The Great Resignation is a trend that refers to a significantly greater than normal rate of resigning among American workers during the spring and summer of 2021, as vaccines reduced the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Resignations saw an uptick in April 2021, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics recording 4 million departures in that month alone which leaped to 10.9 million resignations by July. It’s a pandemic in its own right fueled by people rethinking their personal and career lives in the middle of the pandemic. Burnout has been cited as a great trigger too and 41% of people say they felt the burnout in the last few months. As the wave of resignations continues to bite, it’s becoming increasingly hard to retain or hire technical workers in the financial sector. These employers add that employees are holding on to a list of priorities or deal-breakers before they consider taking up any job. These priorities include higher pay, which is at the top, followed by flexibility with schedules, a better work-life balance, the option to work remotely, and time for personal and family responsibilities. New strategies have to be adopted to cater to employee health and safety while maintaining productivity. When retention fails, outsourcing can also be the most advantageous option in many industries, such as banking, healthcare, insurance, and more. Explore these five critical lessons employers should learn to retain talent in the workplace in times of crisis.
Recognition Is Vital For Employee Retention
Employee recognition remains crucial in workplace management. However, it has become increasingly necessary given the rampant fatigue and stress rising in the wake of covid-19. Recognizing employees has become harder, as an email or “Slack Message” is far less personal than an in-person announcement. As such, employees needed consistent assurance and recognition for their efforts, sacrifices, and resilience.
As Pfizer senior vice president Steve Pennachio asserts, bonuses and appreciation programs can go a long way in helping demonstrate recognition to employees. He notes that such gestures should be mandatory and consistent in the face of such challenging times when employees put their best foot forward to save companies from potential bankruptcy. People naturally want to know they are making valuable and commendable efforts, and they increasingly expect that to be in the form of compensation.
Embrace the hybrid model
The pandemic forced new workplace models upon the economy: remote working and hybrid working. While work from home has its benefits, proper implementation has its own set of challenges.
Many employees report increased ambiguity around remote work policies. For those who work hybrid, when should they show up and why? Most employees prefer clarity and transparency in terms of work schedules and arrangements. It is the responsibility of leaders to create practical working arrangements for managers and teams, and these arrangements should be free from bias. Communication and transparency are critical to ensuring your financial institution moves forward as one united organization.
According to a recent survey, organizations with articulate and transparent workplace policies recorded increased employee productivity and well-being. But the real winners are organizations that have adopted employee-centric post-COVID-19 work arrangements. These have recorded a double rise in employee support, satisfaction, and strong feelings of inclusion and productivity. The secret to this approach is a focus on diversity instead of a one-size-fits-all solution that can cause detrimental impacts on specific categories of employees, especially women and low-income earners.
Remote Work Will Continue
Yes, the COVID outbreak required mandatory shifts in what was once considered normal. Working from home became necessary, and from the look of things, this trend is set to continue post-covid. During the Great Resignation, hybrid work is one of the most desired attributes in a job description.
Leaders need to embrace this reality. Invest in equipment and infrastructure specifically for remote working. Working from home means an employee is using their personal internet and power connection, among other utilities. Employers can save money on expensive office rent, commuting costs, and other recurring expenses, and then invest a portion of that money into reimbursing home office costs.
Humans are social beings
Employees have the fundamental need to be social. Remote work can increase feelings of social isolation. Organize periodic office functions or events to bring employees together. Even if your workforce is completely remote, an occasional holiday Zoom party can be greatly enhanced by delivering drinks or snacks to be consumed during the event. The pandemic affected people in different ways. Some remote workers have seen an increase in mental health cases. As such, employees need to develop mental health support programs to help employees struggling with unique challenges. Stress, depression, and anxiety are the major catalysts for office suicides. Great access to mental health support programs can go a long way. Consider providing additional resources related to mental health, or making employees more aware of current programs.
Outsourcing may be the best option
Retention doesn’t always work. Let’s face it: turnover has increased in every industry. However, if you work in finance, healthcare, insurance, or other highly regulated industries, you probably have highly specialized roles. This makes resignations even more dangerous. Don’t let employee resignations drag your organization down. If your organization needs specialized employees like a compliance officer or information security officer, it’s time to rethink how you operate. Rather than waiting two or three months to find the right candidate, the right outsourcing partner may immediately fill your organization’s gap. Additionally, outsourcing may be the most economical option. Consider an organization, like Accume Partners, to handle important functions such as internal audit, cybersecurity, risk management, IT audit, compliance, and more.
The bottom line
Employers must be flexible and employee-centric to retain workers during the Great Resignation. However, not every employee will stay. If you are scrambling to replace an employee who was handling a high-risk, highly specialized area, download our Great Resignation Guide today.