Retention during “The Great Resignation”

Johnette Staes, Human Resources Director, East Jefferson General Hospital
Retention during “The Great Resignation”

2020 marked a year of firsts for many. It was the first time living through a global pandemic. It was the first time many employers allowed much of their administrative workforce to work remotely. It was the first time many slowed down and realized they lived to work rather than worked to live and that it was not a happy existence.

It was also the first time many decided that their professional pre-COVID-19 norm was no longer tenable. These firsts have led us to “The Great Resignation." 

Recent studies show trends that should cause employers to deep dive into their culture, benefits and how they plan to attract and retain top talent. Studies indicate that:

  • 41% of the existing workforce plans to change jobs in 2021
  • 95% of US employees are considering an occupation change
  • More than 700,000 people resigned in April 2021
  • 24% of employees are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely
  • 35% would consider a pay cut to work remotely

The data is overwhelming, and employers must reevaluate what return-to-work means, what a standard work week looks like, and how they plan to position themselves an employer of choice. When considering retaining your workforce, there are impactful strategies that will allow you to position yourself as the company that employees choose to join and choose to stay with.

Develop Your Leaders

Employees do not quit companies. They quit bosses. Take the time to evaluate your front-line leaders. Do they lead with compassion? Are they spending time with their employees? Are they developing their team? Invest in training your leaders. They are the key to employee satisfaction.

Offer Flexibility when you can

Barring a small percentage of companies, everyone cannot work remotely 100% of the time however, can you offer a flex schedule that provides work/life balance for some of your staff? Can you shift to a 4-10 schedule (4 days a week, 10 hours per day)? Think outside the box. Small gestures that improve quality of life will increase your retention rate.

Invest in Culture

Make fun, inclusion, and recognition as important as productivity and the profits and loss statement (P&L). Ask your employees what they need and then deliver of the items that you can. Note: Do not ask if you don't plan on delivering, and be transparent when you cannot deliver.

Health and Wellness

In the past, companies have tied health to physical fitness and providing great health insurance. COVID-19 taught us that mental health and wellness is just as important. Considering adding therapy to your benefits package or providing “mental health days” as a way to recharge.

Putting your people first and employing some of these strategies may allow employees to focus on themselves and continue to contribute at a high level within your organization.