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Is the Great Resignation Real & How Can Employers Boost Retention Rates?

Is the Great Resignation Real & How Can Employers Boost Retention Rates?
  • Employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers, according to a survey by Pulse of the American Worker, in what is being called the “great resignation”. The turnover, also known as a “turnover tsunami” has hit the hospitality and retail industry the hardest. Teams are more restless than ever before and looking for a change.

    What Has Led Up to the Great Resignation?

    Employers are recalling employees back to the office without consulting them. This is unexpected and unappreciated. Sixteen months, or more, is a long time to re-adjust from a work-from-home environment. According to KPMG, 77% of Canadian employees support a hybrid workplace model, although four in five are concerned that the leadership in their organization is not prepared or equipped for it.

    Work-Life Balance Could Make the Difference

    What many employees have learned is there could be a better work-life balance, if they can work at least some of their week from home. In fact, this balance could mean the difference between falling victim to the great resignation or not.

    Why is that? For starters:

    • There are fewer days commuting to work, saving time and money
    • There are fewer distractions so they feel more productive, despite managing children and pets while at their desk
    • Family experience has been enhanced being able to eat more meals together, and more time, in general
    • Cost savings in gas, lunches out, coffee runs, less clothes shopping

    (Each of these factors also contributes to company culture. Learn more about strategizing your company culture in this post)

    Values and priorities have also shifted and employees want more flexibility and want to maintain better family connections. Of course, the service industry employees cannot work from home. But many are reconsidering their roles unless there are improvements to their workplace cultures. They want more flexibility and better communication.

    Should Leadership Be Concerned About the Great Resignation?

    Leadership should be concerned, especially with the staggering number of employees that are considering a change. If this alarming statistic does become a trend, changing jobs often will become “all the rage”.

    Predictions are that even leadership is re-evaluating their own roles with the anticipated challenges of labour shortages, worker burnout, and mental health issues. The additional pressure of an already stressful role is of particular concern during the great resignation.

    (Speaking of burnout, read more about the importance of taking time off in this post)

    Leadership executives who, in the past, travelled extensively, worked long hours and often missed family occasions and milestones are rethinking their roles. During the pandemic lock-down, they finally got an opportunity to experience what they had missed in the past and as a result, their priorities have shifted too.

    Usually, when employee turnover is high, it suggests a strong economy. Interestingly, the economy is weak yet employers are noticing labour shortages.

    Employers should not wait for their labour shortages to become chronic before they react. A strong effort to impact current culture, develop management soft skills, and increase communication can make a difference. In addition, placing priority on succession planning and an aggressive employee retention strategy.

    Bottom-up leadership can involve employees and encourage them to contribute to solutions. Internal mentorship programs are excellent to recognize future talent and enhance confidence in advancing employees. Employees with a succession plan, whether it be one, two or three years out, are less likely to leave.

    (Don’t overlook diversity, equity, and inclusion in your business planning either. Learn more here)

    Consider Enhanced Benefits for Boosting Retention

    According to Hub, a North American leading insurance broker, organizations are enquiring about enhanced benefits such as:

    • Wellness Programs
    • Retirement Options
    • Employee Satisfaction Initiatives

    These may well become important factors in improving employee retention and recruitment of new employees, as are flexible schedules and recognition programs.

    At X5 Management, we are supporting more and more business clients with team development and leadership coaching. While this is not new for us, the reason for this focus is also attributable to employee retention. Fortunately, some employers are anticipating what could happen if they don’t take steps to address this.

    But sadly, many are not putting enough attention in this area, which could greatly impact them and their businesses down the road. Contact us for a complimentary Discovery Meeting to see how we can help your business:

    Regardless of social or economic factors, a positive and engaged workplace culture will always be the best way to create a loyal and tenured workforce, who feel they have identity and purpose within their organization.

    “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

    About Kris Schinke

    Kris has a passion for creating an effective workplace culture that is effectively measured by employee turnover and internal advancement. She is proud of a past accomplishment of reducing turnover from 200% to 20% in a service-based business where employee turnover is typically high.

    Kris is a certified Everything DiSC® Workplace Facilitator; an assessment-based learning experience that deepens awareness, inspires appreciation of others, and fosters effective collaboration in the workplace. This is an excellent program to ignite cultural transformation.

    Kris also works with X5 Management to offer training solutions and help businesses improve communication, teamwork, customer service, sales and leadership development. This includes tailored workshops for workplace leadership on creating effective mentorship programs and improved employee development for enhanced succession planning and employee retention.

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