The Great Resignation is still going strong. In 2021, 47.8 million Americans resigned from their jobs. As of August 2022, the pace had not slowed. With the economic downturn, resignation rates slowed in September, October, and November of 2022. However, a new trend has emerged—quiet quitting.
Quiet quitting is the term used to describe employees who remain employed, but who have become decreasingly engaged. Some because they are fearful of quitting during a recession. Others are unsatisfied in their career and are biding their time until they determine what’s next. It is estimated that approximately half of the US workforce has become quiet quitters.
Between The Great Resignation and quiet quitting, organizations must identify innovative ways to optimize employee retention. These tips will help.
#1 Empower and Expand HR
Even if you have implemented a recession-related hiring freeze, it may be wise to expand your HR department, tools, and resources. To optimize your outcomes, consider partnering with third-party HR experts.
While you may have halted your pre-recession hiring plan, you will need to fill many of the gaps left by those who have resigned.
In addition, you will need to empower your HR team to create retention strategies inspired by the tips below. So, check in more frequently with your HR team and expand their budget to ensure they can implement changes efficiently.
#2 Conduct Anonymous Surveys
Continue to conduct one-on-one meetings and foster open lines of communication. However, employees are unlikely to share the factors that have them considering quitting. Particularly when the considerations are more personal than professional.
The recession left many reassessing their priorities. From improved work-life balance to pursuing their true career dreams.
By conducting third-party anonymous surveys, you can capture some of the insights employees aren’t comfortable sharing with you directly.
#3 Upskill Your Team
A survey by Workforce Intelligence found that 74% of Millennial and Gen Z employees are likely to quit in the next 12 months due to a lack of skills development. Thankfully, it has never been easier to invest in recurrent and ongoing development. With online learning platforms, your team can take a variety of interactive courses at their convenience. This includes custom-tailored training and skill-specific courses.
While some training must be designated, allow your team to take courses at their own discretion. This can include courses within a program you have subscribed to as an organization, or you can reimburse employees for their self-guided training. Also, consider allowing a set number of paid training hours per quarter.
Don’t just upskill those you plan to promote, but your entire team. By adding value in their areas of interest, you can build loyalty that increases retention.
In addition to online training, continue to provide:
- On-site classes and seminars.
- Off-site classes and seminars.
- Team reading and discussions.
- Industry conferences and events.
#4 Create More Growth Opportunities
The Workforce Intelligence study referenced above found that in addition to a lack of development opportunities—a lack of internal growth opportunities was also a top factor for resignation.
Even amid a recession, it is an employee-driven job market. New and existing employees value organizations that support their long-term career goals. While there is always a need for external talent, create an internal talent pipeline to promote from within.
Where many organizations go wrong, is in creating a talent pipeline—and failing to share it with their team. While your pipeline will inevitably change, sharing positions that are likely to open up over the next year (or the next few months) can motivate your team.
At the very least, have your mid-management team create personalized development plans for each of their team members. This should include developing their job-related skills and the skills required for the position they would like to advance to.
#5 Increased Autonomy
Whether it’s empowering your middle managers or those you manage, it’s time to allow your team to shine. Encourage best practices and work within an optimized process, but don’t micromanage. On that same note, retrain your micromanagers.
Further encourage autonomy by:
- Delegating more, not less.
- Allowing and expecting failure.
- Coaching and guiding post-failure.
- Offering flexible schedules.
- Allowing hybrid employment.
- Creating intrapreneurship programs.
- Listening to constructive feedback.
- Encouraging employee-led innovation.
- Expanding your internal resources.
#6 Create a Mentorship Program
Just like training and development has never been easier, strategic mentorship have never been easier.
Where many mentorship programs go wrong, is that they don’t have clear or measurable objectives in mind. Both the mentor and the mentee require direction.
To better support your team, consider external mentorship tools such as The Mentor Method. The Mentor Method’s software empowers you to map out your objectives and measure progress. Both the mentor and mentee take a quiz that matches them by chemistry, not just skill or career objective.
Some organizations have seen a 45% increase in employee retention after transitioning to The Mentor Method. Either way, a strategic approach should be applied to mentorship.
#7 Create a Wellness Program
The desire for improved work-life balance has never been greater and is a primary factor for post-Covid employee resignation.
Currently, 52% of US organizations have wellness programs; 83% of organizations with 5,000+ employees.
The success of wellness programs is enticing:
- 72% of employers saw a reduction in healthcare costs.
- Absenteeism dropped by an average of 14 to 19%.
- 80% of employees who participate in their employer wellness programs love their jobs.
- The return-on-investment averages 6 to 1.
Before you create or expand your wellness program, ask your employees what is of the most value to them.
This is likely to include:
- Fitness classes
- Personal training
- Meditation sessions
- Nutrition classes
- Financial coaching
- On-site wellness services
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