The Limeade Institute conducted a survey in 2021 which has shed light on the “Great Resignation” within American companies. Up to 40% of all employees changed their jobs, industry or function over the past few years. This is a major shift in how work is done, organized and managed. It highlights what companies can do to find and retain high performing employees. Here are some of the results of the survey along with my comments:
- The majority of employees left their previous jobs feeling burned out and underappreciated
- 49% cited working remotely as an attraction in a new job
- 40% cited burnout as a top reason for leaving
- 28% left their company without another job, with 56% from food service and hospitality
- 22% said they felt an improvement in their mental health compared to previous employers
- 22% cited a feeling of being cared for by their new employer
Of course, the honeymoon period for a new employee lasts about 3 to 6 months.
Reasons workers left their jobs? Some companies took too long to recognize the issues.
- Burnout: 40% Company going through organizational changes: 34%
- Lack of flexibility: 20%, Discrimination: 20%, Contributions/ideas not being valued: 20%
- Insufficient benefits: 19% Well-being not supported by the company: 16%
Reasons why the new job was attractive? Some companies found solutions quicker.
- Ability to work remotely: 40% Better compensation: 37% Better management: 31%
- Better company reputation: 29% Better work-life balance: 26% Flexible schedules: 24%
Companies that modified their policies to match marketplace changes were rewarded.
However, more than one in 10 workers (13%) took a pay cut for their new position and 23% are paid the same amount, indicating better compensation wasn’t the primary driver.
What should management do to find and keep high performing employees?
- Control the issues of high turnover: Avoid and manage issues within their power
- Promote employee communications and foster well-being to support retention
- Identify problem areas early by tracking issues and creatively resolving impediments
- Design hybrid schedules to accommodate both business and employee needs
- Cultivate a culture of caring: Engage employees in defining alternative solutions
- Ask “influence leaders” the cause of dissatisfaction, with potential alternatives to solve
- Continually communicate, survey, feedback and share potential issues and results
- Train supervisors as to the causes and ways to mitigate problems early
Management needs to rethink the employee experience to make the organization worker- friendly or be prepared to deal with high turnover and dissatisfied workers. Understand employee needs and adjust/adapt new strategies to meet the marketplace demand for finding and retaining highly satisfied talent, necessary for the future success of the organization.
Employees that tell others that their organization is a great place to work becomes the best marketing vehicle to attract other high performing talent in the months and years to come. On the other hand, organizations with continuing high turnover are not addressing the issues of employee’s concerns and will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage over time
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