We’ve all heard it – The Great Resignation.
But what exactly does it mean? Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs to pursue other opportunities, passions, and sometimes for nothing at all. Not only are workers quitting at a faster rate than ever before, but companies are having extreme difficulties in filling the millions of current openings across the U.S. economy. This trend is not anticipated to change any time soon. According to a September 2021 report from McKinsey, record numbers of employees are quitting or thinking about quitting their jobs. 40 percent of employees said that they were at least somewhat likely to leave their current job in the next three to six months, and 53 percent of talent management professionals reported greater voluntary turnover than in prior years.
Why is this happening? The specific answer can be hard to pin down, but in general, there is a widening gap between the job environment employees want and what they’re experiencing. In other words, people are looking for more than what they’ve experienced to date. The jolt of the pandemic has pushed people to reconsider what’s most important to them and, at the same time, they are seeing a job market littered with new and interesting opportunities.
With people transitioning out of positions in record numbers, employers are being faced with new challenges: increasing costs to attract new talent, a loss of productivity caused by the loss of qualified and institutionally wise employees and decreasing morale. Dealing with such problems in perpetuity is unsustainable.
The best businesses and employers understand that the most effective solution is to try and retain your best talent. It’s cheaper than recruiting new people and you avoid productivity loss associated with turnover. Of course, we all want to retain our best employees, but how do we do it? Luckily, there are solutions and many of them involve becoming the purpose-focused business that you already want to be.
Here are five tried-and-true ways to improve your employee retention.
1. Lead with Purpose
Now more than ever, employees want to be part of organizations that are trying to achieve more than just the bottom line. They want to have a positive impact on the causes that are near to their hearts. According to research conducted by McKinsey, 70% of employees say their sense of purpose is defined by their work. Like it or not, business leaders—even at SMBs—play an essential role in helping employees find purpose and make the most of it. Want to read more about the value of bringing purpose into the workplace? Check out our recent article.
2. Prioritize Culture and Community
The best businesses are not places people come to simply earn a paycheck. Successful businesses almost always have a robust culture where values are clearly defined and embraced by all employees; most importantly, leadership. What the company says is matched by what their employees do. This is the type of purposeful workplace environment that attracts and retains great talent while weeding out those who don’t fit. Along with values, you should make sure that there is ample time and room to build relationships with — and among — your employees. Research during the Covid-19 pandemic indicates that social connection has a significant positive impact on productivity.
3. Leverage Philanthropy
Philanthropy (giving) can take many forms, from financial donations to skill-based volunteering, to a myriad of things in between. In the case of volunteering, this can be a great way to break the monotony of the daily grind. Shake things up, get out of the office, and make a difference in your community. Group volunteer events build camaraderie, help breakdown hierarchy, and foster social connection. Plus, on a personal level, people who volunteer feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Providing people with the opportunity to donate to causes they care about and supporting those efforts can also drive retention. In fact, employees who engage with corporate giving programs tend to have 75% longer tenures with the company. In today’s workplace environment, 71% of employees believe it’s very important to work at a company that supports giving to and volunteering with nonprofit causes.
4. Build Trust
Organizations spend countless hours interviewing, onboarding, training, and providing employees with resources, but they still fall into the trap of micromanaging. Instead, share your vision with employees, give them clear goals for what they should be striving to achieve, and support them along the way. Focus on clear, regular, and transparent communication without becoming overbearing. When managed correctly managers and employees will have all the information they need, and they will all be more confident and effective in their roles.
5. Incentivize Longevity
Burnout has become a very real and very frequent reason for employee turnover. The hopelessness and fear brought on by the unpredictable and ongoing nature of the pandemic has compounded stress and taken a toll.
In addition to assessing and updating your overall compensation package, consider one-time bonuses at certain points of tenure or providing things like work-from-home stipends on an annual basis. Some companies are experimenting with sabbatical plans that allow people to take time away for the sake of mental wellness and professional development after a certain number of years. It’s important to consider the additional benefits you can offer that keep people invested in the company.
6. Focus on Professional Development
Employees are people, and people require growth. Providing the space and opportunity to build knowledge and skills is crucial to creating and maintaining an efficient and effective team. Investing in professional development shows that you value your employees, and that value and support is boomeranged back to the company in the form of a continued commitment to your organization.
The EarthShare Employee Engagement Platform helps you do all these things, and it makes the process of engaging your employees much easier and more efficient. You no longer have to try to track various team communications, volunteer opportunities, donations, and/or education materials in separate programs; everything is all together in one convenient place.
Interested in enrolling on the Platform but not sure how to get started? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will guide you through the entire process. Plus, you’ll have access to a suite of tools and reference materials to make the next steps easy, stress-free, and truly focused on creating an impactful giving program for your business. Reach out today.