It seems like everyone’s fighting to keep their top employees during the great resignation. But are we really surprised?
In the US alone, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 47 million people left the workforce in 2021 alone. Termed ‘The Great Resignation,’ people left their full-time jobs en masse in a pandemic-stricken world after realising that they have more power over their work lives than initially thought.
More recently, COVID-19 restrictions have eased, and companies across the world are starting to rehire. But the refusal of employees to go back to strict in-office work arrangements presents a new race for companies to retain top employees.
This ushered in a new epoch in the history of the global workforce – The Great Retention.
Let’s examine some of the best ways companies can retain their best talent. But first, a quick history lesson.
What is the great resignation
The great resignation is an ongoing trend that started in the US during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It describes the phenomenon in which American employees are resigning from their jobs in the masses. Some of the most commonly cited reasons are wage stagnation, unfair workplace practices, lack of benefits, and inflexible work arrangements. This comes after employees seemingly had a eureka moment in which they realized they had more power in influencing their work environments.
Why are workers leaving?
When most were forced to work remotely during the pandemic, people had the chance to take a step back, take a breather, and take a good hard look at where they were at in their lives. Many came to the realization that it was actually possible to get things done remotely while having more time for themselves.
So when companies started calling employees back to the office after COVID-19 restrictions had started being lifted, want to fathom a guess what happened? People started leaving. Many have experienced a paradigm shift in their attitudes toward work and are no longer willing to put the power in the hands of corporations.
The best ways to retain your best employees
1) Provide flexible work arrangements
Flexibility is everything these days. According to an EY report, 54% of employees would consider quitting if the company stopped work-from-home arrangements.
Now, you can really only go two ways here. Offer remote work arrangements or a hybrid workplace model. Both of these offer employees a lot of flexibility in their personal lives and would help keep them happy as they have more time for themselves.
2) Provide support via work-from-home productivity tools
Working from home has its own challenges. From communication to declining productivity levels, businesses do have valid concerns when transitioning to a more flexible workplace model. To make the transition smoother, businesses should provide support by providing access to work-from-home productivity tools.
To facilitate communication, use Slack. To schedule appointments, use Timesync by Novocall. To provide remote and hybrid employees with options to work at different locations, provide them access to co-working space booking apps like Deskimo.
3. Take employee benefits and perks seriously
You’ll be surprised by how far providing company benefits can go in making your employees feel valued by your organisation.
To be clear, employee benefits are non-wage compensation, such as healthcare insurance and gym membership discounts. On the other hand, perks are not part of the compensation package and serve as incentives. These come in the form of team bonding events and a fully stocked pantry, for example.
To find good case studies to emulate, one can look to big tech firms to see the types of benefits and perks they provide. Google is well-known for providing employees with what they need for their meals. Gympass is known for providing employees’ families with credits to use at their partner fitness establishments.
Of course, you don’t have to mimic them. Not many companies have that level of budget. Start at a smaller scale.
But that said, providing good benefits and perks is one of the best ways to retain top employees. It shows that the company really values its employees for the sacrifices they make to help the business grow.
4. Show appreciation
This may seem trite, but when you show gratitude, you make people feel special.
At any company, regardless of size, it’ll take some time before they realize their value. But once they do, treat them accordingly. You don’t want them to leave your company, but if they want to, make sure you give them enough reasons why.
There’s no need to let them know how much money they’ll be making after moving out. If you truly want to keep someone around, you have to show them what they’re worth. When you make your top talent feel appreciated, you are more likely to retain them.
5. Give credit where credit is due
It doesn’t matter whether you acknowledge something right away or hold back until it comes out naturally – just do it. Recognizing achievements should not be left to chance.
People thrive on recognition and praise, so giving feedback will help them reach higher heights. And since they’ll know that you care about them, they’ll be even happier doing their job.
If you think that your employees are performing up to par, then reward them for their effort. If their performance meets a certain level, allow them to earn perks beyond compensation. Don’t forget to mention these rewards often too.
If you lack the expertise in your own organization, you can approach companies that run employee recognition programs to assist you with that.
6. Be transparent with your decisions
There shouldn’t be secrets between co-workers, as well as manager and employee.
Open communication is essential to building trust within the team! Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, you can always start small and get used to it.
By letting your employees know the rationale behind the management-level decision, you can build trust among them and help them develop a sense of understanding towards the things the company does.
7. Let them shine
Show that you trust your talent. Provide them with opportunities to take up interesting projects and learn new things that can be helpful to their career development.
This practice benefits not only them but the organization as well. Employees will start seeing your organization as one that values their career growth. This can help you retain some of your top employees as they generally prefer to work in environments where they feel challenged and stimulated.
8. Celebrate success
Even if your business is small, chances are that you still celebrate big events (like hitting a milestone) well. So, why not invite your team over for cake and coffee?
Or maybe hold a party once a quarter to thank your top performers. A celebration is a great way to bring a smile to your face and remind workers that they’re loved. It’ll also boost morale, which means more productivity.
9. Provide meaningful feedback
Feedback comes in many forms. Sometimes it can be verbal, while other times, it may take the form of written evaluations. Regardless of how you offer feedback, addressing issues as soon as possible is important.
Waiting until problems become too big could cause resentment among team members. If you wait until issues have gone unresolved for months, you might not be able to fix the problem in time. Sometimes, employees leave because felt unfair that their less competent colleagues were rewarded. And this can happen if your organization lacks a proper performance evaluation and feedback system.
Retaining top employees is no rocket science
And there you have it! These are the top 9 ways to retain top employees.
Retaining top talent shouldn’t have to be this difficult. At the very core of the issue, businesses just aren’t directly addressing the main issues their employees are facing.
If managers are actively helping employees solve organizational issues, there is a good chance that companies will start seeing improvement in their retention rates.