In September 2021, a record 4.5 million Americans resigned from their jobs. The phenomenon termed The Great Resignation is now making its way to other parts of the world. In UAE alone, it’s speculated that 56% of professionals intend to switch jobs in the next 12 months.

The Great Resignation was triggered in early 2021 as an aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees across industries are quitting in bulk in search of jobs that better suit their individual and family needs. People are now revisiting the purpose of their life and looking for work that provides meaning and fulfillment.

As voluntary resignations continue to rise, employee retention poses a serious challenge. It’s high time for organizations to rethink their HR strategies and redefine the way they work.

Thoughtful Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Interventions

Making employees a priority makes a big difference in the long run. Organizations need to put genuine efforts into their diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. D&I is far more than employing people of color or specially abled persons. It entails respecting and honoring individual needs, ideas, and what they offer. It involves the creation of avenues and opportunities enabling each employee to be and bring their whole selves to work.

Work-life Balance

The pandemic has made people realize the importance of family and the need for personal space. Employees now prefer jobs that let them strike a balance between their work and personal time without feeling guilty. Employees no longer appreciate working late, receiving post office hours calls/emails, and working weekends. Though still a norm at many organizations; however, it’s about time that culture is changed.

Availability of Flexible or Remote Work

Working from home during the pandemic has proven that most jobs do not require a physical presence to get done. Remote work eliminates the bounds of space, long commutes, and saves precious time. Most employees prefer jobs that give them the flexibility to work remotely in the post-pandemic era. Or hybrid schedules that include both work from home and on-site options. The fact is – employees are still skeptical to return to work post-pandemic. Therefore, the focus should be put on work and end-result rather than physical presence.

Work with Purpose

One of the major reasons that led to The Great Resignation is the lack of purpose. Employees that no longer find meaning in their work tend to leave. According to a recent survey by métier, 61% of respondents do not find a sense of purpose in their current jobs. Employees should be able to connect with their work on a personal level. Organizations can boost employee retention by developing projects/tasks that trigger a sense of belonging. Employees who feel their contribution creates value and makes a difference are likely to stay a long time.

Lead with Empathy

Empathy in leadership is defined as the ability to understand employee needs and be aware of their feelings. Managers need to be mindful and respect where other employees may be coming from. Active listening and offering genuine support go a long way. Empathy lets employees feel comfortable in their skin and gives them a sense of safety. It promotes a culture of trust, open communication, innovation, and happiness at work.

The Great Resignation is an eye-opener for organizations across industries. Millions of voluntary resignations call for innovative employee retention strategies. Companies can make employees stay through robust D&I programs, flexible schedules, work-life balance, purposeful work, and empathic leaders.

Our consultants at métier can help you develop customized HR strategies to enable you in dealing with possible employee retention challenges in the future.