In working with a wide range of clients to address challenges brought on by the pandemic, I’ve started to notice a pattern. People are leaving their jobs, and this seems to be the case in multiple industries.
It’s not just entry-level or intermediate professionals that are leaving. This pattern seems to be holding true across the board, touching even high-level roles. On one end, entry-level employees are resigning in search of better benefits and pay. Team and departmental leaders are also seeking better roles that fit their life goals more closely. Yet I even know C-level executives that have begun moving on, as they reassess their priorities and start new businesses that will give them more family time.
Taking Stock and Setting a New Course
The common theme throughout is that the pandemic has changed people’s perspectives in relation to work. They have adjusted their expectations of what work ought to be like. They are insisting on unprecedented levels of flexibility and growth because they know it is available.
At first, there was a plausible prediction that this shift was temporary. But as I have witnessed firsthand, the trend is making no signs of letting up. And experts are noticing this as well, bidding employers take notice and meet the change.
It seems, then, that the question is no longer whether employers must adjust to this watershed moment, but how. How can you take this new era in stride, helping create incentives for your employees to stay – from entry-level workers to high-level leadership?
Be Willing to Adjust
Adjusting to change may be the single most important thing a company can do to remain competitive in this evolving professional landscape. So champion the flexible workplace employees are already searching for. Despite initial challenges, if you work with (rather than against) this trend, you will build more resilient relationships with your employees. You can even become attractive to new talent by gaining a reputation as an employer that leads the charge into a new era.
If this seems daunting, begin with some simple changes. Here are a few to consider:
- Flexible remote-work options – added flexibility means employees can prioritize relationships and lifestyle, both driving factors in many COVID-era resignations.
- Generous PTO and sick leave – employees are looking for security should they become ill, flexibility in spending time with family, and confidence in feeling their employer has their back.
- Growth and career advancement – among the big factors for people leaving is a lack of opportunity and the stresses that come with day-to-day work tasks. Employees want to feel as if they are working towards something and that they have the time and resources to accomplish goals and be strategic.
- Competitive pay – this is important to help employees feel valued, but it often isn’t the biggest factor for someone staying or leaving. Keep this in mind to help attract top talent, but ensure you’re offering the items above to keep employees on board.
One of the best means for fighting employee attrition is by surveying those on your team and any who are or have recently resigned. This is something that we employ at OnTask. For us, working with HR to send out quarterly employee evaluations has been a great success.
We include questions about benefits, work environment, employees’ feelings towards their managers, and questions about how valued they feel on our team. Keeping it anonymous encourages participation on these and helps us get more accurate responses.
Additionally, using tools like exit surveys for employees who are moving on can be a wealth of knowledge and give raw, unfiltered insights into why they decided to leave. Understanding their experiences can give you a good baseline for what can be improved and questions you can ask of your current employees.
Keep in mind that employee evaluations and exit surveys can even be automated, so the process doesn’t have to be painstaking each time you’re looking for information.
And when it comes to communication, creating permanent avenues of two-way communication is invaluable. Ensure your employees know you hear them, and communicate any policy changes with everyone from entry-level up to senior leaders. Opening it up to feedback ensures everyone feels heard and allows you to keep a pulse on your company’s dynamic.
Simplify and Streamline
Implementing changes like these means a lot rests on efficient communication and workflow management. Making these processes more reliable is indisputably an advantage to you because your teams will get more work done (and work better together.)
A major complaint we hear from customers we onboard are that simple processes are just too complicated and eat up employee time. Some fear that automation is taking away jobs, but it’s actually a great tool to help employees do their job better.
Workflow automation platforms that integrate compliant features and conditional logic eliminate some of the most mundane tasks from your employee’s plates, freeing up time for more strategic and important work. This helps employees feel like they have the resources to work towards their goals.
Use Your Resources to Fight Against the Great Resignation
To recap, there are simple ways you can improve employee satisfaction and combat resignations. Start by bringing in your HR team and working to develop employee evaluations and exit surveys to gain insight and determine what policy changes can be made. And, remember to give them the right tools to keep collaboration open and streamline tedious, everyday processes so that employees can focus on the big picture.
By making small changes, you can make a big difference in your organization’s morale and happiness.
About the Author
Steve Wilson has dedicated his time at OnTask, a division of Accusoft, to making workflow automation simple and accessible for HR professionals. As the head of product management at OnTask, Steve has worked to develop a simple, no-code automation tool that fits the needs of HR departments. His work on OnTask allows HR team members to automate employee health tracking, onboarding, PTO requests, and various other human capital-based processes. In his spare time, you can find Steve coaching youth basketball for his two sons or saltwater fishing.