So, you think you know how to prevent the great resignation?
Sam Richards, UK Country Manager at Personio, recently spoke to Business Leader about how you can help keep your best talent and avoid ‘The Great Resignation’:
Employees are on the move. The jobs market is booming, with the ONS reporting that the volume of online job adverts in the second week of August was 128% higher than February 2020, pre-pandemic. And, according to research we recently conducted at Personio, four in ten (38%) employees are looking to move jobs in the next 6-12 months, or once the economy strengthens. That’s a big chunk of any business’s workforce.
It’s easier now than it has been for a while for even the happiest of employees to find a new role, and therefore more tempting – so employers need to work extra hard to retain their talent. But, alarmingly, there seems to be a disconnect between businesses’ understanding of their employees’ priorities and expectations, and what’s really happening. And this disconnect could push more people out the door.
To retain talent, and avoid the disruption and costs that come with replacing and training staff, businesses need to learn and understand what’s important to their employees. What’s working well for them, and what isn’t? Otherwise, they won’t be able to pinpoint the problems and act on them before it’s too late.
For example, our research revealed that 21% of employees would be more likely to leave their current job if it has a toxic workplace culture. But just 12% of employers think that a toxic culture would push employees to look elsewhere suggesting a severe underestimation of the potential damage that can be caused by this.
And it doesn’t end there. Digging deeper, a lack of awareness amongst employers of how their company’s handling of the pandemic has been perceived could also be contributing to a lack of loyalty amongst employees. HR professionals are over twice as likely as employees to rate their businesses’ support for career development as ‘good’, and are around a quarter more likely to see its support for work/life balance and wellbeing in a positive light. With such a high level of disillusionment amongst the higher ranks, it’s not surprising that increasing numbers of employees are looking for opportunities that offer them what they need.
So, how can businesses understand what’s important to their employees?
It’s simple. They need to find ways to listen. Short pulse surveys can help employers understand the current state of play, and using these in tandem with external data sources, such as Glassdoor, can provide valuable insights from past and current employees as to what action is needed.
With this information at hand, the next step for employers is to assess their people experience offering across core areas of the business – such as onboarding, learning and development, career planning and benefits – and look to make informed improvements.
Introducing a holistic people framework that prioritises the needs of employees across these areas, and more, will help employees feel more secure and content within their roles. And, assessing this framework against a set of metrics and KPIs can also help employers track efficacy and progress.
It’s a daunting time ahead for many businesses. But with every challenge comes opportunity, and businesses have a real chance post-pandemic to put their people first. Reassessing people strategy and involving employees in what the future of work looks like will not only be key to closing damaging disconnects between employers and their people, but it will also empower businesses to thrive in the coming months and years.