Retention Ending

“I’ve managed to keep most of my employees working over this past year and they’ve seemed fairly happy here. However, lately, I’ve seen signs that make me think they aren’t as happy as I thought and are looking for a new job.”

Your HR Survival Tip

Congratulations on retaining your employees when so many companies have had layoffs because of the pandemic. Employees have felt lucky to keep their jobs over the past year and haven’t wanted to do anything that might put their name on the layoff list. However, that doesn’t mean they feel their current position is the best job ever or even the best they can do.

The clock is ticking. Companies had to dramatically downsize and even close in the past year… but that’s ending and companies are looking to kickstart their businesses again. As more and more employees are vaccinated and feeling safer, they will be assessing their job and the job market. In fact, there is a study that shows nearly 50% of employees will be looking at their options.

One of the reasons we’re expecting this is because employees are becoming less fearful of taking a chance on a new company and job. Another is there are more jobs starting to open up than we’ve seen in over a year. Companies are no longer concerned they might have to shut down or downsize again so they are looking for the best employees to help them rebuild. But those great employees could turn out to be your own employees.

Studies are also showing that all this remote work is resulting in less loyalty to companies and, unsurprisingly, a feeling of being disconnected from the company. The employees aren’t building the close working relationships they did when working side by side and they aren’t feeling the effects of your company culture anymore. They feel isolated and have less reason to stay with your company versus working elsewhere. The other side effect of remote work is employees wanting jobs with better work/life balance. This has been a motivator for some time but it’s possible they’ve had more opportunity to experience a different lifestyle this past year… and want to keep it.

Many companies implemented pay cuts and a reduction of benefits during the pandemic. This was a necessary step to cut costs while dealing with the loss of business. However, employees look out for themselves and 35% of employees will be looking for more pay and better benefits. Many employees believe their managers question their productivity when working remotely. We have found that to be true. However, it’s as much or more likely the managers are now looking only at productivity and weren’t able to focus on just that one aspect of an employee’s performance when everyone worked in the office.

When employees no longer feel connected to your company or are feeling burned-out from the past year, changing employers is often viewed as a way to refresh themselves. Now is the time to prepare the company for changes. Have conversations with your employees to better understand why they stay with you, what they’d like to be different, what’s important to them, and where they see their career going. Let them know you care. Don’t assume they like remote work even it if works great for you… or that you can continue providing remote work when you know it’s better for them to be in the office. If you talk with your employees now, you may be able to hold off the mass exodus that’s expected to hit us soon.

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