Bringing Attention to Retention

The Great Resignation took many companies by surprise and led to a competition for talent. While turnover is expected to slow in 2022, a recent survey showed that 65% of employees are looking for a new job.

So, what’s making employees leave, and what will make them stay?

Ultimately, employees today are more empowered to choose where and how they work. And while some employees continue to look for more pay and flexible hours, many desire to work for a company that shows their employees that they are valuable and needed. They want a defined career path, advancement, recognition, and to feel like they belong. Specifically, 73% of people left a company if they felt their employers’ beliefs didn’t align with their own.  

In our conversations with both employers and employees, retaining your best employees boils down to a few foundational concepts: 

Capture Hearts and Minds with Core Values

An organization’s culture is critical for employee retention. Employees today want to understand how they fit into the larger purpose of the organization and how their contribution makes a difference. Companies need to be clear about the organization’s purpose and values, and leaders need to model the culture every day. In a survey of HR professionals, 84% feel that a positive culture is one in which behaviors align with core values. The big challenge for companies is to create a culture where people feel like they belong and are making an impact while working in a remote or hybrid environment. Leaders can create a more inclusive environment by tailoring the cultural expectations to individual needs.

Embrace Flexibility

Companies with a more flexible culture are winning. Employees have had time to think about what’s important to them in their work and personal lives and now expect more choices and more autonomy. It will be necessary for leadership to think about creating experiences that are true to the culture, and individualized. Consider offering employees flexibility in their schedule like a 4-day work week and work-from-home options. And re-evaluate how work is done and how people work together. The employee experience is no longer a one-size-fits-all.

Provide Clear Opportunities for Growth

Employees are looking for career growth potential; they want to feel like they are being invested in and need to see and feel the development path ahead of them. Leaders can motivate employees through new challenges, coaching, and offering tuition assistance for degrees and certificates focused on the skills they are trying to learn to achieve greater success. It’s essential that leaders clearly show employees how they can grow and succeed and provide opportunities for different career paths, including offering stretch roles. They also need to hold people accountable through goal setting and provide honest feedback if it’s not working.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

How leaders communicate with employees has changed, especially in a remote or hybrid environment. If you are a team leader that doesn’t get together on a day-to-day basis, it’s hard to read cues and build a deep connection. And employees with a strong connection to their organization are less likely to leave. Consider how you create an inclusive environment and show employees that they have a future in the organization. Make people feel heard. Listen to your people, ask good questions, and get good feedback. Ask your team how they want to be engaged in making themselves and the company succeed.

Driving Retention

The Great Resignation has led to talent wars and a competitive salary market. It also caused companies to re-think their culture to drive hiring and retention.

Moving to The Great Retention:

Organizations can move from The Great Resignation to The Great Retention by:

– Ensuring they anchor their values to the culture,

– Providing a more flexible environment that allows for individual needs,

– Offering professional development for continued growth,

– And truly listening to their employees. 

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