Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.
A new trend is emerging in the pandemic-era workplace. People are rethinking their priorities and beginning to make new career moves. Several factors seem to be playing into this reshuffling, including work-life balance concerns and the pursuit of passion projects that people were able to consider during the past year. Other people are focusing on their families, taking time off after a year of strenuous work, or starting their own companies.
The Great Attrition is happening, it’s widespread and likely to persist—if not accelerate—and many companies don’t understand what’s really going on, despite their best efforts. These companies are making ineffective moves based on faulty assumptions.
As per recent surveys, a record number of employees are quitting or thinking about doing so. Organizations that take the time to learn why—and act thoughtfully—will have an edge in attracting and retaining talent. The top three factors employees cited as reasons for quitting were that they didn’t feel valued by their organizations (54 percent) or their managers (52 percent) or because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work (51 percent).
More than 19 million US workers—and counting—have quit their jobs since April 2021, a record pace disrupting businesses everywhere. Companies are struggling to address the problem, and many will continue to struggle for one simple reason: they don’t really understand why their employees are leaving in the first place. Rather than take the time to investigate the true causes of attrition, many companies are jumping to well-intentioned quick fixes that fall flat: for example, they’re bumping up pay or financial perks, like offering “thank you” bonuses without making any effort to strengthen the relational ties people have with their colleagues and their employers. The result? Rather than sensing appreciation, employees sense a transaction. This transactional relationship reminds them that their real needs aren’t being met.
If the past 20 months have taught us anything, it’s that employees crave investment in the human aspects of work. Employees are tired, and many are grieving. They want a renewed and revised sense of purpose in their work. They want social and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers. They want to feel a sense of shared identity. Yes, they want pay, benefits, and perks, but more than that they want to feel valued by their organizations and managers. They want meaningful—though not necessarily in-person—interactions, not just transactions.
By not understanding what their employees are running from, and what they might gravitate to, company leaders are putting their very businesses at risk. Moreover, because many employers are handling the situation similarly—failing to invest in a more fulfilling employee experience and failing to meet new demands for autonomy and flexibility at work—some employees are deliberately choosing to withdraw entirely from traditional forms of full-time employment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If companies make a concerted effort to better understand why employees are leaving and take meaningful action to retain them, the Great Attrition could become the Great Attraction. By seizing this unique moment, companies could gain an edge in the race to attract, develop, and retain the talent they need to create a thriving post-pandemic organization.
But this won’t be easy, because it requires companies and their leaders to truly understand their employees. It requires leaders to develop a much deeper empathy for what employees are going through and to pair that empathy with the compassion—and determination—to act and change. Only then can employers properly reexamine the wants and needs of their employees—together with those employees—and begin to provide the flexibility, connectivity, and sense of unity and purpose that people crave.
As these shifts begin to take place in your company, know that internal communications will become more important as well. This starts with inspirational leaders communicating core values and the mission of the company, as well as culture-building among team members. Use this time of reshuffling to shore up your communications infrastructure, brand values, and company culture, and you’ll build the new team that will take you successfully into the years ahead.
There will always be employees who want to leave your business. They will find jobs they’re more interested in, change career paths, decide to become a stay-at-home parent, or maybe start their own business. Employee turnover can’t be completely eliminated. But, you can reduce it by providing a workplace where employees want to stay.
With that in mind, here are a few tips on how you can slow down the revolving door at your company. Some may be familiar, some may be new to you, but all should help you inspire long-term loyalty from your best employees.
Making Remote Workers Happy
Do everything possible to make remote workers successful and happy. This includes those who are going to remain in their home office five days a week, as well as those who will be allocating some of their time in the corporate office and some of their time at home (a.k.a. hybrid workers). “Successful” means equipping them with the technologies and tools they need to be productive, efficient and organized. And “happy” means paying attention to their wellbeing and protecting them from micromanagers.
Hire the right people
The best way to ensure employees don’t leave you is to make sure you are hiring the right employees to begin with. Define the role clearly—both to yourself and to the candidates. And then be absolutely sure the candidate is a fit not only for it, but for your company culture.
Fire people who don’t fit
As the old saying goes, “a stitch in time, saves nine.” The same goes for cutting employees loose when necessary. Sometimes even when you follow the advice above, you get an employee who — no matter what you try to do — just doesn’t fit. And, no matter how effective they might be at their actual work, an employee who is a bad fit is bad for your culture, and that creates “culture debt.” They will do more damage than good by poisoning the well of your company. Cut them loose.
Focus on practical and meaningful ways to build an employee-centric culture. Compensation is always going to matter, but it has never been the number one thing that most employees focus on when it comes to joining an organization or staying in one. Organizations that establish and evolve a culture that is characterized by transparency, inclusion, respect, support, and empathy are much better positioned to recruit and retain vs. those that might offer higher salaries, but only pay lip service to these values and principles.
Keep compensation and benefits current
Be sure that you are paying employees the fair going wage for their work (or better) and offer them competitive benefits, or — really — who can blame them for ditching you? This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how few companies offer raises that keep up with an employee’s development and actual rising worth.
Pay attention to engagement
This one sounds obvious, but for too many leaders interest in engagement is limited to the results of engagement surveys. It’s not enough simply to run an engagement survey once a year. You need to save most of your energy to take action based on the results and you need to work to build a culture of engagement in your company all year long.
Retention and Exit Surveys
Make retention surveys and exit interviews a top priority — and if this means spending more money on staff, tools or both, then make it happen. Organizations that assume what their workforce is feeling are often shocked to discover that their beliefs are rooted in wishful thinking instead of reliable data.
Prioritize employee happiness
Happiness may sound a bit soft and squishy to many execs, but the numbers behind it are anything but. Employee happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction, absenteeism, and alignment with values–just for starters. Investing in the happiness of your employees will pay dividends in engagement, productivity, and yes, retention.
Make opportunities for development and growth
Employees place HUGE value on opportunities for growth. In fact, a Cornerstone survey drew a direct connection between lack of development opportunity and high turnover intentions. If you aren’t developing your employees then you aren’t investing in them. And if you aren’t investing in them, why should they stay with you?
Encourage generosity and gratitude
Encourage pro-social behavior in your employees. When they are given the opportunity to connect with one another through acts of connection and appreciation, employees will be healthier, happier, and less likely to fly the coop. And by encouraging them to be on the lookout for good behaviors to commend, you give people a sense of ownership of the company.
Recognize and reward employees
Show your employees they are valued and appreciated by offering them real-time recognition that celebrates their successes and their efforts. Make it specific, social, and supported by tangible reward, and you, too, will be rewarded—with their loyalty.
Today’s employees crave a flexible life/work balance. That impacts retention directly. In fact, a Boston College Center for Work & Family study found that 76% of managers and 80% of employees indicated that flexible work arrangements had positive effects on retention. And more and more companies know it. That means, if you’re not offering employees flexibility around work hours and locations, they might easily leave you for someone who will.
Clean up performance reviews
Our Workforce MoodTracker survey painted a frankly dismal picture of how employees feel about performance reviews. Only 49 percent of them find reviews to be accurate, and only 47 percent find them to be motivating. Performance reviews offer a prime opportunity for a big win to increase trust and fortify your relationship with employees. Improve performance management by overhauling reviews, and watching employee trust and satisfaction grow.
Provide an inclusive vision
One key factor in employee engagement and happiness, according to experts, is to provide them with a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. Offer employees a strong vision and goals for their work and increase their sense of belonging and loyalty to your organization.
Demonstrate and cultivate respect
Finally, don’t discount respect when it comes to creating a magnetic culture. In fact, in one study, respect in the workplace was revealed to be a key factor involuntary turnover. Find ways to cultivate and nurture respect in your workplace and it will pay off in higher retention.
Use these tips to help build a culture in your organization that will keep your turnover rates low, and your best employees on board and productive for years to come.
Sources: McKinsey, Forbes, Workhuman, HBU
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