How Employers Can Overcome the Great Resignation

Employers are wondering how to weather the storm of high turnover in the recent job market. The Society for Human Resource Management released a new report offering organizations advice on retaining employees and launched a new campaign to help HR professionals be more impactful.

The current period of high employee turnover known as the Great Resignation is causing a upheaval for associations as they lose staff and have trouble finding replacements. Knowing the problems many employers are having retaining and hiring talent, the Society for Human Resource Management released a new report, Surviving the Great Resignation, to provide advice on how to best endure during this time.

“Right now, workplaces, they’re really struggling,” said Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman, chief marketing and experience officer at SHRM. “What we hope really to do in this report is to be able to promote the crucial change that needs to happen, whether it’s a large or small businesses, rural or urban, or whether you’re fully remote, onsite, or hybrid.”

The members-only report is part of the organization’s Cause the Effect campaign, which has the goal of helping HR professionals be more impactful in the workplace.

“What we’re looking for is really basic: HR professionals to cause a chain reaction—the positive effect for individuals and organizations,” Andrews-Feldman said of the campaign. “So, we’ll be gathering stories over the course of the next few months to be able to share.”

Focus on Salary and Employee Support

Surviving the Great Resignation notes that successful organizations are using a few tactics to retain employees during this time. Among them: ensuring you’re offering employees the appropriate salary.

“If your compensation schedule is lower than your peers, then you’re going to suffer,” Andrews-Feldman said. “People are going to leave or not come to you, and then that gap that you’re going to have in terms of productivity by not having somebody in the seat is going to be more detrimental.”

After ensuring compensation is on par, organizations are looking at benefits and prioritizing making the work environment healthy.

“They’re making sure that employees feel supported, providing those actionable tools to prioritize mental health and wellbeing in the workplace,” Andrews-Feldman said. “The employer may want to take a look at their overall benefits with burnout in mind.”

When it comes to benefits, Andrews-Feldman said it’s crucial to remember that employees are often in different phases, so it will be important to highlight benefits to employees that match their phase.

“You need to understand those employees, what segment they fall into, where they are in their career journey, and then look to diversify the offerings based on that,” she said. “For those earlier in their career, educational assistance may be really important. It’s also historically underused, but it’s important to a certain segment of the population.”

Highlighting a path that makes each employee feel valued should improve retention. “What are the motivational paths that you can create so there are promotions or custom career plans for people, so that it positively impacts individuals and they feel good about the fact that they’re coming to work every day and giving it their all?” Andrews-Feldman said. “That helps people feel enthused and feel good about what they’re doing.”

The report also noted that if employees do leave, it’s important to ensure that other team members don’t feel overworked when picking up the slack, as that can lead to more turnover. Training managers to be more empathetic will help as well.

“Sometimes, it’s just that conversation that has to take place where you can help your employee take it in bite-sized nuggets, so it doesn’t feel like it’s such an overwhelming project or task,” Andrews-Feldman said. “You can help them through that. That’s part of your job as a people manager.”

Finally, Andrews-Feldman noted that ultimately creating an environment your employees want to be at is going to be the best defense against turnover.

“It always comes back to listening to your employees, providing them a safe place to voice their opinions, and to use the information that you get to create a culture that is authentic to your brand,” Andrews-Feldman said. “What’s right for one brand isn’t necessarily right for another.”

What are some tactics your association is taking to make your workplace more appealing to current and new talent? Please share in the comments.

(AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Rasheeda Childress

By Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is a former editor at Associations Now. MORE

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