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How businesses can boost employee retention during the ongoing Great Resignation

Posted by Deepshikha Shukla

April 7, 2022

Back in August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 4.3 million Americans, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, quit their jobs. This kicked off what came to be popularly known as the Great Resignation, in which droves of workers quit their jobs in 2021. 

And this so-called Great Resignation appears to be far from over: Some 44% of workers are looking for a new job, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. While such large-scale employee turnover poses serious implications for businesses, you can make your company a more attractive place to stay by implementing these key strategies.

1. Provide opportunities to learn and grow



Providing meaningful training to employees is a powerful incentive to keep them with your business. A survey of more than 2,000 employees by Better Buys found that employers who offer their employees professional development opportunities experience higher retention and engagement. In the survey, 92% of employees said having access to professional development is important or very important to them. 

Offering professional development opportunities to employees is cheaper than the cost of turnover. Training programs that are both valued by the employees and that improve their innovative thinking are:

• Onsite and offsite job training sessions on how to perform their work better.
• Opportunities to attend virtual conferences or specialized seminars.
• Tuition reimbursement for courses that keep them up to date with the business’s changing needs.

2. Offer child care support



Supplying child care subsidies or education fee allowances to working parents is a highly effective recruiting, retention and productivity tool for employers. To increase retention, listen to your workers to understand their pain points.

According to a FlexJobs survey, parents with children 18 or younger living at home are unwilling to forgo the work-life balance they achieved while working from home during the pandemic. Nearly 21% of respondents had to reduce their work hours, and 16% quit their jobs due to child care responsibilities. 

3. Offer flexible schedules



Working for more than a year from home, employees have embraced remote work as their new normal. An EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey found that more than half (54%) of global respondents would consider leaving their job post-pandemic if they don't get some form of flexibility in regard to where and when they work. The survey explored the views of more than 16,000 employees across 16 countries and multiple industries and job roles.

Employers should give employees flexibility with work hours to deal with both home and work responsibilities. “Employers who want to keep the best people now and in the next normal will need to put flexible working front and center of their talent strategy,” said EY Global Workforce Advisory and Solutions leader Liz Fealy

Employees will also need better technology or collaborative tools to support flexible working. Some 64% of respondents said they wanted better technology in the office, 48% wanted their companies to upgrade at-home hardware, and almost 47% would like reimbursement for high-speed internet/phone expenses for working from home.

4. Implement recognition and rewards



Research from Robert Half finds that nearly 4 in 10 professionals surveyed feel their career has stalled since the start of the pandemic. Employees reported stagnation in salary growth, career advancement and skills development as a reason for new job searches.

Make your employees feel valued and a part of the company’s success by regularly recognizing their contributions. Pay your people as per your industry norms or competitive space to take the issue of money off the table. 

There are many other employee benefits, like one-time bonuses, paid time off, discount programs and financial wellness resources that you can provide to stay ahead in a tight labor market.

5. Support mental health and wellness



Given the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers that provide robust benefits for employees’ physical and emotional well-being are better positioned to compete for talent. Offering a wellness program to employees is a new way of attracting and retaining top talent. You can take better care of your employees and their families by providing the following support:

• Organizing stress-management programs.
• Reimbursing fees for virtual fitness classes.
• Offering good health insurance with telemedicine options.

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