The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all facets of life, with the business sector being one of its most notable casualties. Due to the health risks it posed to both staff and clients, thousands of establishments were forced to temporarily cease their operations, if not close shop for good.
Those who were fortunate enough to keep going had no choice but to adjust their existing policies. For instance, managers imposed a remote working setup to keep everyone safe and comply with government-imposed protocols. While it hasn’t been easy, making the necessary adjustments have allowed them to continue core business operations.
Obviously, such a tweak had its fair share of advantages and drawbacks. For starters, employees had the chance to achieve better work-life balance. However, the shift to the new normal has also paved the way for the Great Resignation.
In the past couple of years, the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of Americans to leave their jobs. As the manager of your team, here’s what you need to know about the Great Resignation so that you can retain or improve your company’s retention rates.
What is The Great Resignation?
When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, the main worry of most people was that they would lose their jobs. It was a legitimate concern given how businesses had to close down to adhere to government policies. But as organizations adapted better to the new normal, a new trend emerged quite unlike common expectations. It is dubbed the Great Resignation.
This labor market phenomenon saw 4.53 million Americans quitting their jobs in November 2021 alone. Since 1/5th of the total U.S. workforce (estimated at 33 million) has resigned since April 2021, these figures should be a great cause for concern. Given that employees are the most asset of any company, a spike in resignations could threaten business stability.
Businesses who haven’t experienced the toll of the Great Resignation can’t be complacent either. Your employees may show that they’re okay, but they may actively be pondering the thought of resigning.
Before you explore the retention strategies you can take, it’s important to know the factors causing the Great Resignation.
What’s Causing the Surge in Resignations?
1. Job insecurity
The pandemic has triggered job insecurity across the board. Regardless of which industry you belong to, there’s always the risk that another lockdown will cause you to lose your livelihood. Those who cannot calmly anticipate that threat likely opted to preempt it, hence the surge of resignations.
2. Poor response plans to COVID-19
Not everyone was sent home to work remotely during the height of the pandemic. Some employees had to keep coming to work on-site to do their job. Those who felt like their employers didn’t have a foolproof system to combat the spread of COVID-19 decided their jobs were not worth risking their lives.
3. Toxic work culture
The pandemic has elevated the stress and anxiety levels of many employees. Being more irritable at work can lead to tension amongst co-workers, and failure to manage conflict can result in harassment. In the face of a toxic work culture, many people would rather leave their jobs than stay at the expense of their mental health.
4. General burnout
Some employees push themselves way too much. They work endlessly and neglect the warning signs of an imminent burnout. Once it strikes, they are caught off guard. If companies fail to recognize and help employees who face work burnout, they risk losing their valuable employees.
5. Poor compensation and benefits
Workers these days know their worth, and most of them won’t settle with anything less than what they deserve. Failure to compensate fairly can cause workers to look for better opportunities elsewhere.
6. Unclear career path
Workers will likely stay longer in a company if they see an opportunity for them to grow there. Training and growth opportunities improve an individual’s skills and enable them to contribute more. Without training and a projected career path, employees’ sense of growth stagnates, and thus, they get tempted to look elsewhere.
7. Lack of work-life balance
The importance of work-life balance cannot be amplified. Managers who are unclear with workloads and manage projects poorly have employees that are much more susceptible to quitting.
11 Steps Managers Can Take to Improve Employee Retention
1. Offer flexible working options
Allow employees to choose how they prefer to work. So long as they accomplish their deliverables, when and where they do their job should be less of a concern, especially during these trying times. Post-pandemic, you can still incorporate hybrid working setups into your organization.
2. Competitive compensation
Adequately research industry standards when deciding on fair employee compensation. And if financially feasible, offer more than the average. It will be more difficult for employees to leave if they know they won’t receive a better offer elsewhere.
3. Revisit and improve health and wellness benefits
The COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone extra careful concerning their health. Show your workers you prioritize their general well-being by offering competitive health and wellness benefits they’ll find difficult to let go of.
4. Provide training and growth opportunities
Do not let your employees stagnate with what they already know. Teach them new sets of expertise whenever possible. What they learn will profit your organization, and their sense of accomplishment and personal development will hinder them from saying goodbye.
5. Minimize workloads whenever possible
Just because an employee does not say no to assigned tasks does not mean you’re free to overburden them with deliverables. Be conscientious when disseminating tasks. Make sure everyone participates and contributes equally.
6. Discourage micromanagement
Do not breathe down your employees’ necks. Instead, show them that you trust them enough that there’s no need for you to micromanage. Unbearable micromanagement will turn off employees, especially those who value their autonomy.
7. Acknowledge and reward performers
Never fail to praise good work. If that praise can come with a simple token of appreciation, the better. Giving credit where it’s due is the best way to show that you recognize their hard work.
8. Smooth onboarding
Make sure the onboarding process proves to be a good experience for new hires. This is your chance to make a good impression and set the tone for future projects.
9. Open communication
Allow employees, regardless of rank, to voice out their opinions regarding critical matters that affect the workplace. Conduct regular surveys on their well-being or seek out feedback regarding your processes. When employees feel heard, you reduce the risk of losing them.
10. Improve workplace culture
Never tolerate bullying, harassment, and other forms of discrimination. All cases must be dealt with promptly and objectively. That communicates how everyone’s welfare is of your utmost priority.
11. Encourage work-life balance
A good work-life balance lowers the risk of burnout, which happens to be one of the most common reasons for quitting. So, weave in work-life balance to your organizational policies. Set clear working hours and remind them to spend some time with their loved ones.
The Great Retention
It’s understandable if the Great Resignation concerns you. After all, losing employees can result in a difficult transition for an organization. You’ll have to rehire and retrain, and that takes resources and time. Therefore, it’s vital to keep your employees satisfied.
Prioritizing employee retention is one of the best ways to keep resignations at bay. But apart from the strategies we’ve listed above, another great solution you can take is to partner with an outsourcing vendor. Doing so will streamline the processes you have to complete in-house and allow your team to focus on their core tasks.
If your organization has already fallen prey to the Great Resignation, do not fret. You have the option to outsource. Contact StratAccess today to learn more about our outbound services.