How to Retain Employees
During the Great Resignation
Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD
Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo is a Licensed Practicing Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Master's degree in Physical Therapy, and the authority on how to crush your inner critic so that you can live a life of purpose, fulfillment and True Success™. She’s America’s most trusted celebrity psychologist with over 100 national media interviews. She writes for Combined Insurance in an effort to help educate readers, but her medical opinions and advice are for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for visiting your doctor.
Since April 2021, more than 15 million people have quit their jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Microsoft’s research shows that 41% of workers across the world are considering leaving their jobs. Resignations hit a record high in September 2021 when 4.4 million Americans quit. Which begs the question, what can employers do to retain their employees?
There are numerous areas that lead to higher-than-normal employee retention. Here are a few that can help make employee retention easier in the long run.
The pandemic has changed American culture in ways that many people don’t yet realize and probably won’t for years to come. However, one thing we know for certain is that work/life balance is more important than ever. This includes the option for remote work.
If your work from home policy offers little flexibility and requires employees to be in the office without providing a concrete reason, except people to disappear.
Offering work flexibility – any scheduling pattern that is not the traditional in the office Monday-Friday, 9-5 -- is a way to offer employees more control over their lives while still getting the same amount of work done. It also is an easy way to show your employees that you trust them and value their work while also recognizing they have obligations outside of the office. By allowing your talent to structure their workday or work week in the way that works best for their lives – assuming they can get their work done – you are providing a flexibility that will be very hard to give up for another opportunity.
Another way to offer work/life balance is to offer a compressed workweek. This means employees work the normal number of hours but complete them in fewer than five days. For example, offering a 4/10, meaning employees work four 10-hour days with an extra day off, can be very helpful for parents who are looking to cut childcare costs.
One other way to increase work/life balance in your company is to offer job-sharing, allowing two permanent employees to share the same job. This can be trickier and may not work for every position or company, but a job-sharing arrangement can help keep two employees who were looking for flexibility.
Recognize Employees with Title Changes and Raises
Sometimes it’s not enough to offer remote work or additional flexibility because many companies already have those policies in place. To keep talent who is exemplary and would be a large blow to lose, employers will have to dig deeper into their pockets.
Everyone wants to feel valued and while it is always nice to hear “job well done” or “we appreciate you”, sometimes a person needs more than positive reinforcement. In this case, as the world figures out its new normal and employees continue to leave their positions, a title change and compensation increase can be very powerful as retention tools. The more significant the raise, the more appreciated an employee feels.
Work to Develop Skills and Career Path
Employees leave jobs for many reasons, but Harvard Business Review found that employees who see clear career paths are less likely to leave for a different job.
When managers are engaged in their employees’ career moves and have a vested interest in keeping talent, mentoring towards the next logical step up insinuates to your employees that you value them, want to keep them, and will help them continue to rise.
Offer an Extensive Benefits Package
An important retention technique is offering a robust benefits package.
A comprehensive benefit package usually includes health insurance (medical, dental, vision), time off (vacation, sick leave), and sometimes financial security benefits (401k contributions, life insurance).
One additional benefits package that employers can offer to create an even more appealing and robust benefits package are supplemental benefits. Supplemental benefits are insurance policies that provide additional protection beyond the normal benefits a company offers in the case of accidents or illness.
At Combined Insurance, we offer four types of supplemental insurance:
1: Supplemental health insurance.
A supplemental health insurance benefit helps fill in financial gaps that may exist in major medical coverage. This includes cancer protector, where the individual receives a lump sum cash benefit paid directly to them to spend as needed if diagnosed with or treated for cancer. It also includes cancer care protector, which delivers cash benefits during cancer treatment, and critical care protector which pays up to $50,000 if your employee has a heart attack, stroke, or is diagnosed with cancer or another covered critical illness.
2: Accident insurance.
Accidents are unplanned making accident insurance an important fallback. This plan provides cash benefits to help cover medical and non-medical expenses that arise from a fall, slip, or some other accident.
3: Income Protector
If your employee’s income is disrupted due to an accident, sickness, or disability, income protection covers their income for up to two years depending on the plan. It helps replace lost income and pays even if they’re still employed.
4: Life Insurance
Losing a loved one is difficult for any employee, by offering life insurance you can help your employees feel confident their family will be financially sound should they die. It will allow your employees to feel confident their family can maintain their current lifestyle and not have to worry financially during a very difficult time.
Employee retention is hard in the best of times and incredibly difficult during our current times. Try employing some of these techniques to keep your best employees from leaving by giving them unwavering reasons to stay.
1- Table 4. quits levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted - 2021 M11 results. (2022, January 04). Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t04.htm
2- 41%: Experts discuss the top workplace trends of 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/podcast/top-workplace-trends-of-2021
3- 41%: Experts discuss the top workplace trends of 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/podcast/top-workplace-trends-of-2021
4- Why do employees stay? A clear career path and good pay, for starters. (2018, February 28). Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-do-employees-stay-a-clear-career-path-and-good-pay-for-starters