After a year of historic resignation rates and millions of job positions left unfilled, one thing is clear: the Great Resignation is upon us and there’s no end in sight. Employees are recognizing their power and continuing to quit in droves — and they have plenty of reasons to cite. From poor pay and benefits to unsafe working conditions and more, unsatisfactory jobs are quickly driving professionals out the door.
The Great Resignation may sound like a daunting problem to combat — and in some ways, it is a complex topic to navigate. However, surviving the current wave of resignations, unlike surviving an apocalypse, doesn’t require you to adjust to a brand new world. You can keep your business in tip-top shape by making simple shifts in your employee compensation and company culture.
In this article, we’ll provide seven tactics that you can use to keep your turnover low and your applicant pool large as you face uncertain times.
Offer a Living Wage
In traditional workplaces, setting salaries was always treated as a negotiation process. Companies would keep their salary ranges for a position hush-hush and pay as little as possible to get job applicants on board (and get current employees to stay). However, in a world where switching jobs gets employees higher pay raises than remaining in their workplace, companies must proactively offer competitive pay to workers in every position.
Rather than making offers based on a market rate, consider how much money your team members need to thrive. After accounting for basic living expenses like food and housing, how much can you offer to support your employees’ travels, hobbies, and more?
A living wage can be scaled up or down based on the demands of a position and the experience an employee brings to the table. However, it should ease the average team members’ financial struggles and help them live a balanced life.
Provide Exceptional Benefits
Great benefits can be just as enticing as a competitive wage. While many full-time positions can offer perks like health insurance and paid time off (PTO), and flexible work schedules are becoming more common, companies that go above and beyond can be hard to beat. For example, rather than offering basic health insurance, seek out plans that offer impressive coverage for therapy and other mental health treatments.
Childcare is also becoming a highly coveted benefit. While working is difficult (and sometimes impossible) for parents who have children at home during the day, many parents struggle to find affordable childcare. In childcare deserts, where demand far exceeds supply, childcare often becomes inaccessible to poor and middle-class families. By offering on-site childcare options or reimbursement, you can stand out from other companies and prevent great employees from quitting due to childcare issues.
Other trending benefits include flexible work schedules, pet insurance, and volunteer time off, which lets people take a day off work to support a good cause.
Create a Warm and Inviting Company Culture
Toxic culture is the top predictor of resignations — even more so than compensation. As employees increasingly realize their worth, they’re no longer settling for workplaces that make them uncomfortable in any way.
Fostering a warm, inviting, and refreshingly honest company culture is key to surviving the Great Resignation. Break down silos in your workplace by offering open and private office spaces (for in-person workers) or by opening up communication channels that give employees direct access to coworkers and higher-ups.
Encourage transparency and collaboration across departments to help your team members feel more connected to the business and each other.
Build a Supportive Management Team
A great workplace culture starts with positive role models. When your management team is ready to support, collaborate with, and listen to employees — rather than domineering or bullying them — your team members will follow suit.
One way you can help employees feel more supported by management is by implementing an open door policy. Allow team members to start conversations with their managers about any issue at any time, rather than waiting for office hours. Plus, employees should be free to express their opinions and contribute their expertise without fear of punishment.
Getting recognition from management can also keep employees satisfied in their roles. Consider setting aside a budget for employee gifts, like flowers for a job well done, to improve morale and productivity. Employees will feel appreciated. However, keep in mind that employee benefits should never take the place of proper pay and benefits.
Create a Safe and Accessible Workplace
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace safety has become a more important topic than ever. Following workplace safety guidelines, as issued by OSHA and the CDC, and regularly checking in with employees about their health can help you show your team that you care. You’ll prevent resignations due to fear, health insecurities, and frustration.
In addition to keeping workplaces safe for all, businesses should consider how to make their workplace and each job position as accessible as possible. Brainstorm ways to accommodate people with disabilities. For example, flexible schedules can help employees catch medical appointments
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is a necessity, especially for people who work from home. When employees can’t simply leave their workplace, it’s hard to prioritize their personal life. However, your company can help them do so. Consider offering an annual remote work stipend, which your team members can use to create a customizable office with a dedicated work area or to sign up for a coworking membership.
Additionally, make sure your employees never feel pressured to take part in after-hours events or work overtime. Spending extra time with your company should always be optional. Full-time employees are already dedicating eight hours per day to your business, so pushing them beyond that can cause resignations on your team.
Don’t Engage in Union-Busting
When employees begin to form unions, many businesses are quick to engage in union-busting techniques. Company leaders often fear being subjected to unrealistic demands. However, at the heart of unionization, workers simply want protections — especially after a tumultuous 2020 and 2021.
If you want to survive the Great Resignation, you need to work with unions rather than trying to shut them down. Union-busting creates an “us vs. them” mindset that can turn employees and potential employees away from your company. It can also cause bad press, much like it has for Starbucks amid its anti-union efforts.
Improve Your Employee Retention
As employees continue to quit in droves, implementing the right tactics is key to surviving the Great Resignation. Start by offering your employees the compensation they deserve, including benefits that help you stand out. Then, develop a positive culture within your company by breaking down silos, cutting down red tape, and caring for worker safety.