<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1334192293361106&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

We’re amid the “Great Resignation” where people are leaving their jobs at record pace; and while it appears that the numbers of workers quitting their jobs are higher than average, the reasons they are leaving may not be new. The reset that the Covid pandemic provided and time that we all had to slow down may have just given workers the motivation to make a change where they previously may have been more hesitant. So, it begs the question, why are people leaving their jobs? And as an organization, is there anything you can do to retain your talent?

In this blog we’ll discuss three (3) areas you can improve within your organization to ensure your employees find their roles meaningful and would think twice about joining the Great Resignation.

Reason #1 Lack of Career Growth

We’re willing to bet that #1 reason employees are dissatisfied with their current position and opting to leave is a lack of career growth. This should not be news to anyone, we all have co-workers who have moved on to another company because they were not being challenged and didn’t see any opportunity for growth, perhaps you are even the one who made a recent change.

For you recruiters, have you ever had to tell an internal employee who wanted to grow in the organization that they didn’t get the job because they don’t have the experience? As a former recruiter, I have been in that position, and it’s a difficult conversation to have when you cannot offer any advice on how to get “said” experience.

What can be done to provide employees with developmental opportunities besides offering a “ladder” program where workers know what levels are next in their progression? One potential solution is true career-pathing.

How is career-pathing different than a ladder program and what does it look like?

Career-pathing is individualized, based on an employee’s unique goals, skills, and prior experiences, and involves helping them make a plan on how to achieve those goals, including figuring out what additional skills and experience are necessary to meet those goals. These career paths may not always be vertical, they may involve lateral moves, rotations, and/or training opportunities.

We can understand how this is a bit scary, it takes time, commitment, and resources on behalf of the organization, but the added benefits of employee engagement, reduced turnover and increased commitment to the organization would be worth it.

Reason #2 Burnout, Stress, Lack Of Work/Life Balance

Pre-pandemic it seemed generally more acceptable to feel high levels of burn-out and stress at work. The pressure (maybe even self-inflicted pressure) to always be online and available seemed normal, and unfortunately many employees felt it was necessary. The perception that these unhealthy habits would be rewarded further lead to discontent and a lack of work/life balance. Now, years into a global pandemic, employees have a renewed vision of what is important, and a desire for balance. If it cannot be obtained with their current employer, they will seek that balance elsewhere.

How can employers respond? One way is to address these practices, and to lead by example. For leaders who manage employees, try setting boundaries for times that you email your team members (within reason) and openly discuss expectations.

Here are a few of our favorite ways employers can work to combat burnout and promote balance:

  • Provide employees with opportunities throughout the year to volunteer during working hours (and pay them for their time). Give them an opportunity and forum to share what they are doing outside of working hours as well; one of the best ways to find perspective and renew your mind is by giving back.
  • If your teams are working on-site, provide a quiet room or a space where they can take a few minutes when they need it to decompress. Maybe your space includes an “office library” where employees can take or leave a book and spend a few minutes reading. Another idea is to have cards available they can fill out and send to military service members. Be creative, the goal is to offer a few minutes to recharge so they feel they can tackle the rest of the day.
  • Encourage workplace wellness (and have fun)! This can be done in many ways, like a team scavenger hunt or a healthy eating/exercise challenge. Another idea is to host a lunch and learn where everyone brings their lunch, and you have different topics employees can learn about; maybe it’s even learning about what another team in your organization does! You are only limited by your creativity here, remember the goal is to switch gears from normal daily tasks and help alleviate stress.

Reason # 3 Lack of Recognition

A final reason why employees leave their organizations (regardless of how much tenure they may have) is that they simply feel under-appreciated or under-valued. I would assume most of us have felt that way at one time or another. Bad days (which are bound to happen from time to time) aside; we are talking about an environment where employees go unrecognized for their work. This can lead to such discontentment that it affects engagement and performance, and if they are not recognized for their work with one company, they will find another place where they feel they are valued.

What can employers do to prevent this? The answer isn’t necessarily financial recognition (which is always a nice gesture), it may be simply more verbal praise and feedback to employees. It may be talking one of your employees up to your boss or someone higher up in the organization when an employee has done a stellar job.

Another idea is to have a program where employees can recognize each other for a job well done, or going above and beyond for a customer, or jumping in because someone was out. It doesn’t always have to be “the boss” recognizing the work. Encourage employees to look for the good things their teammates are doing and reward them for it!

Everyone wants to know they are doing a good job. Don’t be stingy with recognition.

There are times turnover can’t be prevented (and we all know some turnover is good), but there are things that can be done to help slow that turnover, and it may just require a little attention and effort. If you are really interested in why your employees are leaving, consider doing exit surveys. This can be done as part of an off-boarding process, or even something that is sent out to the former employee once they have left the organization. If there’s anything we have learned in our time in HR, it’s that people are much more willing to share open and honest feedback once they have left the organization. Don’t lose your top talent for reasons that could be prevented; stay engaged and informed and invest in your teams if you want to reap the rewards.

For more blogs like this, be sure to subscribe to the AltaFlux blog.

New Call-to-action