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The “Great Resignation” – What You Can Do For Your Business

It has never been more challenging to retain talent, with many studies indicating that up to one in five employees thinking about leaving their current role. This means as employers, it will be necessary to reimagine their employee experience in order to keep the people they need engaged and motivated.

The search for, and retention of, talent is of course challenging when large proportions of employees are working in a hybrid environment, and managers find it harder to identify and recognise signs of dissatisfaction with employees, or where they are trying to assess the skills and cultural fit of candidates in a virtual environment. The process and manner in which companies manage the candidate and employee experience from initial engagement with a job opportunity, through the selection process and on into the probation period and beyond, needs to be reassessed to ensure it.

There are three key elements to consider when developing a retention strategy for your business.

1. Understand what your staff data is telling you. If you are unsure about what data to gather form staff or what data to focus on, consider some of these elements:

  • Exit interview information; conduct an exit interview with all employees when they are leaving, even if it is a placement student, a contractor or permanent member of the team. Gain some insights as to why they say they are leaving and their overall view of the culture, the opportunity, the team around them, would they recommend the company to others and generally try to get feedback on how they viewed their experience of working in your company.
  • Your performance management process; review your process to see if it is delivering for you and if you can identify any drop in productivity or performance standards for employees who resign and assess how far in advance you can see a pattern develop. This can be a key indicator that all is not well in the relationship.
  • Staff surveys; Conduct staff surveys or short pulse surveys to gain the views of how staff feel about working in the company, what they are saying about the opportunity and the culture, and generally if they see a future career path for themselves. This gives you an insight into whether they are reluctant stayers or enthusiastic stayers.
  • Training and development; Consider if there is an ambition and motivation for personal development, skills development and overall an interest in attending training opportunities provided by the company.

2. Look at your management practices and capabilities. During this time of ongoing change, it is critical to support the key stakeholders in the employment relationship. This means that the relationship between a manager and employee is often the catalyst for individuals to consider a change or explore alternative opportunities outside the organisation. Management development is an ongoing journey and businesses should ensure there is annual investment in this area, particularly during a global crisis. Competencies and capabilities in these areas are critical such as:

  • Regular, open and encouraging communications on a one to one basis as well as in teams.
  • Investment in personal relationships. Getting to know and understand the individuals on the team and the passions and interests they have about the job, life their community etc.
  • Capability to have meaningful coaching practices in place such as effective mentoring programmes, individual coaching for development, career progression models that are realistic.

3. Review the overall engagement of your staff. It is vital that you proactively empower, engage and grow your employees so that they stay for the experience and opportunity you can offer rather than staying because there is nowhere else to go or they are unsuccessful in getting another job offer. All the studies show that managers are among the greatest influencers of employee engagement, this is a catalyst for success and sustainability that cannot be ignored.

Engagement is the psychological and emotional connection employees feel toward the work they do, their teams and their oganisation. Engaged employees have a direct impact on customer retention, on driving efficiencies, and on embracing change. Engaged employees tend to live and support the company’s values on a day to day basis and are excellent ambassadors for the company.

Therefore it is important that you have initiatives in place that will promote the engagement of staff and reward the right behaviours so that you are fostering an environment of progression and trust.

This era of the great resignation is closely related to the engagement of staff and businesses globally are reassessing the relationship they have with their employees. Building structures and practices that will create an environment of recognition, respect and personal growth will result in higher levels of engagement, and when an employee feels engaged with their employer, they are less likely to consider changing jobs.

Lets make this the era of the great reset and re-alignment, and not the era of the great resignation.

Fredericka Sheppard, Voltedge Co-Managing Director (Joint)

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