For months, you’ve probably heard about the Great Resignation (or how you want to describe it). Your employees know they have options even if you’re not dealing directly with increased turnover. Their friends, family, and people they know peripherally or on social media have leaped and are gleefully announcing it on LinkedIn.
Some job-hoppers may be encouraged by the movement to quit good jobs in the hope of something better—better pay, more flexibility, or more opportunities for advancement. But unfortunately, some have been pushed to the brink by dead-end jobs, lousy company culture, or ineffective managers. Others have given up trying to “have it all” and left the workforce entirely.
But what if employers could capitalize on this current “I quit” mood? What if you could keep your employees engaged, inspire loyalty, and make it easier to attract and hire those looking for that next best thing?
We’ve got some ideas for prioritizing current employees and making it easier to attract new ones.
- Understand and be responsive to employee needs, motivations, and priorities. A paycheck may be why everyone has a job in the first place, but it’s not the only reason people choose to work or work for one employer over another. Your employees stick with you because there’s something in it for them besides the money. The job is helpful to them. Knowing why it’s useful enables you to keep employees satisfied and, better yet, make their jobs even more appealing.
- Prioritize employee development. A work environment where people gain knowledge, learn new skills, and advance in their careers speaks more clearly and loudly than any marketing message can. People like working where they can grow and develop. According to a LinkedIn report, companies “that excel at internal mobility [can] retain employees nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with it.” And a better-trained workforce is also a more productive and profitable workforce!
- Invite employees to be co-creators of the organization. Empower them to decide how things are done and where the organization is going. People feel more like a part of something when they see themselves in it. Likewise, they’re more engaged when their decisions bring about real change.
- Reward success. Reward anything you want to see more of. Whether large or small, the rewards have to be meaningful. Ideally, figure out what type of reward speaks to each employee. For some, acknowledgment in a company meeting will make their heart sing. For others, receiving a token of your appreciation, such as a coffee gift card, will be more meaningful.
- Allow for a healthy work-life balance. Flexibility is a big selling point for employees looking for a better balance between work and life. Your employees have other commitments they need to attend to. Some care for young children or other family members while navigating daycare, school closures, or multiple appointments. Give employees the time to see to those commitments and have a life outside of work; you’ll get more from them when they’re on the job. Options may include remote or hybrid work, paid time off, flex hours, four-day workweeks, alternative schedules, and reduced workload. Remember, however, that policies are only as good as their practices. Ensure that employees don’t need to jump through hoops to request time off. Remind managers to be responsive to requests for time off and look for signs that employees are feeling overwhelmed.
- Conduct “stay interviews.” Please don’t wait until people leave to investigate what could have inclined them to stay. Instead, talk to employees about what’s going well, what pain points they’re experiencing, and what could be done to take the relationship to the next level. Stay interviews enable you to address problems and unfulfilled wishes before they drive people out the door.
- Let people go who want to go. You have only so much time in the day. Don’t spend it trying to entice people to stay if they want to leave the organization. That time is better spent ensuring smooth transitions and engaging employees who don’t have one foot out the door.
Dr. Patrick K. Collard is the Managing Member & Evidence-based HR Consultant for trustHR | GObackgrounds (San Diego, CA and Brookfield, WI). He has over 30 years of experience as a human resources consultant. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society and a Master of Human Resources and Employment Relations with a concentration in Employment and Labor Law from Penn State University. Dr. Collard earned his doctorate from the University of Maryland Global Campus. He defended his dissertation – Recruiting the Untapped Talent Pool of Hiring an Employee with a Criminal Record: A Systematic Review. Schedule a Discovery Call with Dr. Collard at – https://calendly.com/patrickcollard/discovery-call