8 Tips to Navigate the Great Resignation

By: Dan Romer

Author

If a year ago I would have told you that 4.3 million Americans would quit their jobs in August of 2021 you probably would have thought I was mad. Just last spring, people were scrambling to find employment as businesses were closing their doors (whether temporarily or permanently). Now, we’ve seen record-breaking numbers of people resigning steadily since April. What gives?  

This “Great Resignation” has come in the wake of people’s lives being shaken up. No one saw the rollercoaster of 2020 coming and few were prepared for what it had in store. While many challenging and outright painful things came from the COVID-19 pandemic, one of its hidden gifts to us was time. With most of the world shutting down and chaos and confusion swirling around, many of us were forced to slow down a bit, take stock of our lives, and reevaluate our priorities. Even for those whose lives seemed to pick up the pace, one of the great equalizers of the pandemic was that it made crystal clear what’s actually important, what really matters, and what we can do without. 

This led to an examination of where we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives – about 90,000 hours – our work. Many employees realized they would rather spend their time and utilize their expertise elsewhere. While some left the workforce entirely, many began looking for roles, companies, or even contract (gig) work that better suited their needs, values, and priorities. The once assumed mandatory 9-5 style of work has suddenly become optional and you don’t actually have to dread going into the office on a Monday. 

But how do you ensure your company isn’t caught in the storm of this Great Resignation? Rather than being one of the businesses losing employees in droves, you can be one of the employers people are running to. Here are some things you can do to set yourself apart from the crowd. 

Embrace Work from Home 

The first thing many companies and employees realized is that working from home is not only possible, it’s often preferable. Employers who demonstrate trust in their employees by providing them with the flexibility to work not only where they’d like, but even when they’d like, have been greatly rewarded with increased productivity and employee satisfaction. 

Keep Office Options 

While we just said that work from home is often preferred, that isn’t the case for everyone. Some employees find they’re far more productive, more engaged, and more satisfied when they have an office space to come in to. As an employer, you’re most likely to “win” in this department when you empower your people to choose where they work – giving an option for an office space should they prefer that. 

See The Employee as an Individual 

While it’s a rather simple truth that every employee is a unique individual, it’s historically been overlooked in the business world in the name of productivity and efficiency. What we’ve found over time, however, is that taking a one-size-fits-all approach to management actually does the opposite; it decreases performance, engagement, satisfaction, and retention – all things that matter immensely in a time such as The Great Resignation. Get to know your employees – what drives them, how they’re “wired”, what their hidden strengths are – and use that information to customize your management approach. This is the foundation of our Manage 4 Performance™ software. Learn more here! 

Recruit for the Future 

Historically, recruiting has been a bit of a desperate resume-fling to find what (or who) sticks and then hope they work out for a time. But when you’re only in it to fill the open role as quickly as possible, candidates can sniff that out a mile away.  

When you recruit for the future, you not only define what success looks like in your open role, you also map out a career path. When you’re looking to attract top talent to your organization, this added intentionality will set you apart. Our team of talent experts is here to help walk you through how we do this day in and day out. 

Make Wellbeing a Priority 

Health, wellness, and rest quickly became a top priority in light of the pandemic. The days of it being acceptable (and even expected) to come into the office while feeling a bit under the weather are long gone. Employees are looking for a place that prioritizes and values the wellbeing of their people – and that is not just limited to physical health. Mental health initiatives are increasingly common and are no longer an added bonus to prospective hires, but an expectation.  

Additionally, top performers are drawn to employers that are taking steps to stay ahead of employee burnout. Knowing that a potential employer cares more about your wellbeing than your output provides peace of mind when making a career move. Afterall, if 2020 taught us anything it’s that we truly don’t know what’s around the bend.  

Career Development 

Imagine your employees as lifelong members of your team. From the moment they walk in the door on day 1 they become an integral part of what you do and where you’re headed – that’s what candidates are looking for. It’s not just about what’s in it for them on day 1, it’s about how you’re dedicated to their continued growth and development. Be intentionally about supporting your employees’ career development and celebrating the value they add to your team. 

Be Transparent 

In a time of chaos and confusion, what employees need more than ever is transparent leadership. Employers who were quick to share the internal state of affairs during the pandemic secured the trust of their people as they demonstrated their commitment to open and honest communication. Whenever possible and appropriate, opt for transparency and trust. 

Don’t Settle on DEI 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a hot topic, and it should be. This isn’t just about hiring, it’s also about who is currently on your team – and how they’re being treated. Are there pay gaps? Promotion gaps? Take a good hard look at the equity of your organization and, if necessary, take corrective action. Perhaps it’s not about equity, but inclusion. We suggest developing a DEI task force to help drive these efforts in your organization.  

The overriding lesson from the pandemic is that people are realizing that living to work isn’t what they want. They want to enjoy their work and their personal lives, and they’re willing to make big moves to find a company that not only understands but supports this. The daily grind is dead and gone. Today’s workforce knows they have value and power, and if they’re not treated fairly, they’re going to walk out the door.  

Once an employer embraces the idea of individual value within their business, they can not only avoid falling victim to The Great Resignation, they can use it to their advantage. The most skilled, qualified, and driven individuals are leaving companies that don’t appreciate what they can do. If your business can value them and provide the culture, support, and flexibility they’re looking for, you can earn their employment. That’s the mindset you need to succeed.  

If you’d like to learn more about hiring top performers, connect with Titus Talent Strategies and we can help you define your seat so you can find the right individual for your business.  

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