Employee retention is crucial to a well-run organization. Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind.
Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of their top reasons employees leave their jobs:
- Needing more of a challenge
- Looking for a higher salary
- Feeling uninspired
- Wanting to feel valued
- Seeking a better management relationship
- Searching for job growth and career advancement
A need for connection is the second-most common driver of employee attrition (money is first). In the post-pandemic workplace, you need ways to help your employees feel connected.
Time is of the essence
Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees.
In years past, employers largely assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious, and to take their careers into their own hands. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees are abandoning roles weeks, and even days, after their start dates, and some employees never even show up on their first day!
Based on these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for employee retention.
Retain employees differently from how you attracted them.
What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.
Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding.
Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the experience of connection. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw employees in before they get started.
Consider connection above all else.
Employee retention is not complex. It’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work. They understand how they are contributing meaningfully to the mission of the organization, and have a sense of belonging. People must feel these connections immediately. In the virtual workplace, employers must work even harder to make and keep connections. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.
Elevate empathy throughout the organization.
Part of developing true connection with others is understanding and empathizing with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk a big game about providing work-life balance, how empathy actually shows up is often a different story—and one that matters.
Show employees their future.
Connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If an individual understands how the job provides career advancement opportunities, they will be more motivated to stay.
People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers, help these people know connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition, and to connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.
As you work on intentionally engaging and retaining talent, consider a partnership with Brighter Strategies. We help organizations unleash the full potential of their workforce with effective plans and efficient processes including employee relations, talent management, staffing, compensation and rewards, and strategic human resources management. Contact us today to learn more.