In the time of the great resignation, here are three ways to make your employee retention worse and fast.
1.) Choosing not to backfill roles when the workload remains the same
There is often the fallacy in the workplace that you can do more with less. That isn’t always the case. When a team member leaves and their workload gets distributed between the remaining members, the burnout and exhaustion become more intense with every resignation. Everyone has a breaking point, and if you’re not careful, this can snowball quickly. The minute you tell the team members that a role will not be backfilled is when they realize that the elevated stress they’re feeling is permanent. This is when they become more open to entertaining outside opportunities.
2.) Turning cold toward employees that put in their notice.
Sometimes resignations are met with resentment instead of ensuring that a soon-to-be former employee leaves on a good note. Yes, there is frustration when a crucial employee leaves, especially when a department is already short-staffed. Still, ultimately, managers need to understand that their employees need to make career decisions that are best for their lives, and it isn’t personal. While someone may be on their way out, the reality is that the employee has given a lot of themselves during their time with your company. They have possibly left behind processes and essential pillars of your company that should not be taken for granted. Word of mouth travels further than you could ever imagine. A proper sendoff could be the difference in that former employees actively discouraging their connections from working for you or providing valuable referrals.
3.) Refusal to acknowledge and adapt to changes in the marketplace
Suppose your company has been below market in compensation and benefits for years, and leadership still has their head in the sand. As long as the market is giving candidates a lot of choices to significantly increase their income outside of your company, you will continue to hemorrhage talent until appropriate adjustments are made. Every employer is facing a reckoning after decades of offering salaries that don’t match the cost of living. If you’re still insisting on reeling employees back into a physical office when their responsibilities don't require them to be on-site, you will lose out to your competitors just about every time. Additionally, if you allow remote work, reducing their salary because they move to an area with a lower cost of living is a slap in the face. Can you fault someone for wanting to make a significant move to make their dollar go further? A considerable salary decrease essentially cancels out any benefit they may have gained from moving, and it certainly doesn’t make them feel valued. Another element to consider is that the employee may have expenses that will remain fixed no matter where they go. Maybe a parent has a child with special needs and expenses that have to be paid out of pocket. Countless people are struggling to pay off student loans every month. Some are dealing with the weight of debt from a significant medical expense. These are just a few examples of costs that remain static regardless of where someone is located. It is presumptuous to assume that they need less money purely based on their lives. It’s plain and straightforward; workers just want to be paid well and have an entire life outside of their place of employment. As much as you want to sell your culture and perks, those things have fallen too far down most candidates' priority lists to forego the compensation and flexibility they genuinely desire.