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How Can HR Keep Top Talent?


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The great resignation is the name economists and analysts have given to a post-pandemic surge of people leaving their jobs.

According to Microsoft, 41% of the global workforce were thinking of quitting their jobs. In reality, it means that over one-in-three of your colleagues are considering a move. That’s huge.

It suggests we’re not out of the woods yet, and people will likely continue to hand in their notices, so HR teams need to look at how they can retain their top talent and introduce initiatives that will make them want to stay now. Here are our top six ways HR and People teams can stem the exodus.

1. Keep an eye on your People data and analytics for signs of churn

First, keep your eye on the numbers. Forward-looking metrics can predict who is a flight risk and what effect it could have if they leave. Your HR and People team can then understand where the problems could arise and make contingency plans to ensure minimal impact on the business.

Look at creating interactive dashboards with your HR and People system to closely monitor the trends that matter to your organization.

2. Find out what your employees want from their workplace

Don’t guess what your employees want from their employer in this new world of work. Ask them with surveys. By asking the questions you need answers to, you’ll have the data to support your decision-making. Using data, you should find it much easier to make decisions that benefit your workforce and allow them to feel that they’re shaping the organization as it changes.

3. Encourage a healthy work-life balance

If burnout is the main reason employees are looking for greener pastures, don’t ignore it – you have the power to do something about it.

Some of the most popular ways to improve work-life balance and wellbeing during this new era of work include implementing meeting-free hours during the working day, mandating all employees take their designated holiday time, encouraging staff to take lunch breaks and start and finish on time – and, of course, looking at remote and flexible working.

At the heart of preventing burnout is also ensuring teams are well resourced, objectives are realistic and managers supportive. A lot of this comes from the tone and culture set by senior leaders in the business, so this is one thing to be very aware of.

You may also want to consider giving employees extra holiday days or an early finish on a Friday, with the implication that they use this time to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

4. Provide plenty of development opportunities

One of the many business areas that the pandemic has disrupted is career progression. A big part of the reason we see a career-switching bubble is because people are looking to make up for lost time.

Talk to your employees about their progression. How can the company support them to be even better? What do they want from their career in one-, three-, and five-years’-time? Are there any internal positions they can take to move into a job they want?

If you can offer employees the career progression and opportunities they seek, it may stop them from walking out the door.

5. Benchmark your benefits against other organizations

Ultimately, employees want to be happy in their job, but it’s important to recognize their rewards package in that, too. In a competitive job market, pay and benefits could prove the deciding factor for employee retention. Now is the time to take stock of what your company offers and compare it to your competitors.

Try scouring your competitors’ job postings to learn more about the kinds of perks and benefits they have on offer. Remember: With many employees now working remotely, you will probably need to think ‘outside the office’ when choosing new employee benefits.

6. Carefully consider your policies around ways of working

The rules around your office will have changed over the last few years. If you’re encouraging your employees to start making a move back into the office, monitor how comfortable they feel with this decision and make sure your policies reflect your stance so everyone is clear on where they stand.

For example, if your policy mandates employees to maintain social distancing and wear masks in and around the office, will your employees feel comfortable returning? Will they still think it’s too early?  You’ll also want to consider if they’ll find a move back to the office useful. It might be less helpful to return to the office if, for example, your meeting rooms then aren’t big enough to use due to social distancing. These are all factors you need to consider.

Employees come and go, but make sure they’re leaving for the right reasons

People leaving jobs is a fact of life. Whether for better pay, employee benefits, a new role or progression in their current career, or simply the opportunity to try something new, sometimes the lure of a new position is simply too strong.

If they do leave, be safe in the knowledge you’ve done the best you can to retain them, and for those who decide to go, don’t lose contact with them. With so much movement in the job market, you never know – employees who leave today may find themselves ready to come back to your organization in the future.

Understanding your people through data is key to a great workplace. Need an HR system that provides workforce analytics and employee-related insights? Check out Sage HRMS.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at Sage.

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