The Great Resignation continues into 2022, with over 4 million Americans quitting their jobs for six consecutive months. Now the question is, how can leaders respond to this crisis effectively? How can businesses surmount this challenge and even thrive?
In this article, we outline 8 strategies to help your business grow and expand in the midst of the Big Quit. We offer insights into why employees resign, what businesses can do to improve retention, and how to navigate the changing landscape of the workplace.
1. Leverage Information
Solving a problem requires understanding it. In the case of The Great Resignation, employee interviews and surveys are a great resource. These will help you identify improvement points that can prevent the crisis from negatively impacting your business.
For instance, you can perform “stay interviews” aimed at understanding what motivates an employee to stick to their current role. With this information, you can further strengthen what your employees perceive to be beneficial to their stay and thereby increase retention.
Conversely, you can perform and assess “exit interviews” to understand why past employees left. This way, you can address existing issues and prevent other employees from resigning.
2. Focus on Employee Experience
One of the best ways to retain top talent is to provide a great employee experience. Hence, it is important to invest in this endeavor during the great resignation. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to stay longer with a company.
Some factors that contribute to a great employee experience are inclusivity, psychological safety, and work-life balance. These are factors you can measure by asking for feedback from your employees.
By continuously working on improving employee experience, you can ensure an engaged and productive workforce during these uncertain times. You can also dramatically increase the positive perception of your business and attract many great potential hires.
3. Offer Time Flexibility
Another way to reduce employee turnover is to offer time flexibility. What we mean by time flexibility is by giving employees flexibility in when they work. Allow your employees to start or end work at different times outside the 9-5 window, so they can attend to life’s demands without feeling extra pressure or stress. This option is highly sought by employees. In fact, a survey by Harvard Business Review revealed that 96% of U.S. professionals need flexibility. Yet, only 47% of the companies in the same survey cater to this need. This means that a flexible working schedule can be a competitive advantage for your business.
Both you and your employees can benefit from time flexibility. By implementing it, you may be able to enjoy increased employee engagement, higher productivity, and reduced tardiness and absenteeism. While new business models like the one this entails can be challenging to adopt, you can surely reap great rewards after.
4. Hire Remote Employees
Experts claim that remote work is here to stay. Many businesses already transitioned to a full remote or hybrid setup during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you haven’t yet, you may be having difficulty finding the right talent as many are prioritizing location flexibility when seeking employment today.
Besides location flexibility, employees have experienced greater productivity, work-life balance, and overall job and life satisfaction on a full-time remote schedule.
Those who hire remotely find themselves having a wider talent pool. They can find the best people to do the job from all over the world. They also spend less on office space and can allocate the supposed budget for other important things. Most importantly, they are able to cultivate a culture of trust which is the foundation of any good employer-employee relationship.
5. Cultivate a Culture of Empathy
Research shows that burnout is the main reason why people quit their jobs. One great way to prevent it from happening to your employees is by making empathy central to your company culture. Activities related to this may include creating conversations around empathy, learning how to acknowledge individual feelings at work, and knowing how to listen to employees without judgment.
Empathetic leadership brings out the best in people. It is especially important to practice it during times of crisis. By practicing empathy in the workplace, you can boost employee morale, foster greater collaboration, and improve employee loyalty.
“There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.” – Richard Branson
6. Create Advancement Opportunities
Lack of growth opportunities is another reason why people are exploring the possibility of employment elsewhere. If you want people to stay in your company, you have to think about what their short-term and long-term goals are. Then, you have to think about how these goals align with what your company can offer. This kind of information should be made available and discussed with your employees.
One great maxim to follow is “offer careers, not just jobs.” This means offering not just promotion and advancement, but also room for personal and professional development.
7. Promote Health and Wellbeing
The Great Resignation is, in part, a workplace mental health crisis. In Mind Share Partners’ 2021 Mental Health Report, half of the respondents said they quit their jobs due to mental health reasons. There are many ways employers can avert this problem. You can start by destigmatizing mental health issues, offering more personal time off, and promoting work-life balance.
Aside from mental health, many employees also leave their job for better financial wellbeing. With the recent increase of national inflation by around 7%, employees are needing more financial capability just to keep up with their basic needs.
All things considered, it can be more costly to replace top talent than to simply increase their salary. For this reason, you should consider reevaluating the compensation package and benefits you offer in response to today’s high quit rates.
8. Outsource and Delegate to a Virtual Assistant
Navigating the pandemic and The Great Resignation can be quite overwhelming. Thinking about how to do all the tasks listed in this article alone requires great effort. In order to lessen your workload and combat the effects of The Great Resignation, you can consider hiring a virtual executive assistant or EVA. EVAs perform time-consuming tasks so you can focus on the ones that generate income.
EVAs usually have lower wage demand, so they can help your business recover from the financial setbacks of today’s crises. Plus, they have been less likely to participate in The Big Quit.
There are several ways to combat the dreaded Big Quit. As discussed in this article, leaders must first understand why employees quit. Then, they have to gather information and respond to employee demands today such as time-flexibility, location-flexibility, and advancement opportunities. Another strategy is to choose to outsource some of your business functions.
In the end, companies may choose to adopt strategies like the ones listed in this article or suffer great attrition. Meanwhile, companies that are consciously turning The Great Resignation into the Great Retention are the ones that will survive and thrive in 2022.