Employees are re-evaluating what is important; considering new options for developing their career, looking for a better work/life balance, or assessing the personal benefits of their present employers, and unfortunately, many employees are deciding they’d be better off elsewhere.
This has led many firms to question how they can retain and attract top talent when faced with growing employee expectations and changing attitudes.
This blog offers a closer inspection of the phenomenon, looking at the main elements for the mass exodus and highlighting practical methods which firms can utilize to improve their retention of employees and how to attract new talent.
According to the Harvard Business Review and an in-depth analysis of more than 9 million employee records from more than 4,000 companies, two key trends have been identified which can help answer this question:
1. Resignation rate is highest in mid-career employees – those aged 30-45 years have seen the highest number of resignations over the last couple of years.
2. Resignations are highest in the tech and health care industries – which may come as no surprise considering these are the industries which have experienced the most extreme demands during the pandemic.
The first key trend is possibly the most worrying for firms as mid-career employees are generally those with more on-the-job experience.
This age group have often been working within the industry for more than decade and are working at, or towards, senior positions.
For firms, who are losing a highly skilled section of their workforce, this is worrying.
Similarly, the health care and tech industries, areas which have required rapid growth and transformation during the pandemic, can ill-afford to lose valuable employees at such a crucial moment.
According to an article by the BBC, the main factor driving the Great Resignation was that “workers are taking decisions to leave based on how their employers treated them – or didn’t treat them – during the pandemic. Ultimately, workers stayed at companies that offered support, and darted from those that didn’t”.
This means that those employees who may have been considering quitting for some time due to “poor company culture” found that the pandemic gave them the motivation they needed to leave.
For employees, who had once tolerated low wages, a lack of additional benefits, diminished security, poor career advancement, or insufficient equity, the pandemic highlighted their predicament and increased their willingness to act.
For many years, data has shown that the thing people care most about in a work setting is how their employers treat them and when asked if they would take a pay cut to work for a company that aligns with their values, they state a resounding “yes!”.
What the pandemic highlighted to those employees who resigned was that the firm they worked for failed to meet their expectations in many ways.
Research has shown us why employees are quitting certain employers – they are looking for job satisfaction on all levels, so it’s not simply a case of throwing more money at the situation.
The following points have been shown to improve employee retention and can be utilized by firms in virtually every industry:
• Ask your employees how you can improve – probably the most effective way of improving employee retention is to ask how you are doing, and act upon the feedback you receive
• Invest in training – show employees you’re investing in their future by offering quality training
• Offer career progression – alongside training for on-the-job skills, offer leadership programmes. These might include coaching and mentoring with existing leadership employees which can reduce training costs while still driving-up productivity
• Encourage inclusivity – an inclusive and diverse workplace ensures everyone has the opportunity to thrive, irrelevant of their background. Consider using ‘culture days’ where different religious/culture days are celebrated, encourage social events (including during the day), and utilize unconscious bias training to explore effective avenues for overcoming potential barriers in inclusivity
• Celebrate achievements – ask employees for their input when selecting team members to reward for their hard work, caring nature, or going the extra mile to help out when it is busy. Give a meaningful reward that is tailored to the recipient as this shows you are aware of them as an individual, not just as one of your many employees
• Look at ways of improving work/life balance – this might include WFH options, flexible hours, childcare facilities, or healthcare packages. Find out what your employees need and improve areas where possible
Attracting new talent has become more difficult, due to the sheer number of positions available at present, thanks to this mass exodus.
However, as with retaining employees, potential new employees are also looking for improved working conditions, better work/life balance, considerate employers and options for career progression and training, so by implementing the points above for employee retention, you’ll already be well on your way to attracting new talent.
At Creative Word Training, we offer quality courses designed to help your employees feel valued, to improve workplace relationships and encourage cohesive working methods at every level.