Now more than ever, employees are leaving their jobs in droves. Even the most loyal ones are re-evaluating their career goals and contemplating better opportunities. In fact, when it comes to the highest employee turnover rate, the United States ranks 5th globally with 81% of employees leaving due to better job opportunities. When it comes to replacing an employee who quit in the US, businesses spend about 50 to 60 percent of that employee’s salary to find a new hire. Dissatisfaction with their work environment and senior management, as well as a lack of opportunity to advance, are among the top reasons for this mass exodus.
Fortunately, there are some simple, actionable steps you can take to engage your workforce to improve retention and attract top talent who are searching for a new opportunity.
Reassess Salaries to Stay Competitive
Many things have changed following the pandemic, but one reality that has become most obvious is the higher cost of living. From rent to groceries to gas to hydro and almost everything in between – the rising costs are pushing more people into debt. This comes as yet another burden that many workers have and continue to face.
Although it may seem like a bad time for businesses to consider bumping up salaries, it is essential to retain employees who are in high-demand positions. Money isn’t everything, but in this day and age, people are much more financially stretched and will look elsewhere if the wages aren’t sufficient. Businesses that want to remain relevant and successful need to at least offer competitive salaries to make employees feel like their time and effort are valued. And, in a time of remote commuting and video interviewing, there’s more incentive than ever for employees to seek out opportunities abroad.
Foster a Positive Workplace Culture
As modern workplaces continue to evolve, corporate culture is becoming more important – especially among millennials, which is the driving workforce generation today. Having a positive workplace culture is a key element for success because it helps motivate your team to do their best. It also keeps the core values of your company front and center. One way that companies are establishing a better workplace environment is by implementing whistleblower resources. Tools such as these enable employees to report any misconduct or inappropriate behavior that they might witness anonymously and safely, without the fear of punishment. This is a simple and practical way to show your team that you care about them and want to maintain a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable place for them to work.
At the end of the day, workers want to feel valued and respected. And often, that requires companies to be flexible and reassess their policies so they can adapt with the times. For example, if your employees prefer to work from home, give them the option to do so. Something as simple as this can convey a level of trust and respect that will reduce the likelihood of them searching for a new opportunity that will offer them the lifestyle they prefer. Fostering a corporate environment that promotes flexibility, autonomy, and collaboration – even from a remote setup – can benefit everyone.
Provide Support for Well-Being
It’s safe to say that after dealing with the intense and overwhelming stress from the pandemic, many workers are struggling with both mental and physical health effects. These effects can trickle down and impact all aspects of life, including productivity at work, higher turnover rates, and your company’s bottom line. But your company can help to minimize this by offering more support and showing your team that their health and well-being are a priority.
You can achieve this by providing supportive tools such as access to wellness apps and workshops. Relevant training or telehealth options can be helpful as well. Alternatively, if an employee plans on working from far away or suffers from a condition that prevents them from coming into the office, video and/or audio chats make it possible to make them feel attended to with care and consideration. Even taking the time to check-in and ask how they’re doing can make a world of difference, no matter how far apart you are physically. Encouraging open communication about your employee’s well-being can help HR managers assess their needs and provide additional resources too.
We all love to hear words of encouragement now and then, and getting positive feedback from management can work wonders for motivating and engaging your team. But in addition to giving feedback, it’s also important for management to accept feedback and show employees that their opinion is valued. They can offer unique insights and innovative ideas that can give your business a leading edge. But if they don’t feel like their company is interested in hearing what they have to say, they may not feel like there’s an opportunity to grow, which could encourage them to leave.
To create a culture where your team feels comfortable speaking up, ask them for their thoughts on a particular topic or project. If you’re concerned about them being uncomfortable, set up an in-person or video chat where you give them the floor and can maintain a welcoming, supportive atmosphere. This can be a great way to manage remote workers who normally might have a more hands-off experience with you, not knowing otherwise whether they can safely approach you on certain topics or issues.
To engage your workforce and improve retention, HR departments and all management teams need to help and encourage companies to evolve. This means taking care of employees and meeting their post-pandemic needs, such as flexibility to work remotely, access to wellness resources to support mental health, implementing whistleblower tools to promote trust and respect, and just checking in to ask how they’re doing. Embracing change as we all try to adapt to our new norm is crucial for keeping your workforce happy and your business growing.
About the Author
Shannon Walker, Founder and President of Whistleblower Security. Whistleblower is a global provider of ethics reporting services, including a 24/7/365 Global Ethics Hotline and Case Management platform (IntegrityCounts), to provide organizations with an efficient and trustworthy ethics reporting process. They are also the only Women in Business Certified Ethics Reporting and Case Management provider in the market.