The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ is making it insanely difficult for employers to fill vacancies. In fact, it has probably never been more difficult than it is now for employers to hire staff, and we are seeing roles that would have attracted hundreds of applicants once upon a time struggling to even get a handful of applications.
Although this situation presents a big challenge for employers, it also presents an opportunity. According to Steven Karau, the Gregory A. Lee professor of management at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, “It does create an opportunity for businesses that are willing to be progressive and flexible to create a more transformative and rewarding employment experience that is mutually beneficial for the employee and the company.”
He says that the trick for employers is to understand the root cause of mass resignations, such as job dissatisfaction and inflexibility, and counter them with strategic actions that improve both the recruitment process and the overall employee experience to boost retention.
Here are our five tips for improving your employee retention to fight back against the ‘Great Resignation’ and turn it into your own ‘Great Retention’.
1. Put Flexibility Front and Center
93 percent of workers say that they want flexibility. 93 percent. And they don’t just want flexibility in the old sense of so-called ‘flexiworking’ whereby employees are allowed a couple of hours either side of their normal working hours. They want full flexibility both in terms of their working hours and physical work location.
In fact, flexibility comes second only to salary and compensation in terms of key job satisfaction factors, which highlights the impact that the dramatic shift to remote working had during the pandemic. Employees are understandably reluctant to give up their new levels of freedom, with many willing to go so far as to leave employers who try to take it away from them.
Although we’re not saying that employees should be able to completely dictate where and when they work, employers should meet employees in the middle and offer something of a hybrid arrangement. This comes with the following benefits:
- It creates real opportunities for work-life balance.
- It shows future hires that you are understanding and accommodating.
- It gives employees more choices about how to live and work.
- It has more of a personal impact than marginal salary increases and extra PTO days.
- It is aligned with the needs of those who entered the workforce during the pandemic.
2. Support Employee Wellbeing
Although wellbeing has historically been something of a taboo subject in the world of work, the last few years have been transformative in terms of changing attitudes to it. Nowadays, people are more willing than ever to be open about their mental, physical, and financial wellbeing, and it’s that as an employer you are listening.
There are plenty of ways that you can support the wellbeing of your own employees. Implementing employee assistance programs, for example, can go a long way to providing your workforce with mental health support and resources. Meanwhile, discounted gym memberships and cycle-to-work schemes are great for encouraging your employees to both lead healthier lifestyles and keep their financial health in check by helping staff get more from their money.
3. Run Employee Surveys & Identify Potential Leavers
All organizations should run occasional employee surveys. Unfortunately, many don’t. And this is to their own peril. Tue truth is that employee surveys can help leaders to unlock a huge number of valuable insights that tell them in black and white what their employees want, what they’re satisfied and dissatisfied with, what could be done to improve their experience, and more.
Survey results can also be used to identify troubling information and patterns, such as low results in areas like experience, satisfaction, engagement, and happiness. These could point to a workforce that’s demotivated, not particularly loyal to you, and may resign and look for a better opportunity as a result. Only by knowing this can you then take steps to remedy problems and encourage employees to stay.
4. Make Employee Experience Your Priority
Employee Experience (EX) comes from the same school of thought that brought us user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX); it is used to build and boost positive organizational culture and, ultimately, safeguard bottom lines. EX plays a major role in encouraging employee engagement and retention, and it has a big impact on employee wellbeing.
Ultimately, EX can be the difference between an employee sticking with you or leaving to join the ranks of your competitors. As the ‘Great Resignation’ has shown us, employees that are having bad experiences with employers that refuse to adapt to the post-pandemic way of working will simply quit in favor of new opportunities—and there is no shortage of these right now.
5. Have a Solid Onboarding Process
The importance of onboarding cannot be understated; it’s something that we’ve covered in detail in previous blog posts. According to research, employees that experience a positive and effective onboarding process are 29 times more likely to feel satisfied at work and happy in their roles.
It is also highly effective at ensuring a decent level of engagement from new hires. In the long-term, onboarding helps to improve employee retention because those who experience an effective onboarding are as much as 18 times more likely to feel more committed to their employer. This is because onboarding helps new hires:
- Understand their roles and responsibilities
- Understand where they fit within the organization
- Get comfortable in their new work environment
- Meet and get to know their colleagues
- Learn about important company protocols and policies
One way to ensure that you’re delivering a solid onboarding process is by using organizational charts. These can be used to provide your new hires with a visual representation of important company information, such as where they fit in and who their direct reports are.
In addition, org chart tools like Organimi can be used to build flowcharts, process maps, project plans, and more; our tool provides organizational leaders with a way to streamline the onboarding process, drive employee retention, and, ultimately, boost their bottom line.