The Great Retention – Retaining Employees in a Job Seekers Market

Mar 22 2022 | Research
Four people working at a table.

The pandemic saw record numbers of people resigning from their jobs. What can HR do to retain their best employees?

It is impossible to talk about retention in 2022 without referencing the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on both employers and employees.The past couple of years have completely changed the way that people live and work, and encouraged a lot of people to look at their priorities and what they want from both their personal and professional lives.The pandemic saw record numbers of people voluntarily resigning from their jobs, across all industries. HR understands that it is happening, but the overwhelming numbers have left them scrambling to find a solution.Before the pandemic hit, there was a disconnect in understanding what people really value when it comes to work. There was a common misconception that performance management and pay/incentives were of the utmost importance, but statistics show that employees value workplace culture, health and wellbeing, and flexible working more. There was also a desire for better work-life balance, career advancement and development, having autonomy and feeling valued.The surveys show that these desires have not particularly changed now that the pandemic is further along. Workloads have increased, and the lines between personal and professional lives have blurred.Employees are feeling less engaged with their organizations due to feeling underappreciated and undervalued. There is a desire to continue having access to remote and flexible working options, but with a better level of support.The best way to retain your employees is to start your retention strategy early. However what works for other organizations may not work for your organization and your staff; in order to find out what is important to them and what you should focus on, you need to encourage feedback. There are various ways to do this, but the most important thing is that you listen carefully to it, and actually act upon it.

Although your retention strategy should focus on the feedback you receive, there are some issues that are often raised in surveys that we can recommend focusing on. Improving your communication and supporting wellbeing is always important; you may be surprised to find out that your current efforts are not enough. Being flexible with remote working and hours will help many of your employees, but make sure to establish boundaries between personal and professional time. It’s also important to encourage and support learning for your employees, be this in the form of training, mentorship or one-to-one coaching.Whatever your strategy looks like, it needs to be shaped and directed by your employees’ needs; understanding that what used to work might not anymore is an important first step. With patience, care, and hard work, you can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Retention for your organization.

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