The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we live and work. With all the adjustments and accommodations we’ve had to make, it’s no exaggeration to say the pandemic has reshaped the world. It’s changed how we interact with our families, the way we buy groceries, and the way students attend school.
But perhaps the starkest reminder of the change we’ve experienced is the record-breaking exodus of employees from jobs at all levels, aka the Great Resignation.
The Great Resignation
The COVID-19 pandemic caused dramatic, abrupt shifts in the way work happens, and employers and employees found themselves suddenly facing a “new normal.” In retrospect, prior working conditions quickly became less desirable to many.
Long commutes, stressful office environments, and poor work-life balance looked increasingly optional as organizations began to debate reopening onsite.
Employees who never previously considered remote work or flexible schedules recognized new dynamics as both healthier and more productive — and their expectations for work, and the workplace, changed in response. As the pandemic-driven phenomenon continued, and job opportunities continued to open, employees and active job seekers gained confidence about their ability to find a position to suit their wants and needs.
Now, as we near the end of the second full year of the pandemic, job openings are plentiful, and workers can afford to be selective.
What do prospective employees look for when they consider a position with your company? In the past, pay and benefits were the primary, if not the only, priorities, but today’s job seekers have a much wider range of concerns.
- Flexibility in scheduling. Whether they are looking for more hours per day combined with a shorter work week or the ability to choose the shift most suitable to their lifestyle, new employees want to know they will have scheduling options when they consider a new job.
- A better work-life balance. Workers are no longer willing to be overscheduled. They expect to be able to enjoy their families, follow outside pursuits, and engage in activities unrelated to their work on a regular basis.
- Acknowledgment and appreciation. Everyone wants to be recognized for the effort and experience they bring to the job. While this is not a new desire, it has become a higher priority for many employees.
- A healthy company culture. New hires want to know they will be in a positive, supportive, respectful, and inclusive environment.
- Good management and leadership. Job seekers are attuned to the leadership of the companies they consider and favor those with fair, equitable, and responsive leaders.
- Advancement and development opportunities. Human resources teams that offer career development opportunities and ongoing learning options see higher levels of response to recruiting efforts.
- Commitment to health and well-being. Employees want to know their employer cares about them as a whole person, not just a “worker.”
But reducing fallout from the Great Resignation doesn’t just mean hiring new talent. Retaining current talent is vital to thriving during this era of turmoil. As HR managers rush to fill open positions, it is crucial to remember the employees who kept your business running despite the recent trend. Appreciation and acknowledgement are key to retaining these workers and slowing the flood of attrition.
What steps can your company leadership take to ensure their most loyal staff members feel appreciated?
- Be aware of your impact. Your behavior sets the tone for your staff. Remember, everyone is feeling stressed and concerned right now. Consider how your behavior affects your employees, and adjust your approach as necessary to make sure everyone understands your efforts to keep the company headed in the right direction. This means being vocal about positive news and intentional about how you provide feedback. Commend your team for their willingness to move forward despite the hardships you face together.
- Expand the conversation. It’s an excellent time to bring more staff members into the conversation about what is happening and where things are going. Questions like “What is the best possible outcome here?” allow room for creativity, innovation, and optimism while reminding workers they are necessary to your success.
- Handle attrition with grace. Employees leave for their own reasons, and it is important to respect their rationale. Doing so improves your work culture and opens the door for those who move on to refer other talent or even return at a later point. This is not the time to burn bridges with workers who have had a positive impact on your company.
- Move forward with respect and attention. New hires are looking for a culture of respect and acknowledgment, but your current employees are your strongest asset and biggest investment. Make sure they know they are appreciated and continue to be among your highest priorities.
Employee expectations have changed, and this includes both new hires and longstanding employees. To ensure business success moving forward, adjust your policies and procedures to respect employee needs.
To learn more about surviving the Great Resignation, contact Terra Staffing Group today.