Employee exit requests are flooding leadership inboxes. In the past year, 31.4% of employees left a job voluntarily and 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August alone. Most employees aren’t leaving their corporate jobs to try gig or freelance work; instead, most aren’t sticking around because the pandemic caused them to rethink their careers and job satisfaction. 

Top performers are making a switch and accepting new positions that either pay more money immediately or offer an opportunity that supports their career goals and makes them feel valued. While pay and career advancement are two typical reasons people say goodbye, the pandemic has definitely accelerated employee turnover trends. 

Workplace changes caused by COVID-19 have made employees think more about quitting because organizations are not addressing why they are unfulfilled in their current positions. Now is the time to heat up your efforts, develop a retention plan, and listen to your employees to make meaningful changes that will motivate them to stick around, so you can have fewer exit interviews and a more fulfilled workforce.

Top reasons employees are saying goodbye to their employers.

  • Limited career progression
  • Lack of flexibility in working hours/location
  • Poor working conditions/environment
  • Lack of learning and development opportunities

To minimize turnover and to stop individuals from rethinking their career choices, employers must really step up their game, nurture their current employees, and take the time to understand that people have choices. If you don’t, you risk the financial costs of recruiting and training new employees to replace the top performers you lost. Not only is there a huge financial burden, but losing employees also leads to a decrease in productivity and workplace morale. 

Here are 4 retention ideas to help cultivate a workplace culture of purpose, where employees feel supported, valued, and a sense of belonging.

4 retention strategies to make sure your employees stay

  1. Have career conversations 
  2. Actually offer work life balance 
  3. Survey your employees and facilitate meaningful conversations/change 
  4. Make investing in your employees a top priority

Have a career conversation

According to a Linkedin Learning Study, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they invested in their career development. Managers should schedule time with their employees to have a meaningful conversation to discuss their current satisfaction and career aspirations. Focus on what their motivators are, ask them what could be better about their work experience, and where they envision the next stage of their career within the company. Focus on having an honest conversation that helps you understand what can be done within the next six months/year to make sure your employees are thriving, feeling valued, and enthusiastic about working within the organization. Supervisors should have weekly 1:1s or quarterly informal conversations so employees can advocate for themselves and you can get their honest feedback to retain your star employees.

Actually offer work life balance

It’s time to forget what the workplace looked look like pre-pandemic. Organizations should offer remote and flexible working options. The pandemic shifted the workforce to a more “non-traditional” setting where unlimited PTO, mental health days, and remote work is offered. Guess what? Employees are still productive, maybe even more productive when they have fewer office distractions like small talk, more control over their schedule and work environment, and more time for family and exercise. Flexibility gives people a better work/life balance and higher job satisfaction. According to Ernst and Young data, 9 out of 10 employees want flexibility around when and where they work. It’s safe to say that employees are willing to leave their current positions if they don’t receive an option for flexibility and balance.

Survey your employees and facilitate meaningful conversations/change

If you’re not supporting open communication and transparency within your organization, you’re missing out on an opportunity to drive not only meaningful change but improve employee retention. Employees are very eager to share their feedback with leadership and supervisors. To improve retention, give your employees a voice through surveys. Start listening and taking notice of what employees are saying. Leveraging surveys can help you understand why employees are looking to change jobs and why they are unfulfilled with the organization before it’s too late. Demonstrate that you understand their feedback and quickly turn insights into action to drive change in the workplace.

Make investing in your employees’ success a top priority

Make a difference in your employees’ lives by making them a top priority. To lower your quit rates, implement growth and training opportunities, promote from within, recognize hard work, and personal achievements because nobody wants to work at a dead-end job. At TalentLaunch we leverage the tool Cooleaf an experience platform to engage and recognize our employees. A workplace, whether in person or virtual, that highlights culture, values, and rewards a job well done can help you keep those itching to leave while motivating and providing a sense of accomplishment. A survey by Gallup Workplace found that employees who are not recognized are twice as likely to quit within the next year. Offering training and development, career advancement, and deserved recognition often satisfies both an individual’s professional and personal needs. These are all smart approaches to ensure you keep your best employees as long as possible so you don’t have to deal with the energy and added costs of hiring, training, and replacing lost workers.

Takeaway

When it comes to your employee retention plan, remember to take things one step at a time. If you want to make sure workers stick around, then take this opportunity to nurture your current employees and make them feel like they matter. These 4 actionable strategies will drive positive change in your organization and could be the key to slowing down your employee turnover.