3 Ways to Prepare for the “Great Resignation”


Industry experts say the “Great Resignation” is on the horizon as people make their way back to the office. As SHRM puts it: 

“Employees are most likely to leave a current job for one with better compensation and benefits or better work/life balance, according to the Achievers report. Burnout was cited by a majority of the 1,000 workers who said they plan to quit their job this year, according to the Eagle Hill survey.”

We know that many employees working through the pandemic for the last 18 months are burned out and no longer want to hang onto jobs that don’t meet their needs. Surveys suggest employees may have held tight onto their position because it was secure and a way to make it through the pandemic unscathed. But as employers slowly bring their employees back to the office and the world gets back to what it once was, industry experts suggest there could be a mass exodus. 

So, besides burnout, why the mass exodus?

According to Engagement and Retention Report, Achievers Workforce Institute, February 2021, employees are ready to leap for better compensation and benefits (36%), better work-life balance (25%), and more recognition (16%). 

The good news is that there is a way to prevent this from happening in your organization. Here are three ways you can avoid the “Great Resignation:”

Address the Needs of Your Employees

Rather than wait until the exit interview to determine what went well and not so well, do stay interviews or regular pulse surveys to assess the needs of your people. During the pandemic, the needs of employees significantly changed, such as needing flexibility, daycare options, internet and equipment subsidies, or professional development and career planning. Once you collect data from your employees about their needs, communicate your action plan, so they know you’re listening and taking action. 

Be Real About the Job

Recruiters and hiring managers work hard on job posts to drive as many qualified applicants as they can. The problem with the way most recruiters write job posts is that they aren’t transparent about what the job is. Either way, your applicants will find out what the workplace culture or the job is like, so you might as well vividly describe that in the job post upfront. You might attract those who genuinely want the job and repel those that wouldn’t have fit anyway.

Communicate Frequently

Employers at all levels—senior leaders and managers—should communicate clearly and be honest about the organization’s issues and challenges. When employers are authentic and share organizational information with employees, it builds trust. Additionally, employees feel a lack of connection due to working from home, so make sure as a manager you’re connecting one-on-one regularly with employees and seeing how they’re doing. Conversation starters such as “on a scale of 1-10, how are you doing today, and why?” or “what resources do you need to do your job more effectively?” are great ways to get employees to open up and feel heard. Remember, employees leave managers for the most part, so connecting one-on-one is critical to building these relationships.

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