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5 Tips to Avoid a “Great Resignation” in Your Organization

The great resignation is coming.

This seemingly ominous statement came from Professor Anthony Klotz from Texas A&M University. 

The statistics, unfortunately, appear to be backing up this claim. According to an article from CNBC, 3.9 million people resigned from their jobs in June. The number of people who bid farewell to their employers makes up 69 percent of total separations, which also includes retirement, firings and layoffs. 

If you are running a business, you’ll need to remember that the next few months will be crucial. Rushing to get back to the status quo may leave some workers feeling like people did not learn their lesson.

Whether the “Great Resignation” has already affected your business, take measures to keep your turnover or attrition under control and get your organization ready for a post-pandemic employment landscape.

Here are suggestions to keep your staff on staff

Talk to (Not at) Your Employees

Cathy Merrill, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Washingtonian, published a disastrous opinion piece. She argued that people who are working remotely aren’t as valuable or as engaged as employees in the office. Because of this statement, her workers went on strike for a day. She essentially talked at them in a passive-aggressive sort of way by posting an article rather than holding a direct meeting with her employees. 

If you are struggling to figure out how you want your business to run, don’t just simply state your opinion as Cathy did. Talk to your employees and find out what they feel. Ask them what they think about going back to the office or implementing a hybrid-work model

Prioritize Connection

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When you hear the word “connection,” this does not mean overloading remote workers with a constant stream of meetings on Zoom or Google Meet. You have to keep in mind that remote work will be a permanent fixture of people’s lives even after the pandemic is long over. Given this, you need to produce a positive work culture even from afar. 

Many business executives tend to associate strong connections with the bonding coming from physical proximity. This, however, isn’t always right.

Keeping workers engaged should always be your top concern. Connection comes down to open communication — in making your staff feel appreciated for their contributions, your messages, your meetings and humanizing your emails. 

Here’s another equally important piece of advice: refrain from just recognizing people’s major achievements. If you want to transcend languishing, focus on small wins, as well. This applies to letting your valuable team members know on a regular basis how valuable they are to the organization.

Keep an Eye Out for Burnout

An eye-opener for many remote employees during the shutdown was how burned out they were on the job. As a business owner, you need to check for signs of burnout in your workers: depression, irritability, absenteeism, tardiness and exhaustion. 

If you come across previously well-performing employees making frequent or careless mistakes, feeling unsatisfied with the world around them or not contributing to discussions, they could be on the path (or already at) burnout stage. Speak with these workers privately about the challenges they are facing and come up with solutions to these problems. 

Conduct Stay Interviews

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

By the time your HR team is doing exit interviews, salvaging your employee is already too late. Stay interviews are conversations spent with employees to find out what’s going well and what things in the organization they would like to improve or change. 

Stay interviews also provide employees with the opportunity to discuss what motivates them on a daily basis, as well as the things that will motivate them to disregard offers they receive from outside. You may discover during these interviews that these workers want only the smallest of adjustments to stay happily on your payroll.

Send Employees on Vacation

You may be wondering about the connection between vacation and employee retention. Remember that a lot of people are stressed with the pandemic. Due to the restrictions, many had to stay home, sit on the couch, watch TV and overate. This scenario, though, isn’t a vacation. It’s a depressive episode. 

Strongly encourage workers to take a safe but enjoyable time off work. Right now, the economy is opening, especially to those who have gotten their vaccine. Give your employees some real downtime. You could even sweeten the pot by providing them with some bonus money to go on an out-of-town or out-of-state trip. Your goal should be to make sure that people feel refreshed and raring to go back to work after taking a real break.

The “great resignation” shouldn’t spook you or hit your business too hard if you keep your employees happy and engaged. So work on improving yourself as an employer to encourage your workers to stay with you even after the pandemic is long gone. 

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