The Great Resignation is affecting us all. As more and more workers call it quits, employers are being forced to reconcile with their retention problem. And this problem is global.
According to HR software company Personio, 38% of workers surveyed in the UK and Ireland in March 2021 plan to quit in the next six months to a year. Similarly, in the US, the Department of Labor reported that four million people quit their jobs in April 2021—the biggest spike on record. Globally, Microsoft’s survey of more than 30,000 global workers showed that 41% were considering quitting or changing professions this year.
What is precipitating this huge shift? Many factors are contributing to The Great Resignation, including:
- Lack of benefits (or other forms of employer mistreatment)
- Change in priorities (becoming a stay-at-home parent, pursuing a dream job, etc.)
- Realisation that work can be done remotely (and therefore employees can live wherever they like, have a more flexible work schedule, etc.)
If your organisation has been a casualty of this, what can you do now to recover? Let’s take a look at some areas in which employers can improve in order to keep employees happy and increase retention.
How to Keep Your (Remote) Workforce Happy
Rethink your compensation and benefits
Considering the major global workplace shift we’ve experienced over the past year, it’s important to ask yourself whether your company’s compensation and benefits package continues to meet shifting needs.
For example, instead of providing employees with stipends for public transportation or petrol, consider instead offering a monthly allowance for a coworking space or at-home work setup. Want to help employees continue to adjust to the new way of work? You can go above and beyond by offering stipends for mental health and other wellness apps and services, like Headspace, Calm, or Talkspace.
Offer flexibility where appropriate
Now that (some) workers don’t need to come into the office to get their work done, what additional flexibilities can you provide? Can working hours be reduced? Can success be measured by the ability to meet deadlines and reach objectives instead of by hours worked.
Taking advantage of the flexibility that remote work provides can ultimately lead to more productivity and a happier workforce. And the happier the workforce, the longer employees will want to call your company home.
Transparency with your workforce is always a good idea, but becomes even more important during times characterised by VUCA—like the one we’re currently in. Keep employees abreast of what’s happening with your company, especially if there’s a possibility it will affect them.
Transparency isn’t just the right thing to do, it offers a host of benefits too. Glassdoor found that organisations that are more transparent with their employees tend to:
- Help employees feel valued
- Have increased employee engagement
- Foster an environment that allows employees to freely communicate
- Encourage creativity
- Have a stronger company culture
Focus on career progression
Focusing on career progression isn’t just important for existing employees, but can help attract new talent as well. After all, as market insight firm Clutch reports, “Nearly 1 in 5 job seekers want more professional development opportunities.”
According to Forbes, they also want reassurance that they’ll be able to “learn new skills and get their career back on track after a tumultuous year. Many feel that their careers have stalled, and they’re worried about the impact this will have in the longer term.” In fact, during the height of the pandemic, one survey found that people were more concerned about their careers than their health. Younger workers aged 16 to 24 were particularly concerned that working from home has meant missing out on “vital on-the-job training at a critical time in their professional development.”
In order to prioritise career progression, one great initiative you can undertake at your organisation is a mentoring program. Mentoring can help your business recover from The Great Resignation by not only being a great draw for applicants—as candidates look to make up lost ground by way of in-house training and career development opportunities—but also by helping you retain the talent you already have.
That’s because it’s been found that:
- 91% of workers who have a mentor are satisfied with their jobs.
- Mentored employees tend to feel more positively about their organisations as a whole.
- Mentored employees are far less likely to quit their jobs, with a 72% retention rate for mentees.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, recovering from The Great Resignation will require getting serious about providing what job seekers want. If you don’t, your competitors will. Learn more about the perks a mentoring program can provide your organisation.
Keen to find out more about what else mentoring can help you with?