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With terms like “The Great Resignation” and “The Turnover Tsunami” being thrown around, employee retention is top of mind these days. The COVID-19 pandemic has had countless impacts on our lives, both at work and at home. Factors like an increased focus on mental health, more understanding around the benefits of working from home with a flexible schedule, and anxiety around going back into the office have shifted many employees’ definitions of what they’re willing to accept in the workplace.

So how do you avoid the tsunami? Here are some ideas.

Rethink Compensation

Between COVID-related downsizing and the massive numbers of people resigning, there are a lot of people out there looking for jobs right now. If you’re not getting applicants for your open position, you may not be offering a competitive salary. Many organizations are also giving their employees “retention bonuses” – bonuses that aren’t tied to performance, but are used as an incentive or reward for staying with the company. Times are tough right now, and if you’re not making sure your team can pay their bills and stay afloat, they may leave for an organization that will.

Stay Flexible

Getting “back to normal” shouldn’t be the goal when “normal” doesn’t work for your team anymore. Now that most people have experienced remote work and flexible hours and policies, many of them don’t want to give it up. Offering work from home options for those that prefer not to be in the office every day and creating flexible policies that accommodate your team’s need to take care of their families – and themselves – may be the support they need to stay onboard.

Be Empathetic

Ninety-two percent of employees said they’d be more likely to stay with their job if their managers showed more empathy. That’s huge. Having authentic conversations with your employees – and actually listening to what they’re struggling with and how you can help – could be crucial to keeping them on your team.

Looking for more info on how to be empathetic in the workplace? Check out friend of Purple Ink Liesel Mertes on an episode of our podcast, or listen to Liesel’s podcast, Handle w/ Care.

Invest in Employees’ Development

We’ve been hearing it for years; people stay longer at companies that give them opportunities for growth. If you’re struggling to keep employees, it may help to offer more development, whether that’s through team training sessions, mentoring and coaching, or paying for them to go to a conference or participate in a leadership development program.

Communicate Better

It’s hard to stay engaged in your job when you don’t know how you’re doing. That means it’s important to give your employees useful feedback – or as we like to call it, feed-forward – and to check in on their workloads. Make sure you’re connecting what they’re doing with your organization’s mission so they know that their work matters. And this should go both ways; let your team know they can talk to you if they have any questions or concerns.

Ask Your Team

If you don’t know what people don’t like and why they’re leaving your company, how can you fix it? Talk to your team about what they’re struggling with and what they think needs to change. When someone does resign, conduct an exit interview with them; they may have suggestions on what you could improve, too. These shouldn’t be empty conversations – if you’re going to ask for feedback, you need to be ready to listen to it and to possibly make some changes to the way you do things.

Need some advice that’s more specific to your organization? Looking for help offboarding exiting employees and onboarding new ones? Not sure what policies you should be creating? Reach out to us at Purple Ink – we’d be happy to chat about the issues you’re facing.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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