With the Great Resignation showing no signs of slowing down, efforts to boost your employee experience are more critical than ever. However, these projects are easier said than done. Rhett Power shares a few tips for how you can create a more fulfilled workforce.
In 2021, we saw a record-setting year of employee resignations — and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down. One-quarter of professionals said they planned to leave their jobs in 2022, with the majority planning to leave in the first half of the year.
With every new resignation, companies must scramble to come up with ways to encourage their employees to stick around. More and more are finding that focusing on the employee experience is key to mitigating the Great Resignation. In fact, Willis Towers Watson reports that 92% of companies plan to prioritize improving the employee experience over the next three years.
When you think of creating a better experience for your team, you probably think about offering additional work flexibility, more PTO, and similar perks. Although these strategies are beneficial for increasing retention and attracting new talent, they are the bare minimum. It’s important to also think outside the box, going above and beyond to keep your company fully staffed in this erratic job market. Consider the following ideas for boosting the employee experience at your organization:
- Turn onboarding into a delightful experience.
Enboarder CEO Brent Pearson asserts that a full one-fifth of all new employees will leave within six months of being hired. Why? For many, the problem starts with a cumbersome onboarding process that hasn’t been reassessed in years and is too focused on what the company needs from new hires (i.e., documents and forms they must fill out).
However, onboarding is actually your company’s chance to show incoming professionals that you weren’t fooling them when you said you were different. Think of it like a first date, and work to create a great first impression with an interesting and compelling onboarding journey. For example, break up training into smaller sessions over a few days (or even weeks) and offer new hires an opportunity to put what they learn into practice and talk to current employees between those sessions.
Whatever you do, take your onboarding seriously. Get your current team leaders together and brainstorm some ways to transfer knowledge efficiently and engagingly. No one wants to be given a handbook, a quick “Rah! Rah!” speech, and then go ignored. So design an onboarding process that has regular, measurable milestones to keep new employees engaged and feel like part of the team. And don’t hesitate to ask recent hires about their onboarding experience. After all, the best way to improve onboarding is to get insights from the people who’ve already been through it.
- Set employees on a growth track.
A recent Glint survey showed that just 1 in 5 workers feel they can meet their career goals at their current workplace. No wonder so many employees are resigning and finding other places to take their talents — they just don’t feel that they have a future where they currently are.
To show your employees that you care about their future at your company, put time, energy, and money into upskilling them. If they have a clear path toward achieving the skills needed for upward mobility, they’re likely to stay. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to plant roots at a place that allowed you to increase your abilities year after year?
Offering growth opportunities doesn’t just mean handing out stipends to cover training, however. You and your leadership team have to be ready to walk hand-in-hand with each employee to create a clear road map from here to wherever they want to be in the future at your company. Maybe it’s an eventual lateral move to a different department. Perhaps it’s up the managerial ladder and straight to the C-suite. Understanding every worker’s career objectives allows you to close gaps in your talent pipeline and keep your best people for years to come.
- Support your team with contingent workers.
If you’re dealing with a smaller team due to worker resignations, chances are good that they’re feeling burnt out from the extra work that has likely landed on their plates. That burnout could lead to even more resignations.
To plug holes in your workforce and take the burden off your team, consider using independent contractors and contingent workers. Tania Fiero, chief human resources officer at Innovative Employee Solutions, writes about the other benefits of tapping into the gig economy: “Expanding recruitment efforts to include contingent workers, for example, can help overcome skills gaps and widen the talent pool. In fact, there were 52 million contingent workers in the U.S. in 2020, a number that will likely increase as the economy recovers from the impact of the pandemic.”
Contingent workers often bring years of experience and skills, and they can be brought in on an as-needed basis to support your workforce. Before bringing them on, however, have a concrete plan in place so they know exactly what needs to get done and what is expected of them. Additionally, be sure to establish streamlined workflows among your contingent and full-time team members to build the best experience for everyone.
You don’t need to wring your hands every time you read another story about the Great Resignation. Instead, focus on your workforce and the steps you can take now to keep employees engaged. You can sidestep the problems associated with low retention and even lower morale by improving your employee experience beyond the usual expectations.
Wrutten by Rhett Power.
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