Thoughts and Takeaways on the Great Resignation and the Future of Employee Experience
Chief Marketing Officer
WorkForce Software sent out our CMO Sandra Moran to participate in the recent HR Leaders Forum in NYC. After speaking with HR specialists from around the country, we asked her to share her experiences about the common challenges facing the global organisations in attendance and what solutions are working best in this challenging climate.
The last two years may have presented the greatest challenges to business I’ve ever seen. Forty-eight months spent adapting, pivoting, reallocating resources and doing our best to tackle the greatest obstacles of our lifetimes. And just as things seemed to be returning to some sort of normal, we found ourselves dealing with new waves of variants, uncertainties, varying restrictions and public response that would require another complete overhaul to keep organisations running.
I attended the HR Leaders Forum and participated in a roundtable discussion with C-level representatives of some of the nation’s largest enterprise companies across a broad number of industries. The topics varied from the impact of the current “Great Resignation,” the solutions companies were implementing to keep their top talent and the long-term resolutions necessary to avoid similar complications in the future. I authored three blogs going in depth on my findings but wanted to share my condensed thoughts with others who may have similar concerns.
(Read the full blogs!)
- Investigating the Realities of the Great Resignation
- Prioritising Employee Experience to Improve Retention
- Acting Now to Avoid Another “Great Resignation”
The “Great Resignation” — the mass exodus of employees from their positions in the wake of the pandemic — has not left a single industry untouched. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the final six months of 2021 saw 25.6 million U.S. workers quitting their positions. An estimated two million fewer workers are in the workforce across euro countries, and even China’s “lie flat” phenomenon has seen people walk away from traditional roles. The HR leaders I spoke with confirmed that keeping their best people was harder than ever, with key team members being enticed with offers from competitors, others leaving for newly available remote work and some walking away from traditional jobs to pursue completely new opportunities.
It quickly became clear that organisations would have to adapt to this new normal if they were to remain competitive. Measures must be taken to include workers into their organisation by giving them greater agency over their roles, best accomplished through a positive employee experience (the relationship a worker has with their employer through their day-to-day operations, from hiring to exit). Research has repeatedly shown that team members who feel appreciated, listened to and are given the proper tools to fulfil their roles, are far more likely to stay with their organisations.
In a world of constant interaction with our smartphones the near-frictionless communication they provide, it only makes sense that workplace interactions should flow just as smoothly. Opening access to scheduling, company communication, peer-to-peer interactions and HQ directives to every employee has been shown to keep associates “in the loop” and feeling like part of the team. Automating the more cumbersome parts of the job allows your workers to focus on what’s important and provides valuable insights into what might be preventing them from doing their best work — ultimately things that could be affecting your bottom line. This is even more critical when considering deskless shift workers, who have not had the benefit of seeing their roles digitised the way many office workers have.
“Change will come whether we like it or not; the only answer is to embrace it!”
Sandra Moran | CMO, WorkForce Software
The perspectives have changed dramatically. Your employees have increased employment options, meaning hiring can no longer solely be a “what can you do for us” proposition and companies are finding they must work harder to entice top talent. Pay is no longer the primary factor as workers have more options, including work/life balance and competitive benefits to consider. Being able to articulate your organisation’s unique value proposition to employees, beyond the expected benefits, is becoming the new minimum requirement to win the war for talent.
Using “stay interviews” can be an effective tool to identify what current employees value most. Much as hiring interviews bring new workers on board, stay interviews can be used to not only keep prized talent but also determine what hardships your workers face. Far better to uncover issues now and mitigate them long before they become motivation for a good worker to leave for other opportunities.
While the global COVID crisis has exacerbated and quickened the rate of employee turnover, the typical stated reasons for departure existed long before the pandemic. Now is the best time — while organisations are in a state of flux and adaptation — to address some of the long-term issues that have kept workers dissatisfied. Businesses should take this opportunity to evolve their mindsets to this new paradigm shift: moving away from a project mentality to a new disposition that is always prepared and ready to adapt to continuous change.
There are many strategies that can insulate your team from future challenges if implemented now. Invest in your frontline managers — long-standing development can go miles toward fostering long-standing loyalty. Make the most of new technologies: modern workforce management programs can reinvent how your company communicates, pooling the combined experience of your best talent for quick solutions and growth-building collaborations.
Ultimately, the solution is clear. To prevent your organisation from being seen as a “stopping point” on an employee’s professional journey, your workers must be treated as a lasting investment. By giving them the proper tools to perform their work, capturing their input and personal value drivers, providing a great employee experience and addressing the challenges that inhibit their best possible performance, your workers will truly feel like an appreciated part of the team. And that type of consideration for and allegiance to your workforce will repay itself many times over in employee retention, satisfaction and engagement and transmit to your customers as well.
WorkForce Software has made a commitment to make work easy for global employers and their teams. We are pioneers in our industry as the only global provider of workforce management solutions with integrated employee communications. We’ve made an investment in smart communications that are designed to be in the flow of work and support your ability to adapt and communicate quickly with the ease of use of a favourite personal app.
WorkForce Software has partnered with accredited workplace relations specialists FCB Workplace Law to look further into the most important recent developments in HR and workplace relations in Australia.
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