With 40% of employees thinking about leaving their jobs in the next three to six months, organizations globally are struggling to attract top talent following The Great Resignation and The Great Reshuffle. This makes holding on to the employees you do hire your single biggest opportunity to thrive in this competitive talent market.
In this article, we look at what prospective employees are looking for from an employer and the role that onboarding plays in retention.
But first, what are The Great Resignation andThe Great Reshuffle?
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation describes the increased rate at which employees left their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons behind this sudden spike in resignations are complex but here’s a short summary:
→ The pandemic delayed career change decisions for many employees who prioritised job security over professional growth in a volatile working environment. We saw a massive drop in voluntary resignations in early 2020, from 2.3% in February to 1.6% in April, implying that many felt it was a safer bet to stay with their current employer, rather than risk the unknown. Once the world began to return to a semblance of normalcy, however, these delayed decisions took full effect and 3% of the workforce left their jobs.
→ Compounding the issue, the pandemic caused many people to reevaluate their career priorities with some opting to explore a new vocation and others reducing their working hours or leaving the workforce entirely.
→ On top of this, there’s evidence to suggest that a good chunk of people who had no intention of leaving their job before the pandemic, were forced to due to an inability to access childcare, an unwillingness to comply with workplace COVID-19 guidelines, or as a result of mistreatment and/or mismanagement by their employer during the pandemic.
These factors led to a perfect storm where too many jobs were open for too few applicants, especially for traditionally lower-paying, frontline positions in the hospitality, retail and customer service sectors.
The Great Reshuffle
Experts believe that ‘The Great Resignation’ is in fact a reshuffle. Whilst some employees are leaving the workforce altogether, the majority are leaving to pursue other (better) opportunities within the labour market.
One positive effect of the pandemic was that it unveiled what a modern future of work could look like with hybrid set-ups designed to fit an employee's unique circumstances.
Unwilling to give up this newfound work-life balance, The Great Reshuffle essentially describes the moves that talent has made in the years following the pandemic in search of work that works for them.
What new hires want from an employer
Employers ultimately want more flexibility, freedom and empathy in their employment. They want to be able to design their working week around their lifestyle and have the support from their employer to be their authentic self at work.
If you want to retain your people long-term, you need to focus on these 3 ‘must-have’ components:
→ Hybrid working set-ups
In 2022, hybrid working arrangements are non-negotiable. According to a Work Trend Index Survey, 73% of employees want to see flexible remote work remain a fixed part of their organization.
→ A clear commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
A lack of attention to diversity and inclusion contributes to employee turnover. In 2022, a solid, top-down diversity and inclusion policy that allows workers to be their authentic selves at work is crucial to holding on to your people.
→ Mental health and wellness support
65% of employees verbalized their mental health struggles at work in 2022. More than ever before, employees are drawn to employers that prioritize mental health support and work to destigmatize mental health struggles in the workplace.
Onboarding tactics to boost retention
Good onboarding is shown to improve retention by up to 82%.
The problem is, only 12% of employees believe their company delivered a strong onboarding journey.
Today we want to focus on three specific retention activities you can deploy during the onboarding process that address the needs of employees in the wake of The Great Resignation.
Hybrid working models can help reduce resignations by 35%. Sounds good right? But if you’re committed to hybrid working, then your onboarding process should reflect this commitment too.
Successful hybrid onboarding means developing key best practices that aim to establish strong lines of communication, set clear expectations, and support new hires on an emotional level.
47% of hires believe an atmosphere where they feel comfortable being themselves is the MOST important aspect when choosing an employer.
Onboarding for diversity and inclusion is about ensuring people from all different walks of life feel welcome and supported within your organization. It’s also about helping new hires become better allies of diverse communities through education.
Weaving these practices into your employee journey from the very beginning helps establish good habits for all hires and helps to ensure that unconscious bias and institutionalised prejudice don’t cast a shadow on the new hire experience of your people.
73% of employees indicated they would be more likely to remain with an organization that provided quality mental health support.
This support begins the moment a new hire joins your organization.
The onboarding phase is the perfect opportunity to begin introducing the different ways in which you support your team members' mental health. This could look like regular pulse check surveys to gauge an employee's emotional state of mind. It could be a subscription to a 3rd party app offering access to meditation and wellness exercises. Or it could be as simple as establishing regular stay interviews to simply chat through an employee's week.
Each of these tactics is designed to introduce flexibility, authenticity and empathy to your workplace in the early stages of the employee journey. Empowering your people from the jump and giving them the confidence to stay with your organization long-term.
The Great Resignation isn’t going away any time soon. So holding on to your people needs to be priority number one as you move forward into this new age of work.
Focus on creating retention strategy in the onboarding phase to build your new hires' confidence in your organization and inspire loyalty that sees them stick around for the long haul.