Corporate New Year’s Resolutions: Strategies for Companies to Retain Employees During the Great Resignations
Written by Tiana Davis, Communications Specialist
You may have heard that we’re in the middle of a “Great Resignation” right now. Yes, we know people are leaving to seek better pay to afford the ever-increasing rising cost of living. Even smaller communities outside big cities feel the pinch of rent increases, unattainable homeownership, rising gas prices, and a PANDEMIC! However, researchers have found that there are more reasons that people quit their jobs, and pay isn’t even the biggest one. According to an MIT Sloane Management Review study, there are five significant predictors of employee turnover:
- Toxic corporate culture – Described by the authors as a “failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior,” this predictor doesn’t need explanation. If you treat your employees poorly, they will not want to work for you.
- Job insecurity and reorganization – Another prominent predictor, if your employees don’t feel secure in their positions or have little faith in the company’s future, they’re going to be looking for work elsewhere.
- High levels of innovation – How could innovation lead to employee turnover? Innovation comes with longer hours in the office, fewer breaks, shorter lunches, and a lot of stress and pressure to keep up. Throw all of that together, and you get burnout. A burnt-out employee is not a happy employee.
- Failure to recognize employee performance – No, the millennials in your office are not looking for participation trophies and gold stars on their work. They’re looking for appreciation and maybe even a thank you. Yes, you should thank your employees for doing what they were hired to do. If your employees are doing great work and positively benefit the company, TELL THEM THAT!
- A poor response to Covid-19 – Come on, now. We know this pandemic was unexpected, and very few people alive in 2020 were alive to experience the prior pandemic. That, however, is no excuse for insisting on in-office meetings when zoom worked just fine. Some of your older employees need help; younger employees can call and walk them through step by step. There are YouTube videos on everything. They even have helpdesk numbers that can be reached. Let’s be honest, the pandemic showed companies’ true colors. Workers saw just how little their wellbeing mattered to their workplaces; on top of other issues in companies like this, Covid was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Whether you’ve been affected by the Great Resignation or fear your company could experience mass turnover in the foreseeable future, it’s not too late to turn things around. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions your company can make for increased employee retention in 2022:
1. Listen to your staff
If an employee comes to you with concerns, take them seriously. Investigate. Mediate. You may think it’s nothing, but your employee does not. They want to know that they are working for a company that listens to and actively solves their concerns. Creating a workplace where the employees feel heard leads to a more engaging and interactive workplace where team members feel comfortable and are more willing to contribute ideas in meetings.
2. Create a Flexible Workplace
Say it with me: That meeting could have been an email! Be honest with yourself, does your team need to be in the office for 40 hours per week, maybe even more? You don’t want a fully remote office? Fine. But allowing the flexibility to work from home (within reason, of course) would go a long way in creating a happier and healthier workplace. Saving money on gas or public transportation and spending less time commuting and more time with family and pets are benefits to your staff that would relieve stress and increase productivity in the workplace.
3. Be Transparent with Your Staff
It’s important to listen to your staff, but it is also essential to talk to your team. Be honest and open about where the company stands, good or bad. A year-end or mid-year companywide meeting is an excellent time to share with your employees the state of the company and what the next year or two looks like so far. This may be hard for you to share and hard for your employees to hear, but knowing where the company stands helps your staff feel more secure in their jobs and more confident in the company and its leaders.
4. Show Them You Care
Physical, mental, and emotional health are all critical aspects of life. If that health is poor, it can impact an employee’s productivity in the workplace. Vacation days, sick days, paid parental leave, mental health days, summer Fridays, any of these are significant benefits to provide for your staff. Don’t make your employees choose between their well-being and your company. You may win once or twice, but eventually, they will find another company that cares.
5. Company Initiatives
Whether you’re in the office or working remotely for the foreseeable future, there’s no reason you all can’t have fun together. Consider a step challenge where every person, or even department, competes to see who can get the most steps in a set amount of time. Maybe a companywide initiative where every individual contributes could be a suggestion. There could be a big surprise if the company earns enough points (perhaps a Friday off?). It doesn’t all have to be office games, though. Get into the community and do some good. Make your company one that anyone would be proud to say they work for.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list of things that will keep employees happy, nor is it fool-proof, but what a great place to start, right? Listen, care, be open, be flexible, have fun. These are easy and free ways to improve your workplace culture and hopefully avoid succumbing to the Great Resignation.
If your company is hiring unemployed jobseekers in Prince George’s County, you may be eligible to receive up to $15,000 for every new hire. If you’re interested, visit www.employpg.org/rapidgrants to apply today.