Here’s a new trend HR can embrace — The Big Stay. And it’s coming to the company you love.
“The Big Quit of 2022 will lead to the Big Stay of 2023,” says ADP’s Chief Economist Nela Richardson.
Last year, employees quit more than 50 million jobs. And now, it looks like the Great Resignation is coming to an end, ADP researchers found.
Identifying The Big Stay
Here are the three critical factors that lead to the Great Resignation and how the tables have turned to indicate a Big Stay:
- Job opportunities: Job postings are down from 12 million last year to 9.5 million this year.
- Labor shortages and turnover rates: They’re down 5% from last year.
- Pay gains: Most recently, there was a decline in pay growth from 14% to 13% in just a month, ADP researchers found.
“More people are coming off the sidelines of the labor market, and joining, trying to look for those jobs. So supply shortages are easing. Labor force participation rates for prime age workers are actually above what it was before the pandemic,” says Richardson.
Good news if you want to recruit. Good news if you want to retain employees. There’s a new crop of candidates, and your current employees lean toward staying.
So now’s the time to maximize — or amp up — retention efforts. You’ll likely want to do it at two levels: HR initiatives and front-line tactics. We’ll focus mainly on both here so HR can do their part — and give front-line managers tools to improve loyalty — after all, bosses have the biggest impact on employees’ job satisfaction and desire to stay or leave.
HR: Remove friction
Perhaps the best thing HR can do to help employees is to make it easier to get help!
“Provide a great experience for the employee, and ensure their experience with HR and the organization is as frictionless as possible. Make sure it is easy for them to do transactions, find information and perform their jobs,” says ADP’s Chief Talent Officer Jay Caldwell.
Whittle down benefits information to its simplest form. For instance, create for employees a business card that has all your insurance providers and their customer service numbers. Offer training sessions on how to access and navigate health, wellness and financial benefits online. Same goes for your pay and benefits administration apps — give employees more training so they can more easily get what they need online and on apps.
HR: Show the future
Sure, we can’t predict the future, but to keep employees loyal, you want to paint a clear picture of what it could be.
“Overall, provide the infrastructure to help employees see a future,” says Caldwell.
Use visuals — such as graphics of actual career paths of employees — to show newer employees how one person moved up and/or around. Create other visuals to show different paths and opportunities.
Hold regular town halls and/or career counseling sessions for employees who want to advance their careers. Share details on how they can get the training and experience to move up and around. Even better, ask veteran employees to join the groups, give first-hand advice and offer to be mentors to emerging employees.
Front-line: Up the attention
“More than anything, employees want to know their managers know them, care for them and their careers, and look out for their interests,” says Caldwell.
Whether employees work on-site, hybrid or remote, real-time, face-to-face feedback is back. Schedule time to touch base with employees about their work and how they feel about their job, its ebbs and flows, and how they feel about the company.
“It is one of the biggest drivers of engagement. With this understanding, they can help shape their employee’s roles to the areas that give them the most energy and fulfillment,” says Caldwell.
Front-line: Make connections
Engagement usually increases when employees can see beyond their daily tasks and goals to how they impact the company, colleagues and customers.
But “it can be difficult for a front-line employee to see how their work contributes to a company’s clients or the organization’s strategy. Managers need to be that connector to translate how their work impacts the greater project and end result,” says Caldwell.
These conversations can include tangible and intangible factors. If they contributed to a profit or savings, tell them how much. If they helped free up someone’s time or alleviate a stress, let them know how you feel about it.
Front-line: Increase autonomy
When possible, give employees choices in how, when and where their work gets done. When you can’t offer all three, try to offer at least one of those choices.
“Humans want autonomy and flexibility, and employers can feed that need by trying to be flexible on how they organize their day, the tasks they prioritize, how to go about the work, or arrangements like days in office or hours spent working,” says Caldwell.
Front-line & HR: Manage performance
While it’s great that employees want to stay with their companies nowadays, you don’t want them to become complacent. And leaders don’t want to become soft on under- or low-performance in the hopes to avoid turnover.
You don’t have to change performance expectations (unless, of course, your business needs calls for it). But you want to manage them closely.
“Companies should monitor performance the best they can with productivity data and performance insight from managers,” says Caldwell. “Employers should also ensure a proper support structure to allow for transparent, honest and challenging conversations with those not performing so managers can see what needs to be fixed and create plans to either improve or move their strengths in a different role.”