Retaining employees during the “Great Resignation”

October 27, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 15 million people quit their jobs since April in the U.S., according to Harvard Business Review. Microsoft’s recent research suggests 41% of workers throughout the world are thinking about quitting their jobs, which means 59% of workers are not thinking about quitting. What can be learned from organizations retaining their employees?

Six human resource executives offered the following insights regarding retaining employees.

  • Build a culture of solidarity. Recent research from McKinsey reports the top two reasons employees cited for leaving (or considering leaving) were not believing their work was valued by the organization (54%) or lacking a sense of belonging at work (51%). Some practical things organizations have done to create cultures of solidarity are:
    • Make personal aspiration a routine part of manager conversations.
    • Acknowledge when someone personally embodies your organization’s purpose, which provides positive reinforcement and reminds others to do the same.
    • If you have remote workers, use creative efforts to ensure they feel connected.
  • Let employees co-create the workplace experience. Organizations are involving employees in creating a positive workplace experience by:
    • Implementing flexible policies with a direct tie to the customers you serve to minimize disappointment.
    • Enhancing solidarity through ownership of policy. People feel greater ownership over policies they help create, which strengthens adherence in the organization.
    • Building learning and advancement into people’s roles, such as weekly peer-mentoring sessions between people in adjacent functions who regularly work together.
  • Coach managers regarding how to genuinely care for others. Demonstrating care in the workplace does not have to be intrusive, and not every employee will need the same degree of care. Enable leaders at all levels to genuinely care by:
    • Encouraging gestures of kindness and support. Give managers discretion and resources to offer small acts of care as the need arises: gift cards, handwritten notes, etc.
    • Model vulnerability to make it safe for others. When others see you asking for help or appropriately acknowledging difficulties, it shows them they can do so.

Tags: Workforce


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