If your organization has been struggling to attract and retain employees since the pandemic started, you’re not alone: 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, making it the fifth month in a row of record quits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many factors have led to what’s being called, “The Great Resignation.” Some people have left jobs over a desire for more flexible work schedules or dissatisfaction over how their company handled the pandemic. Others have reprioritized their lives to focus more on family, personal experiences or finding more purposeful work. New hires are accepting positions but not showing up, while those who do show up often decide quickly that they don’t like it and quit to go somewhere else. The constant turnover can be tough on both the organization and the employees who stay.

It’s clear that the pandemic has significantly changed the world of work for both employers and employees – but there are some common factors that could be contributing to your turnover. If you’re one of those organizations struggling to attract and retain employees, consider whether any of these elements might need improving:

  • Your culture – Does your organization have a culture that makes employees want to stay? Do they feel like they bring value to the company and that they’re valued in return?  Do you communicate with transparency and help them feel connected to the organization and each other? All of this and more is part of your culture, and at the end of the day, it’s the foundation for driving recruitment, retention, engagement and, ultimately, company performance. Make sure yours is working for you, not against you. Here are some tips.
  • Your policies and benefits – Obviously continuing to provide flexible work arrangements (such as a hybrid schedule, for example) is a given after a year and a half of working remotely. But employees also are thinking more about their health benefits thanks to the pandemic. Not only do they want better preventative health care, but with stress and anxiety at an all-time high for many, mental health services are more important than ever. Make sure your plan covers the benefits that matter most to employees today.
  • Your learning and development opportunities – From puzzles to baking bread to at-home workouts, many people took up new hobbies during the pandemic to ward off the boredom of being stuck at home. Learning something new can be extremely energizing – and the same theory applies in the workplace. Providing employees with opportunities to learn and grow is a great way to attract new talent and drive engagement.  
  • Your recognition programs – Recognition is another important driver for employee engagement – and it’s even more critical in this work-from-home-world where employees may not feel as connected or valued as they used to. According to Gallup, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely as those who do to say they’ll quit in the next year. Recognition can take many forms – from direct, private recognition such as an email from your manager, to public recognition via company-wide platforms or formal programs. Make sure your organization is one that regularly recognizes both individuals and teams for a job well-done.

There are many factors leading to employee turnover today, but if your organization is struggling to attract or retain talent, start by looking internally to ensure you’re providing a workplace that makes employees want to stay for the long haul. 

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