The turmoil of the pandemic allowed professionals to reassess what they want from their lives — values, priorities, and purpose — and take a look at their day jobs with fresh eyes: What type of employers provide the things that really matter? This also widened the already-substantial gap between talents’ needs and organizations’ benefits and offerings.
The result: the Great Resignation. A rising number of employees have been quitting their jobs globally. Per a study by McKinsey & Company in September 2021, 53% of employers reported a higher voluntary turnover than in previous years.
Moreover, 64% of employers said they expected the situation to worsen in the coming years. Suffice it to say, this turmoil in the talent market isn’t likely to subside soon. Thus, retaining human capital is going to be a critical priority for leaders worldwide. As the tug-of-war rages on, leadership teams must be ready with a plan to give candidates and teams what they want, while keeping the business intact.
While the challenge for employers here is of critical importance, it’s not impossible to overcome. Here are several ways to make your retention efforts relevant during the Great Resignation.
Why employee retention matters
Did you know it costs an average of six to nine months of salary to replace an employee? Employee turnover includes costs like recruiting, hiring, training, and onboarding. Not to forget the time it takes for a new employee to produce at the same levels as the current workers.
Besides cost savings, retaining top workers offers many benefits. These include increased employee loyalty, enhanced customer relations, and a better brand reputation.
That said, leaders must invest in their teams to keep top-performing employees. This also impacts some crucial business metrics:
- Increases customer engagement rates
- Improves in-org communication
- Improves knowledge transfer and exchange of skills within the organization
Businesses that can keep their workforce engaged will triumph in the ‘Great Resignation’ period.
6 ways to make your retention efforts relevant in the great resignation
The six strategies to boost retention through great resignations are as follows:
1. Enable more opportunities for growth
Most employees who plan on staying with employers long-term want to grow. These could include moving into leadership roles or learning new skills. According to a poll by Monster, 49% of professionals expect their employees to help them grow in their careers.
Providing development opportunities to employees allows employers to retain them. An effective way to do so is by providing corporate training programs to the workforce. These programs can be customized with actual university curricula to allow employees to grow their skills and knowledge.
As per a review by BCG, 68% of employees around the world want to learn new skills and re-train. Conducting retention interviews also helps your top talent to stay. So, if one of your top employees calls it quits, try to provide them with growth opportunities. You can shape their current job into their dream job.
2. Emphasize building connections and culture
People want to invest in long-term connections and relationships which help them build a network of growth-oriented professionals. Creating this talent pool while solidifying employees’ links within the organization, it also boosts the productivity of the workers.
Employees globally place an enormous emphasis on mind-sharing with coworkers. In fact, many prioritize this more than other job attributes.
Now that employees are transitioning to in-office work after working remotely, it becomes all the more essential to prioritize work relationships. Celebrating little wins for an employee or the organization with everyone goes a long way.
3. Offer flexibility
One resounding takeaway from the pandemic is that balance is crucial.
The practice of offering flexible work environments in terms of profile, place, and time is essential for employers. Remote work enables many professionals to nurture a better work-life balance.
For pliability, relaxing qualifications is also vital. Instead of being adamant about ticking all the boxes while recruiting, opt for flexibility. If individuals meet 75% of your requirements, grab them.
4. Evaluate compensation structures
If money is a persistent issue for employees, your organization is always at risk of losing them to a higher-paying job elsewhere. In order to retain loyal employees, you must take the money issue off the table entirely.
Besides updating compensation packages according to industry standards, consider offering them one-time bonuses and providing them with work-from-home stipends. You can also help them pay up student loans.
As employers, this would give you an opportunity to correct pay inequities for working mothers and people of color. Moreover, identifying the jobs that require outsized packages and overpay is significant.
5. Promote work-life balance
People today are easily willing to leave their current employer for a more flexible work situation. That is why it becomes crucial for businesses to promote work-life balance.
There are various business benefits of supporting work-life balance as well. A survey by Gartner found that businesses that promote a work-life balance achieve a 21% increase in the number of top performers.
Besides that, the physical and mental health of their employees improves. Here are some things that employers can provide to support employee well-being.
- Free childcare and parental leave
- Add-on Benefits for health (mental, dental, eye care, etc.)
- Reimbursement for job-related education
- Stress management programs
- Flexible schedule
- On-site yoga classes/ gym memberships
Leaders can survey their employees to understand how to support work-life balance seamlessly. Analyzing and implementing employees’ feedback can enhance employee engagement and retention significantly.
6. Communicate your purpose
Ambition or purpose is the enduring reason why your organization exists. Many employees who choose to stay are the ones that buy into your ambition and resonate with it. In uncertain times, employees hold on because of what an organization wants to achieve.
Helping current employees and potential employees understand your purpose is essential. In order to do so successfully, merely talking about it isn’t enough. Instead, use it to shape what you do and how you do it.
It allows employees to understand how their ambition aligns with the organization. The result of that will be improved employee engagement and loyalty.
Choosing the right employee retention strategy for your company
In order to effectively retain employees, companies can’t rely on guesses — they need data. Businesses must work on improving workforce engagement and prioritizing employee well-being — and then measuring the results of their efforts to see what works and what doesn’t.
Companies are leveraging new tech solutions to help gather and understand this data while upholding their teams’ data privacy rights. For example, Upflex is helping HR teams explore the efficacy of flexible workspace programs by gathering, centralizing and parsing valuable workspace utilization and behavioral data to show how employees are using office space, where, and when, in order to design cost-effective, organized, efficient and user-friendly strategies that can hold up in the long term.
Leaders also need to watch out for signs of burnout and stress in their employees. Providing them with the required resources — and workplace flexibility — at every step will serve both satisfaction levels and productivity.
Experimenting with different employee retention strategies and figuring out what works for your organization is the key to future-proofing your workplace.
Learn more about how the Upflex team helps companies boost talent acquisition and retention.