If you’ve tuned into the news lately, chances are you have probably heard of The Great Resignation of 2021, a coined term referring to the recent overwhelming spike in people leaving their jobs. Across the United States, as businesses are coming back into the office, many people have found themselves contemplating their careers (and expectations of such) after spending months, sometimes over a year at home.
A new report cited in the The Business Journals suggests this could be just the beginning of a long-term labor shortage, causing even more heartache for business owners still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Such factors as large numbers of Baby Boomers exiting the workforce and record low participation rates among the working-age population both point to continuing labor shortages and recruiting struggles. Not to mention a general rising up of people who no longer wish to maintain a traditional working schedule wrought with 40-hour work weeks in the office and lengthy commutes.
Instead, employees are opting into the flexibility of remote work, having experienced a taste of what it can offer them over the last year of forced work-from-home. More time spent with family, less time spent managing office politics and the ability to obtain more rewarding work are all drivers behind this movement. People want to see what else is out there, and this is evident in the following statistics:
These statistics support the idea that the job market is the most competitive it has been in recent history, which means there is now a heightened emphasis on retaining talent to keep your operations up and running.
What Can I Do As An Employer?
So, what’s an employer to do under such dire circumstances? Keeping employees engaged with your company’s culture is one way to retain talent. And retaining your high-performing talent will almost always be more efficient than recruiting new talent.
Below are some ways employers can re-engage employees, and help prevent The Great Resignation from impacting you.
Give Employees A Reason To Come Back To The Office. Be clear about what work can be done at home and what work needs to be done at the office.
Offer Flexible Work Arrangements. Companies that require all employees to return to the office are putting themselves in a high-risk situation of losing them. Be transparent about how much flexibility you are willing to provide, and consider offering employees a flexible schedule where a portion of their time is spent in the office and a portion of the time is spent working remotely.
Communicate And Collaborate. Inform employees of business plans, future prospects, and business continuity and success metrics. Employees should know how they fit into the bigger picture and feel a part of the team.
Talk With Your Employees, Not At Them. This bears repeating: be transparent. Ask what their hesitations are about returning to the office. Discuss workload and make sure that each employee has a manageable one.
Encourage Employees To Use Their Paid Time Off. Burnout happens. We all need time away to “sharpen the saw” before diving back into work. Encourage employees to take breaks or time off when needed, and respect their time by only sending emails or texts during business hours. Employees will feel refreshed after a break.
Reevaluate Sick Leave Policies. Ensure such instances as adding extra leave for those who get tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for their results are covered. Offer leave for employees who need to care for an infected person or live with one.
Plan Employee Appreciation Events. Innovate and create a stronger culture through team-building events both in-person or virtually.
Create a Culture of Recognition. Recognize your employees for a job well done, and allow employees to recognize one another. Be transparent about business stability.
For additional questions regarding The Great Resignation, please reach out to your designated Achilles Group contact, or call us at 281-469-1800.