‘The Great Resignation’ – 5 Ways to Prevent It at Your Workplace

The Great Resignation has taken place due to the work-life balance and reprioritization the COVID pandemic gave to employees.

The “Great Resignation” is affecting your business. If you’ve logged into LinkedIn within the past several months, you’ve surely seen the Great Resignation headlines. Employees leaving their jobs at record rates. What was once a curious trend being seen throughout the workforce is now a serious problem that doesn’t seem to be going away. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people view their jobs. People have begun to prioritize things like work-life balance amid the chaos of a global pandemic. When employers wanted them to return to work

It has caused employers to seriously think about what they are doing wrong, and have forced them to rethink their employee retention strategies. While this might seem like a tumultuous time for employers everywhere, it doesn’t necessarily have to be if you take your employees’ needs seriously. In this Bryq Blog, we explore what exactly “the Great Resignation” is and what your company can do to combat the effects of it. Learn how to turn the Great Resignation into something that’s great for your business.

What is ‘the Great Resignation’

In June 2021, a record number of employees quit their jobs. In July, even more employees resigned, and the numbers kept growing higher going into August. September came and set a new record, and while numbers have stabilized they are still unusually high. The numbers are alarming for employers everywhere – but why is this happening?

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, employees have had to completely change the way they work. Gone are the days of commuting back and forth to work and office life. Employees had to get used to Zoom meetings and have had to say goodbye to their business-casual work outfits. We entered a new frontier of employment where employees were expected to be resilient and flexible. Two years later, workers have discovered that this way of working really works for them.

The Great Resignation is causing employees to leave jobs at record rates. The COVID pandemic made employees reprioritize what is important to them.

How to Stop it From Happening at Your Workplace

Allow for Flexibility

We get it: money talks, but that isn’t necessarily the main driving force behind the Great Resignation. Employees have been quitting their jobs to take advantage of higher paying roles for years. This practice is nothing new. What is new to employees are the flexible working conditions that allowed them to work through the Coronarvius pandemic. Simply put, employees do not want to let go of them.

Over two years since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China, employees are making it clear that they don’t want to head back to the office – at least not full-time. When the global pandemic began, over 35% of the American workforce was working from home – which equates to about 50 million people.

These millions of employees got used to the flexibility that comes with remote work. They proved that they could be even more productive than they were in the office. 81% of hybrid employees who work between home and their offices and 78% of employees who work fully remote reported high engagement throughout the pandemic. When compared to 72% of employees who continued to work in-office, it’s clear that remote work leads to higher productivity among employees. Now that some employers are wanting employees back at their desks despite higher productivity levels, employees are beginning to feel taken advantage of.

Improve Employee Experience

Flexibility has proven to be extremely important to employees, but it’s only one part of the employee experience. Essentially, workers want to be treated like humans, not just employees. Employers that show that they care about their employees as people are the ones that are going to retain them.

This means investing in employees’ mental health, safety, and allowing for work-life balance. Understand that the needs of your employees are completely different from one employee to the next. Take the time to have one-on-one conversations with them and figure out what you can do to improve their jobs. 

Offer Career Pathways

If your company isn’t supplying employees opportunities for growth from within the organization, it’s really missing the mark on what employees really want. Upward mobility is often sourced as one of the leading reasons for employees to leave their companies throughout the Great Resignation. Over 63% of employees have said that career development is their top priority. With so much of the workforce wanting to continue to develop themselves professionally, it’s clear that offering career pathways for your current employees to advance forward is a must.

Hiring for roles from within is a great way to keep your top talent. Offer employees training and leadership development programs to help them become even better in their roles. Help build them up so they are ready to fully tackle the next chapter of their career at your company. If employees feel that there is room to grow and better themselves in an environment they are happy to work in, then there shouldn’t be a reason for them to pack up their desks and leave.

Take COVID Seriously

Despite two years passing since the first case of COVID-19, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc upon the normalcy of our lives. Some countries are even experiencing a fifth wave of the virus and hospitals across the globe are beginning to reach full capacity again. More than half of employees surveyed by Pew Research have said they work in fear of either being exposed to Coronavirus or unknowingly passing the virus along to another coworker. Of course, this has led to anxiety, mental health issues, and even employees quitting their job for one that feels “safer”.

The simple solution to this problem is to allow employees the flexibility of working from home. The Great Resignation has proven that employees value both remote and hybrid options. If this isn’t an option, there are things that you can do as an employer to make sure that you are keeping everybody safe. Additionally, companies need to be mindful of the mental health affects that COVID has brought upon employees.

While mandating COVID vaccines in the workplace has been a controversial topic to navigate through, requiring unvaccinated employees to get regular COVID tests has become a regular precautionary measure to help keep employees safe at their offices. Other precautionary measures such as social distancing, mandatory mask-wearing, and visible health and safety legislation about the importance of washing your hands do wonders in stopping the spread of COVID-19. If you aren’t doing your part in keeping your employees safe, they may very well leave your company to work for an employer who seems to truly prioritize their health and safety.

Discover the Root Problems

While the reasons why employees leaving their jobs at record rates are obvious, the reasons they are leaving your company might not be. There are many different reasons that employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers. How exactly do you pinpoint where your company is going wrong?

The first step is to look at the actual data and make a few calculations. Figuring out what your retention rate is will help you numerically define your employee retention problem. In order to determine your employee retention rate, divide the number of employees you currently have by the number of employees you began with for any given time period. Then, multiply that by 100.

For example, if you began 2021 with 50 employees and end the year with 40 employees on December 31st, 2021, you need to divide 40 by 50 to get 0.80, and then multiply that by 100. Your retention rate will be 80%.

Make the ‘Great Resignation’ a Great Thing for Your Business

The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed employees to see what truly matters to them. Workers no longer live to work. What employees really want is flexibility to get their work done while being a father, being a mother – being a human. When we look back on the Coronavirus pandemic, we will surely think about the lives lost because of it, but we will also think about how the pandemic sparked a revolution in the hearts of employees everywhere. This is the new normal, and if your business doesn’t adapt to it, it may not survive.

To stop the Great Resignation from affecting your business, do your best to adopt initiatives to improve the employee experience. Listen carefully to them so you know exactly what they want, what they expect, and how they feel. Treat them like humans, not just employees who can easily be replaced. Understand that their jobs are a part of their identities. They want to do a great job while feeling supported by the business. Carefully calculate your employee retention rates and realistically pinpoint your shortcomings. Lastly, just treat your employees the way they want to be treated.

The Great Resignation can be a great thing for your company if you’re leveraging it correctly. Be the workplace who is doing everything right in a sea of companies getting it wrong. No employee wants to part ways with a company that cares about and values its employees. By taking these steps to avoid the Great Resignation, you’ll be making your workplace a better company to work for.

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