It’s February 2022, which means we’re nearly two years into this pandemic. So much has changed since the COVID stay-at-home orders were abruptly thrust upon us. Our priorities shifted, our perspectives evolved, and we all found ourselves asking some of life’s most important questions—and so did our employees.
Today, we are still in the throes of The Great Resignation, as employees continue to leave their jobs at record rates. There is a range of reasons for this, including burnout, childcare issues, and seemingly better opportunities that offer more pay and a more flexible work environment, to name a few. But whatever the reason, the issue continues to plague the business community. According to an article I recently read in Fortune, CEOs across the country view The Great Resignation as one of their biggest concerns.
In my perpetual quest for answers, I have discovered there is really only one way to approach this ongoing dilemma—and that is to view this challenge as an opportunity to turn The Great Resignation into The Great Retention.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this strategy, I have formulated a series of ideas based on research and conversations I’ve had with other business leaders and members of my own team.
- Create a company culture built on relationships.
Your culture sets the tone for how your employees feel and behave in your organization. And while company culture will vary from business to business, there are some foundational elements to a company culture that have been shown to boost employee morale, such as flexible work schedules, a competitive benefits package, and a team that values innovation, collaboration, and camaraderie. In addition to those basic elements, creating an environment that embodies a sense of togetherness and solidarity despite physical separation also plays an important role in a positive corporate culture. You might consider activities such as in-person gatherings (where possible) or fun virtual team building events where employees come together to enjoy some light-hearted and engaging interaction that doesn’t include talk of work.
- Look beyond the resume and hire for values.
When interviewing for open roles, I encourage you to look beyond the resume. Learn who the candidate is on a more personal level; get a feel for who they are, how they work, what motivates and inspires them, their values, and even their growth potential, so you can determine how well they will fit into your company culture and mesh with your team members. When you hire based on values that align with your organization’s mission and morals, you will benefit from a more engaged workforce, lower turnover, and happier employees.
- Foster personal and professional development.
Employees want an employer that is invested in their success and encourages growth. As a leader, you may already provide ongoing mentoring and coaching to your staff. But beyond that, is there more you can be doing to proactively position them for personal and professional growth? Regardless of their title, years with the company, or current skill level, your employees can always benefit from learning something new. Consider offering things like professional seminars, certification courses, or even wellbeing activities. By going the extra step to support your team members’ growth, you not only show them that you care about them as an individual, you also create an environment where they don’t feel compelled to look elsewhere if they feel stuck or bored.
- Ask for feedback.
You’re not a mind reader, and you can’t anticipate your employees’ every need—at least, not without asking them. Asking for feedback accomplishes two objectives. First, it shows your employees that you want to hear what they have to say, and you are open to suggestions that may improve the quality of their work life. Second, it arms you with valuable insight that you can use to ensure you are creating a workplace environment that fosters positivity, contentment, and long-term success.
What are your organization’s recruiting and retention strategies today? Given the current environment, is there more you can be doing to ensure your team members feel empowered and satisfied in their roles? Your employees are your most valuable asset and essential to maintaining business continuity. Now is the time to start evaluating where you are today and areas of opportunity to turn the challenges of The Great Resignation into The Great Retention within your organization.
If you have additional ideas, please share them below. In the meantime, to hear more about how J2 can help you optimize your staff with highly qualified talent, click here or reach out to me directly.