How to Avoid the Great Resignation


How to Avoid the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation, also known as the Great Reshuffle or the Big Quit, remains in full swing. In February alone, nearly 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs. With unemployment hovering around the 3.6% rate, Employees are considering moving on to other jobs. Many employers are scrambling to find the talent they need to fill open positions.

How can you avoid the Great Resignation or decrease its impact?

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What is the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation occurred as employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs in mass numbers. Many employers struggle to hold on to employees who are quickly moving to new positions. The Great Resignation has, in part, contributed to staffing challenges in many organizations.

Causes of the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation began in early 2021, as the economy started to open back up after a long season of closures related to the pandemic. As job openings across the country hit record highs, many employees saw this as an opportunity to enhance their quality of life. 

Employees have cited several reasons for leaving their jobs. The top of the list notes:

  • Low pay
  • No opportunities for advancement
  • Disrespect or feeling disrespected at work
  • Child care issues
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Inadequate benefits

With so many job opportunities available, many people saw the chance to move on from positions that failed to fit their needs. 

The Great Resignation also occurred due to shifting priorities during the pandemic. For example, childcare remains a severe issue for many families, with daycare costs rising and many facilities still suffering from shutdowns and closures. Many people are now approaching the need for work/life balance more seriously: they do not want to work long hours for little reward or have to commute when a work from home model has been proven to work. As a result, they leave jobs requiring them to focus on their careers, instead of their families and other needs, in mass numbers. 

How Businesses Can Avoid the Great Resignation

Many businesses have, at this point, felt the pinch of the Big Quit. All too many employees have already chosen to leave their companies and their current roles, whether to focus on something else, explore other opportunities, or take care of personal issues. If your business has already been hard hit and you’re interested in decreasing further departures or you’ve managed to escape the resignations so far but fear that your business might be next. In that case, you can take several steps to decrease the potential impact of the Great Reshuffle on your business. 

1. Take the time to listen to your employees

Your employees are already talking about what they need and want most from your business. They might already have mentioned things they might like to see implemented. If you have employees leaving, they may have mentioned the incentives that other companies have provided that attracted them to those employers. 

Take the time to listen to what your employees are saying. Are you offering less overall compensation for the services your employees are providing based on industry norms? Are you struggling to provide a competitive benefits package? 

If so, those items may be at the top of employees’ lists. Your employees may also note that they need more scheduling flexibility or a better overall work/life balance. Your employees will tell you what they’re looking for—and with so many places hiring, if they aren’t able to get it from your business, they will find a way to get it somewhere else.

2. Offer flexibility to your employees

Many employees are still struggling with the impact of the pandemic. Illness in the family may cause employees to need to isolate. Childcare still poses a severe problem. Not only that, but many employees are struggling with the mental health impact of the pandemic, including increased rates of depression and anxiety.

Continue to exercise flexibility for your employees. That may include:

  • Allowing flexible working hours
  • Allowing employees to work from home as needed or when possible
  • Avoid enforcing mandatory days in the workplace
  • Providing additional support in the workplace when needed
  • Decreasing workloads, when possible (including bringing on more staff members, if necessary)

The pandemic has offered the perfect opportunity to take a new look at “the way things have always been done” and alter it based on the current needs of your employees and your business. Take a look at your policies and evaluate where you can shift them to provide better flexibility and support. 

3. Invest in your employees and their needs

The Big Quit has shown how important your employees are to maintaining your business and its overall success. Now, more than ever, is the time to actively invest in your employees. It’s not as simple as providing a “game room” for relaxation or lip service to a company-sponsored health program. 

Instead, take that list of things your employees are asking for, and then evaluate what you can invest in it. You may want to:

  • Increase employee salaries
  • Offer a better benefits package
  • Invest more in employee training
  • Offer employees better resources and equipment

Investing in your employees at this stage is critical—and it often costs less to retain a good employee than it does to acquire and train a new one, especially in higher-level positions. 

4. Offer more opportunities for employee advancement and training

Many employees are genuinely eager to increase their overall knowledge in their fields. They also, when possible, want the opportunity to promote within their existing companies—but they may not have the means to do it. If you want to keep your employees, provide them with those opportunities for advancement. You may want to:

  • Make sure you offer opportunities for internal promotion (and corresponding raises based on what you would pay for an external candidate)
  • Provide additional on-the-job training
  • Help employees connect with mentors who can support them
  • Increase your training budget to allow employees to engage in more training opportunities

By allowing your employees to increase their knowledge base and position, you increase the odds that they’ll stay, but you may also make them more valuable to your company. 

5. Communicate openly with your employees

Communication isn’t just a one-way street. It’s not just about ensuring that you listen to your employees. It’s also about ensuring they have the information about your organization and your internal policies. 

For example, if your employees are dealing with a heavy workload, you may want to share more information about where you are in the hiring process. If you’re in the middle of a big project, ensure employees know how it’s progressing and what steps you will take next. Employees are much more likely to trust companies that are transparent with them.

Ready to Learn More About the Great Resignation?

Want to learn more about how you can proactively take steps to avoid being impacted by the great resignation while also increasing your employees sense of belonging? Tune into our next episode of X Cultural On May 25, 2022 to discuss the importance of amplifying belonging in global business culture and how you can keep your business moving smoothly despite those challenges. Featuring Shelley Brown and Hosted by Michael J. Asquith. 

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