The uncertainty brought by the pandemic and inflation became an opportunity for employees to ponder and rethink their current pursuits, future goals and priorities. With this, a job crisis called “The Great Resignation” arose, driving about 47 million Americans to leave their jobs in 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
But first, what is the Great Resignation, and what are effective ways to retain employees and reduce employee turnover?
What Is the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation, also referred to as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, is a current economic phenomenon in which a substantial number of employees have been voluntarily leaving their jobs beginning in early 2021.
The term “The Great Resignation” was coined by University College London’s (UCL) School of Management professor, Anthony Klutz, when he forecasted a continuous mass exodus.
What’s Driving the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation was initially attributed to a number of causes in the year following the COVID-19 outbreak, with many economists comparing it to a general strike. These included long-standing job dissatisfaction, wage stagnation amid rising living costs, worries about how some employers handled the outbreak, and a growing yearning to work for employers with better remote working practices.
Poor response to the pandemic. Understandably so, everyone had a hard time adapting to the COVID-19 outbreak, from the government to civilians and businesses. The government took a lot of criticism for its response to the pandemic, and the same goes for businesses. Some of the reasons were technological limitations, lack of knowledge and financial restrictions, which led to losing staff members, and, unfortunately, the business itself for some.
Inflexible work setting. The pandemic introduced a couple of buzzwords, from “quarantine,” “isolation,” “lockdown” and “work from home.” With working from home, some businesses were equipped to better adapt to the sudden need for flexible work arrangements, while others were not so much, resulting in resignations. And even though the outbreak initially forced all employees who could to work from home, not everyone had the choice to do so after the limitations were eased.
Low salary. From medical bills to insurance, the pandemic brought in a lot of financial concerns for businesses and civilians alike. With this, employees eagerly seek out alternative employment to get by. Many even ventured into backyard businesses for an additional stream of revenue. By 2022, pay had become even more crucial, much more than the previous years. The inflation fueled by the war between Ukraine and Russia drove existing financial concerns even higher.
Staff burnout. Along with low salaries, burnout is another factor that drives people to resign. The previous years were trying times for everyone, to say the least. Although it might look significantly different depending on your field of work, burnout is still a serious problem. Healthcare workers perhaps had it the worst, but the general workforce was still affected. When you add unreasonable workload and working conditions to what’s already a difficult time, you will drive your employees away.
Additionally, lack of team engagement significantly contributes to the above factors and overall employee experience. But let’s further answer the question “why is employee engagement important?” below.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Highly engaged employees are highly productive employees. When your staff members are such, your goals as a company can become a reality sooner. Additionally, employees are more likely to stay with your business if they are engaged and empowered in their positions, which lowers recruiting costs and turnover rates.
How To Retain Employees (Ways To Retain Employees and Reduce Employee Turnover)
- Attract employees, the right ones.
- Increase employee engagement. (improve employee engagement)
- Improve customer loyalty. (foster brand loyalty)
- Invest in professional reputation management services.
1. Attract Employees, the Right Ones
First things first, what kind of employees are you attracting to your business? In 2021, the average turnover rate was nearly 57% (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Job seekers are looking for inclusive companies with competitive pay and benefits, inclusive workplace cultures and clear career advancement. They provide higher priority to businesses that share their values and principles.
So to attract employees who will likely develop brand loyalty, keep the following in check:
- Hiring process. Be intentional about your recruitment process, ensuring to do background checks. You can also conduct examinations as part of it.
- Compensation and benefits. While it’s not the only matter that counts, compensation and benefits packages are top of the mind of job seekers.
- Career pathway. Vision is a strong motivator for people, so provide a career development plan to fuel passion. Conduct regular performance reviews.
- Company culture. Even if you were successful in hiring great talent, you can’t be confident they’ll stay for long, especially if you have a toxic culture.
2. Increase Employee Engagement (Improve Employee Engagement)
Again, one factor that ignited the Great Resignation was the lack of support from employers. By offering resources, communication, reinforcement, and encouragement, you demonstrate that you care about your staff members’ well-being. It helps your employees reconnect to what drives them in their work and prevents burnout.
If you’re stuck in the mud figuring out how to retain employees, then focusing on bettering employee experience could be the key. With this, you can improve employee engagement by:
- Holding regular events. A big company-wide event helps build camaraderie between employees. Events also encourage cross-department interactions.
- Offering one-on-one meetings. Sometimes employees need to share what they’re going through; this is especially true at the height of the pandemic.
- Being open to flexible work settings. While counterintuitive, you can increase employee engagement and experience with sought-after flexibility.
3. Improve Customer Loyalty (Foster Brand Loyalty)
Although we’re focusing on ways to retain employees, customers play a significant role in keeping the business alive. When you don’t have clients, you won’t have employees or a company at all. And while it’s essential to acquire new businesses, it’s much more crucial to keep your current customers satisfied. A loyal customer would choose your brand over competitors, either as a result of superior customer support, unrivaled product variety, or anything that sets you apart.
Here are ways to improve customer loyalty:
- Reward returning customers. Develop a loyalty program where customers can earn points to redeem, whether for an item, discount or free shipping. By offering rewards, you make your customers feel valued.
- Partner with complimenting businesses. If you run a vet clinic, you can partner with a local pet supply shop. As a result, you both get further exposure to the pet store’s network and business referrals from each other.
- Support a cause. Consumers and job seekers give high regard to brands that try to do good. You can demonstrate your commitment to giving back to your community by donating a portion of your proceeds regularly or for one time.
- Implement a solid reputation management strategy. Since a reputation management strategy primarily deals with your digital reputation, your client and talent acquisition capabilities are strengthened.
4. Invest in Professional Reputation Management Services
Don’t stop at providing a remarkable employee experience; rather, market what you can do to showcase your brand as an employer. Reputation management companies like Rize Reviews are experts in this field. Our reputation specialists employ specially designed software to monitor how your brand is perceived in the digital space.
And through the data that we collect, we identify threats and opportunities alike to inform your overall strategy. Our services include:
Let Rize Reviews turn The Great Resignation into great retention with a stellar employer brand.