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How to improve Employee Retention and raise productivity
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Written by Natalie Barresi

Branded Content Creator

What is the Great Resignation?

“The Great Resignation” refers to the mass number of employees who left their jobs beginning in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic. The phrase was created by Anthony Klotz, Associate Professor of Management at Texas A&M University who predicted the record exodus of workers.

Since the pandemic began, employees began working remotely and began to want better working conditions. Some decided to make major career changes. Workers were now less likely to accept poor work conditions.

With a record number of talent shortage, employees have more leverage and know that companies will improve benefits to attract them. This also causes people to switch jobs. 

The Great Resignation is also the result of workers who were looking to resign before the pandemic but delayed the decision. Many resignations that have occurred in 2021 and 2022 are from years of buildup.

The shortage of migrant workers due to travel restrictions during the pandemic was an additional cause for the tightness of the labor market.

Why do employees leave their jobs?

There are many factors that cause employees to leave their jobs: burnout, not having a healthy work-life balance, rising cost of living, unrealistic workloads, changes at home, the desire for growth and so on. 

Workers feel like they can find better opportunities at another company. Others feel like their current company doesn’t offer them chances to grow or doesn’t align with their values or interests.

What is employee retention?

Employee retention is a company or organization’s ability to prevent people from leaving their jobs, especially top talents, in a certain time period. Employee retention strategies, when done well, reduce the costs of replacing employees and training new workers.

If companies can see the subtle signs that an employee may leave, the employer has a chance to figure out how to retain the worker.

Why is employee retention important?

Employee retention allows an organization to be more healthy and successful. Having a significant amount of employees quit can have negative consequences on a business. 

Without top employees, a company can’t thrive. Organizations and specifically HR departments have to focus on preventing voluntary turnovers, meaning avoidable losses. This could be preventing workers from leaving because they’re moving or changing companies for better benefits. Therefore, offering remote working or improving work-life balance.

How to tell if an employee is ready to leave?

There are a few subtle signals that can help an employer tell if an employee is thinking about leaving. This could include updating their resume, a decrease in productivity as they are less interested in pleasing others at their current job, a change in attitude, less motivation, lack of commitment, among others. 

These cues are important to pay attention to in order to retain top talents. This also can give employers time to prepare for the departure of an employee.

Having interviews with employees to know what they need and if it’s possible to retain them, essentially the opposite of an exit interview, can be very helpful to improve employee retainment.

How to keep employees happy

The Great Resignation isn’t going anywhere. Times have changed and employers that aren’t willing to change their approaches will be left behind as other companies that are more thoughtful about their employees’ needs, will gain top talents and grow more quickly.  

There are simple things that can be done to create a healthy work environment that keeps employees from leaving, such as:

Hiring the right people from the beginning will help prevent employees from leaving and increase commitment and engagement. The required skills and the responsibilities of the role must be defined well. When a new employee is hired, having an organized plan to incorporate them into the team has been known to improve the employee retention rate.  

Well-being comes first. Workers need to be treated with respect; jobs could offer great benefits, but if an employee is treated poorly then they are more likely to leave. Try to not give employees too many tasks at once or make the work towards unrealistic goals. Keep them happy and motivated by allowing them to take breaks and have vacations so they can disconnect and prevent burnout.  

Be flexible.  Be open to letting employees work from home or at the office when it best suits them. If they feel you are being considerate of their needs, they’ll be more likely to appreciate the job and be more enthusiastic about it.  

Create a strong connection between employee and employer.  Listen to your workforce, each person has their own needs. Make sure they feel like they are important. Employees want to feel trusted and that their ideas are supported. They want to use their skills for meaning work that they feel passionate about.  

Provide progression roadmaps. Showing employees how they can grow in the company and have real growth opportunities is critical to retain workers.They want to know that they will be able to learn and possibly reach higher-level positions. If not, they may seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Improve benefits. Having benefits and competitive salaries helps attract talented employees but also helps keep them at a company. Health benefits, paid time off and bonuses give workers a greater reason to be motivated and enjoy their job apart from just being passionate about their work.

Benefits of employee retention

If an organization has strong employee retention, it results in a number of positive outcomes. These are just some of the main benefits of retaining employees:  

Reduction of costs. Recruiting and training new employees can be very costly and even more so if a new worker leaves early. This causes the team to lack cohesiveness which lowers productivity and hurts the company financially.

Productivity increases. Losing employees can cause major productivity setbacks. New employees have to be found to replace the previous ones and then they have to get up to date with the workload. Other members of the team have to step away from their main focus to help fill the role of the workers who left. 

Happier workers. Having strong employee retention allows coworkers to create better bonds which results in an improved work environment. Higher morale leads to increased productivity. When workers have good connections and there is a friendly positive energy, it leads to them feeling more like a team, resulting in employees being less likely to leave for another company. 

More profits. If companies can prevent experienced workers and top talents from leaving; they can boost growth and revenues, as those types of employees generally produce better results and are more productive. The key is to have more of these workers and less of unsatisfied new employees who were never the right fit for the organization.

Satisfied customers. Having engaged employees helps create a stronger company culture and is weakened if an organization is constantly changing workers. Having this type of culture helps the company be more productive and organized which leads to better results and happier clients.

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