By Salvador Ordorica, CEO of The Spanish Group LLC, a first-class international translation service that translates over 90 languages.
The phrase “The Great Resignation” was coined by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, and is being used to describe the current phenomenon of people leaving their jobs and workplaces en masse throughout the country.
According to the Department of Labor, over four million people quit their jobs in April alone, and 3.9 million left their jobs in June. A survey done by Microsoft showed that 41% of workers across various industries were seriously considering quitting or changing professions this year.
While some are more optimistic about the upcoming possibility of mass resignations, the numbers appear to be very bleak.
Why this exodus from the workplace is occurring is the subject of much speculation. Some theorize that the forms of trauma suffered during the pandemic have led many to reevaluate their lives and how they want to move forward. Others think it resulted from companies with harmful environments doubling down on decisions that push workers away. The cause is likely somewhere in the middle.
Target and Best Buy have raised wages, and businesses like Amazon are offering large hiring bonuses, but still, over 90% of retailers are unable to fill empty roles easily. When financial incentives do not seem to work, you have to assume part of The Great Resignation is due to the lack of people feeling a more profound sense of purpose in their current roles.
This means the solutions for attracting and retaining workers won’t be as simple as offering higher wages.
Five Methods For Retaining Talent
Employers need to invest their time and money into retaining and attracting talent more so than ever before. How you go about this will likely be unique to your industry and the type of employees you are seeking out, but there are some universal methods of improving retainment that companies need to consider.
1. Provide Opportunities For Career Progression
A lack of advancement options is regularly cited as a major cause of people leaving their workplace. Roughly 80% of those who plan to leave their jobs in the near future have stated that not having a clear path for career progression is driving their decision to leave.
You need to consider how your company rewards dedicated workers and what options you can provide to those who decide to stay within your organization. To retain skilled workers, let them know that they have room to grow with you. Promotions, raises, even lateral moves have all been shown to help boost retainment in the immediate future.
2. Consider Offering Remote Work Options
Many workers who have adapted to working remotely want to stay working remotely. At the same time, this increase in remote workers is driving more to seek out such opportunities. Very soon, most people with remote-compatible jobs will want to either continue working remotely or shift to remote-style work. As of now, one in three workers is unwilling to work at a company that requires them to be onsite full time.
See if it is viable for your company to start adjusting to this new normal by developing a plan for remote work. You can ensure that you are not bleeding talent to companies that offer more freedom to their workforce.
This is also a way to open up your operations to new talent pools. By having a solid remote work plan, you can begin to hire talented individuals from all over the world and integrate them into your business practices.
3. Make Work Feel More Welcoming And Accommodating
Offering a strong onboarding process and ample training materials has been shown to help companies retain employees. Simply put, the more comfortable and engaged your employees feel, the more likely they are to stick around.
There are a ton of ways to go about this process. For those businesses with a strong multicultural workforce, I have seen that offering training materials and internal documents in the languages employees are most comfortable with allows them to better understand business goals and shows them that you are willing to invest in their needs.
Small incentives that improve an employee’s overall quality of life can be effective, as well — parental benefits, free brand merchandise, honoring top employees publicly, extra vacation days, etc.
4. Encourage And Entertain Feedback
Companies that implement employee feedback systems have lower turnover rates. This goes beyond yearly performance reviews and should work both ways. You want to ensure that employees feel comfortable giving their opinion on how things operate and that they are well aware of how their work is being perceived and appreciated.
This will allow you to understand what your employees are enjoying about your company and what may be driving them to leave. It will also demonstrate to them that their concerns are being taken seriously.
5. Attempt To Mitigate Stress And Burnout
Covid-19 issues have been terrible for the stress levels of employees. When health, finances and schooling are all in flux, people tend to feel very uncomfortable. This added stress wears away at employees and enhances the amount of burnout that they feel in the workplace. In fact, going into 2020, nearly 80% of U.S. employees said they were feeling worker burnout.
You need to ensure you are setting reasonable goals, being lenient with time off and doing your best to help promote a better work-life balance for your employees.
There Is No Simple Answer
There is a vast multitude of reasons why people may currently be leaving their places of work, and addressing each person’s individual concerns is nearly impossible. However, what you can do is focus on creating a more healthy, supportive and versatile workplace. Doing this will not only help you attract and retain employees, but it can also help lift the morale and productivity of the employees you currently have.