The ‘Great Resignation’ might be a newly coined term, but it isn’t a newly created phenomenon. Though in a bigger sphere, the concept is still the same. However, the ways to deal with it have changed drastically, giving more scope to solve most of the challenges, if not eradicate all. Resignation and retention are two faces of the same coin. Understanding one will in turn offer a helping hand to resolve the other.
The pandemic brought light on the need of HRs and their vital role in helping companies survive in the highly volatile business landscape that currently exists. Retaining top-performing employees, creating strategic business development plans, enhancing employee experience, creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and becoming a people-person in the actual sense are a few of the responsibilities now expected to be fulfilled by HR professionals.
Resignation letters have started piling up on HRs’ desks now more than ever. While several people will be quick to blame the pandemic, it is noteworthy to realize that the majority of the problems due to which workers are leaving did exist before the 2020 era as well. They have only become more prominent now.
HRs today have to help businesses swim ashore through the deconstruction of the great resignation by:
Recognizing that flexibility along with increased pay and job security are the leading drivers of employment.
Post-pandemic needs of people have changed; Identifying these new needs and ensuring the company doesn’t forgo any that they can offer to employees.
They need to figure out what motivates employees to leave and what actions can undo this. A recent study has revealed that burnout is the number one reason (34%), with lack of advancement opportunities (22%) and compensation (20%) right behind it. Hesitation to go back to the WFO setup (13%) and not enough working flexibility offers (11%) make up the other two major causes.
Every company differs, so do its employees and their reasons to quit. While we have the leading factors for it, internal surveys and studies to understand them are key to steer away from the Great Resignation. This is where a data-driven approach comes into picture.
How to stop the great resignation:
- Tally the possible aftermath: Quantify the scope of the problem and its impact on key business metrics first. This will allow HRs to understand the gravity of the situation and the urgency of the same. Tabulate the effects the resignations will have on major areas of the business and whether these can be reversed without the intervention of additional resources.
- Understand the cost of the resignations: Every employee is worth a lot for the company. Not just in terms of revenue but also in brand image, reputation, performance, culture and more. Understand the cost of letting go of an employee and whether this cost is bearable by the company. If it isn’t, think about the cost you can pay to stop the employee from leaving. If this is less than what you would have to lose without them, you know what choice to make.
- Make way for informed decisions, not heated arguments: Breaking head over the chain of events that lured the employee to submit the resignation letter isn’t going to help if you are planning to stick to the causes only and bombard the employee by jolting them to blurt out the reason. Chances are, they might not verbally say the actual reason for their resignation. Don’t force them to. There is only that much information you can extract from them. Instead, plan ways to help get the internal buy-in vital to address the problems, and make informed decisions around what kind of retention interventions would be most effective.
- Identify the blind spots within your organization: Rather than attempting to read between the lines to find the reason, realize that the problem could be lying within your company. Explore metrics like compensation, time between promotions, location, function, size of pay increases, tenure, performance, and training opportunities to identify trends and figure out the solutions.
- Look beyond the evident issues: Pay, flexibility, WFH might be very predictable reasons as they can also be backed by data and surveys. Understand what triggers retention apart from quantifiable metrics- Burnout, teammate fallouts and more. Many-a-times, a petty argument between teammates can persuade employees to make extreme decisions. Look for the loopholes and fill them before the workers use it as an exit.
- Strategize actionable plans: Understanding the challenge and its complexity is the first step towards finding its solution. Create customized retention programs aimed at solving the underlined problems. Conduct ‘Stay Interviews’ instead of ‘exit interviews’ to know how close employees have been pushed towards their saturation point. Work on these. Talking to an employee after they have left the organization doesn’t really make a great difference. If you want them to stay, talk to them; listen to them, more importantly, while they are still in your company and solve their issues.
HR professionals can avoid becoming a victim of this era by staying conscious and active. Conscious enough to realize the gravity of the situation and active enough to find a way out of it.