How HR Leaders Are Combating The Great Resignation

Karin Killander
Sep 02 2022 | Insights
Lady with greying hair, wearing a blue blouse, holding a CV while looking at a laptop screen.

Is The Great Resignation a fad or the start of a new future? We spoke with two HR leaders to hear their thoughts on the phenomenon which has shaken up the workplace.

All over the world HR leaders are being warned about The Great Resignation boom. If you thought it was a phase, think twice. In September 2021 alone, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The Great Resignation is definitely not a fad,” says Allison McDaniel, Senior Director, Human Resource Operations, Talent & Communications at ConvergeOne. ”The pandemic, new legislations, and flexible working have made people consider what their options are.”

The last two years have become a wake-up call for many workers who are re-evaluating what it means to be happy at work. Having had a taste of what life can be like working from home, many crave greater flexibility. 

In addition to this, increasingly more American states have adopted the Salary History Ban in 2021 which makes it illegal for employees to ask for salary history. All to the benefit of workers, who are taking advantage of it to jump ship to negotiate a better deal.

A job-seekers market

A burst in business growth post-pandemic in combination with workers leaving at rapid spread has created a shift in power and a job-seekers market.

“From an organizational perspective, it’s becoming more important to make sure that the programs you’re offering within the organization are impactful. It’s easier for individuals to find another job,” says Marcy Southwick, Head of Human Resources at Siemens Energy.

Having initiatives in place to keep people engaged, happy and motivated has never been more crucial. 

Growing talent pipelines with emerging talent

To meet its aggressive growth targets, ConvergeOne has been ramping up its recruitment efforts by focusing on emerging talent and giving more people the opportunity to shift careers. By developing less experienced talent and investing more in their internship programs they can continue to increase their pipeline of talent.

When they traditionally used to only hire experts with years of experience within their field, they’re now being more open to sourcing talent from different backgrounds and giving them the necessary training to succeed.

Making space for meaningful conversations

At Siemens Energy, initiatives have been put in place to facilitate deeper listening. “What comes up in every survey is that employers want more growth and development. We find that continuous dialogue, meaningful conversations and regular check-ins empower employees and drive engagement.” Marcy says.

One of the ways they’re doing this is by tying in their Future Ready Talent Program with 1:1’s with leadership and matching people from different departments. The idea is to create an exposure of leadership and allow employees to interact with people they wouldn’t normally speak with.

Coaching as a retention strategy

Something both companies have in common is to use coaching as a way to leverage retention. By building it in with their leadership development programs and cohorts, ConvergeOne uses coaching as a strategic tool to make their leaders better. 

“We firmly believe that there is a strong link between a good leader and people staying. A good leader can help people with their career aspirations, have open conversations, and encourage staff to be transparent about their plans to leave so that they can figure out how to get in front of it before it’s too late”. stresses Allison. 

Meanwhile, at Siemens Energy, they’ve built out their Future Ready Talent Program using Ezra to provide people with an opportunity for coaching outside of the organization, which has been impactful in times of stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

Woman on facetime.

Making People Feel Seen

In the end, it comes down to making people feel seen. Working remotely has left many employees feeling left behind. Companies need to think of ways beyond the paycheck to recognize their employees. When polling 1,080 employees, we found that 20% of workers felt that they’ve received less recognition since switching to remote work, despite the majority of them having worked additional hours. 

The last 18 months have turned the world on its head but it also gives us an opportunity to take a step back, get rid of what’s not working and create new structures that put employees at the center of the business. The Great Resignation is a cry from workers for a new world of work – one where they don’t have to choose between work and life.

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