Employee Retention Amid The Big Resignation

Employee Retention Amid The Big Resignation

“The Big Resignation” has swept through the United States, and has already started to take a hold of the Australian workforce. In April 2021, more than 4 million Americans quit their jobs. This staggering number is the highest on record since the US Bureau of Labor Statistics first started collecting data in 2002. Whatsmore, this trend continued into May, June and July, with around 4 million resignations per month. Widespread employee resignations are also impacting the UK, with just under 1 in 4 UK employees actively planning to change employers in the next few months. While this trend is partially influenced by Brexit, factors such as burnout, employee dissatisfaction and more have contributed.

Now, we are seeing the Great Resignation take hold in Australia. Trends overseas should serve as a warning sign for Australian employers, according to behavioural scientist Aaron McEwan. McEwan claims research has shown up to 3 in 5 Australians may be planning to change jobs in the coming months.

However, according to McEwan, instead of merely seeing this employee retention trend as a threat, now is the time for employers to turn the Big Resignation into a revolutionary opportunity. Read on to learn how to navigate the Big Resignation to promote employee retention.

Invest In Your Company Culture

Company culture will make or break an employee’s loyalty to your company. Workplace culture determines whether employees feel welcomed and valued by their team and their company as a whole. Interestingly, many workers are more than willing to take a pay cut in trade for a job at a company with a better workplace culture that supports staff.

As a company, you need to be aware of your company culture, if there are issues with your company culture and how you can improve it. Employers must be aware of the glaring signs of an unhealthy corporate culture, such as office politics, low morale, loosely defined company values and gossiping. But it’s not always easy for employers to be across these issues. That’s why employers need to be assessing their company culture. Routine anonymous surveys are a great way to do this. Key indicators to assess for include workplace morale, value alignment (how aligned the company values are with the reality of the office), workplace diversity, professional development opportunities, and employees’ opinion of upper management.

Offer Flexible Hybrid Work From Home Opportunities

As part of establishing a good workplace culture, employers need to be aware of their employee’s needs and lifestyles. This has a critical impact on employee morale. While lockdowns and border closures are phasing out, working from home is here to stay. Since COVID, the option to work remotely, or adopt a hybrid work from home model, has become an attractive perk for job hunters. In fact, according to a recent survey by Zip Recruiter, “60% of respondents said they would prefer to find a job where they can work from home.”

As mentioned by McEwan, some Australian employees feel forced back into working in the office, after working from home for months. This lack of flexibility will likely be a major factor in propelling the Big Resignation forward in Australia.

Looking at a case study of a government worker, Susan Gray* spent more than 200 days in lockdown in Melbourne and was abruptly told to come back to work in the office – full time, with no option for hybrid working. While her employer was quick to ask for her to come back into the office, Gray claimed her welfare was never checked on during the isolating time.

Employers who have gone through working from home, particularly for long periods, cannot be expected to return to office work in an instant. After months of being able to functionally work from home, having this option revoked just does not make sense. Despite the isolating experience of lockdowns, some employees did find work from home enabled a better work-life balance, with long commutes removed from their day. Some employees also found their productivity was boosted while working from home. To have the value of these perks ignored by employers can be the catalyst for employee resignations.

How To Succeed In The Hybrid Working Model

Since COVID, the hybrid working model has been embraced by employees. Partial work from home and working in the office gives employees the best of both worlds. A key challenge to roll this out effectively is to ensure your employees feel completely supported in both capacities, when working from home and when in the office. This support is included but not limited to policies, support systems, technology to support collaboration and communication, as well as the hardware and software tools to eliminate any friction when a person changes their work environment.

The use of WorkPlan Learning, a simple, smart, collaborative Learning Management System (LMS) is one key way to keep staff learning and engaged, regardless of where or when they are working. It provides employees and employers with the tools to create and share with each other and with your clients.

Keep Employees Engaged

To properly manage the hybrid work from home model, employers need to ensure their team feels engaged with the company. Upholding high employee engagement has always been a challenge in pre-COVID times, but perhaps is more important now than ever before with employee satisfaction being viewed through a brand new lens after remote work during COVID.

Encourage Knowledge Sharing

One way to keep employees engaged is to simply show them you value their input and their expertise. With the WorkPlan Learning LMS, people can create courses and content that can be shared either with specific people or across the entire organisation. By empowering your employees to share their knowledge with the team, you show them you value their input. You also have the ability to easily identify subject matter experts. Plus, allowing your employees to share their knowledge also provides them with an innate feeling of contribution and recognition from the team. Importantly, sharing knowledge with the team also creates interpersonal bonds between team members.

Align Company Values With Team Objectives

Alignment of company values with employees’ day to day work is key to promoting employee retention amidst the Big Resignation. The WorkPlan Learning LMS does not just facilitate the creation of content and learning, it allows employees to link their content to strategic goals and team objectives. This allows every team member to know the greater purpose of their learning, and to understand how the work they do is contributing to the shared success of the organisation.

Additionally, with a sophisticated learning management system in place, the risk of losing valuable knowledge when staff do inevitably leave is greatly reduced. The valuable intellectual property is available for internal training and development to ensure smooth succession planning and transitions.

Promote Employee Retention With WorkPlan Learning

Employees need to feel valued, respected and recognised. Both their professional contributions as well as how their work influences their lifestyle must be taken into account by employers. As we have seen across the globe (and have started to see in Australia), ignoring these factors risks mass resignation.

Fostering a positive work culture that respects employees’ professional and lifestyle goals is critical. Fortunately, with WorkPlan Learning, supporting your team is made easy, no matter where they are working. Learn more about WorkPlan Learning here, or chat with our team about our LMS here.

*Name has been changed

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