathy is what makes employees feel safe to show up as their authentic selves. This is the state in which we are all able to contribute our very best, and so directly in the company’s best interest. When employees feel seen and heard, their performance and productivity increases. They feel able to grow, and so will stay, leading to the retention of top talent that is more vital – and more difficult – than ever.
At Secova, we’re committed to researching and providing the best services and resources customized for your business. Our data technology, expertise, and education provide tailor-made solutions for every company. We provide a 24/7 benefits administration solution for all employees to make sure they stay. After all, it’s the employees who define the success of a company!