In 2020, people came to loathe the term “unprecedented,” as it was bandied about continually, making an appearance in nearly every discussion. But honestly, what word could better describe the three-quarters of 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021 when the pandemic held a vise-like grip on the world?
And now, as the virus recedes and the economy picks up, we find ourselves facing another round of unprecedented times, The Great Resignation. In massive numbers, people are leaving their jobs. While the specific reasons and details may vary, it boils down to this, as stated by Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School. “We have changed. Work has changed. The way we think about time and space has changed.”
As employers across the country face massive staffing shortages, many are asking what can we do to preserve our workforce? How do we handle the challenges of The Great Resignation? Consider these five proactive strategies.
- Recognize the pandemic’s lasting impact
As a result of our way of life being so thoroughly rattled, many people are now on a quest for more, better, and different as it pertains to money, flexibility, happiness, and meaning in their post-pandemic lives. If you expect everything to fall back into “business as usual,” you will be sorely disappointed and, most likely, quite short-staffed.
- Engage in dialogue with your employees
Understanding, of course, that both “engage” and “dialogue” require at least as much listening as talking. Figuring out what work should and will look like as we move through “unprecedented times –round two” will not be an easy task for either management or the workforce. Remain remote? Insist everyone return to the workplace? Or create a hybrid model? Expect there to be bumps in the road and differing opinions. Settle on a plan that does not insist on an unyielding stance too quickly.
- Address the issue of flexibility
Pre-pandemic workplace flexibility wasn’t even a guest at the table for many companies. While their employees dreamed of more flexible arrangements, those dreams had yet to come to fruition. But forced closures quickly changed all of that, as work-from-home became the norm. These new parameters allowed for flexibility in a way few had ever experienced. And now, many employees are hesitant to give up that freedom, the extra family time—the more and better that came as an unexpected perk of the pandemic.
- Offer flexible arrangements
Go a step further than addressing flexibility by offering post-pandemic, flexible arrangements that will entice employees to stay.
“One thing you can do right now to minimize the risk of turnover is to be very clear about flexibility,” says Brian Kropp, chief of research in the Gartner HR practice. “And if you’re not offering flexibility, you’ll have a turnover problem.”
Businesses who up their game in the flexible work arrangements department will come out as winners in these Great Resignation times.
- Assess the management team
You have heard it said a thousand times: employees don’t quit companies; they quit bosses. So, take a hard look at your management team and department heads. Now is not the time to turn a blind eye to lackadaisical leadership. Instead, put in place leaders who your employees want to work under, leaders who will bring out the best in your employees.
A.R. Mazzotta is ready for unprecedented times round two. Our team represents some of the most experienced job recruiters in Connecticut. Call or text us today at 860-347-1626 to connect with a live person.