How are you avoiding the Great Resignation?
We have all heard about the Great Resignation by now – the mass exodus of unhappy employees leaving companies in their droves. Staffing is harder than ever, and attracting and retaining top-quality employees can be brutal in this market.
Research by Revelio Labs investigated turnover rates for a sample of large, mostly for-profit companies in the US. Now, although their data is US-based, trends in the UK and Australia are seeing similar results.
The research looked at the predictors of attrition rates for these large companies and included checking out the Glassdoor reviews by past and present employees. Following Covid, the resoundingly clear culprit of a high turnover rate was unsurprisingly culture. Review after review on Glassdoor identified culture as the main reason people were leaving a company, unsatisfied with their employer or manager. This clash of values highlighting their frustrations, causes them to disengage and start looking for their next opportunity. This is probably no surprise to most of us – working for a company that has a good culture makes for a wonderful work journey including lifelong friends if not a lifelong employer!
So, how do you know if your company has a toxic culture before you start reading about it on Glassdoor? And how do you know what to fix if you don’t know what is broken? How to avoid the great resignation?
- Run a values based assessment for all staff that is quick, easy, and online. Like the Engagement Index report – taking less than 15 minutes; it is easy and accurate for all levels within the company to identify and measure engagement levels;
- Whether you have teams or individuals at risk
- How engaged are your employees?
- Do your values match?
- Who is actively disengaged? These are the red flags that require urgent and immediate attention
According to the HR & Employee Engagement Community, senior managers are making up and rolling out rushed engagement and retention strategies without using a data driven approach. Not knowing what their employees really need or want. Offering salary increases when employees resign or just covering their eyes and hoping the great resignation hype will just go away. Engagement, which is defined by Kevin Kruse (2012) the author of Great Leaders Have No Rules is ‘the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.’ Finding out how engaged your employees are is a valuable exercise for any company, even if you believe your turnover is low and your employees won’t be part of this ‘great resignation’. Engagement is an attitude. Describing the enthusiasm that helps someone ‘turn up’ and go above and beyond. You can have a satisfied employee who is happy with their job, but how engaged are they? Do you keep hearing from managers that ‘Julie’ was happy working for us, they just left for a different opportunity or personal reasons? What really happened?
- Prioritise discussions with teams, managers, and individual employees. This could be through a variety of ways and can include staff satisfaction surveys, engagement sessions, team meetings, and individual suggestion boxes for example. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions!
- What do people really want from the company?
- What makes working at your company great?
- What needs improving?
- Are your values clear and embedded in the culture?
Using the information you have obtained from the values based assessment to identify the levels of engagement, like the Engagement Index or another assessment will guide your conversations and questions to truly find out what your employees value and what could be causing frustration and disengagement in their role. Kristi Hedges, leadership coach and author writes 8 Common Causes of Workplace Demotivation and it does not mention increasing everyone’s salary or giving retention bonuses to help retain your employees.
- Implement change. Now that you have your information from the assessment and discussions, you can make a data driven decision to avoid the great resignations. This could be individual or company-wide.
- No lip service here. Making specific changes based on the feedback and reports you receive is vital in retaining your best employees
- Communicate the changes as they occur
- Celebrate the good feedback and acknowledge the constructive conversations
Having a data driven approach, explained in the Harvard Business Review, will help you tailor your engagement strategy to improve employee retention and have your employees committed to your organisation and its goals. Change has always been considered difficult in any organisation. Obtaining an external coach, change manager or using internal HR is a valuable investment.
- Reassess in 6 months’ time.
- Re-run the values based assessments across the company to clearly assess whether your changes have had the impact you were looking for
- Keep tracking your turnover rate and providing regular communication to your employees on the goals and outcomes of your organisation will also help during any period of uncertainty
Judgment IndexTM Accredited Coaches can guide you through the assessment process and can commence an engagement review without the need for an abundance of data. If you are already working with a consultant on your company culture and change management, we can support them to utilise the Engagement Index within their existing framework and track the progress of your implementation strategy.