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Navigating The Great Resignation – Retention Best Practices to Make It Through Unscathed

4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021, setting off what is now known as The Great Resignation. While that statistic is US driven, Canadian employers have also felt the weight of high turnover rates.


As employers and hiring managers, how do we minimize the impact to our organizations and ensure we can retain our top talent? To navigate this trend, understanding why it's happening will help us focus our efforts.


Why is the great resignation happening?

One of the most significantly impacted groups are professionals 30-45 years old, holding mid-level positions. One possible reason for this particular group resigning could be an increased demand for experienced workers over green employees as remote training is more complicated, time-consuming and challenging.


Another possibility is that employees stayed put during the beginning of the pandemic even if they weren’t totally satisfied, and now we see a wave of unhappy workers leaving at once.


Tips on Increasing Retention Rates

1. Identify the root causes of employee turnover within your company.

To specifically address the root causes of turnover in your company, you’ll want to take a deep dive, exploring metrics and employee feedback. Factors such as relationship with manager, compensation, inefficiencies, lack of technology, and training opportunities may be identified and will help pin point trends and blind spots within your organization.

Once you understand these trends, you can develop specific retention programs to address them. While retention efforts should be company-wide, focusing on essential workers and top talent is a significant first step.


2. Build a cohesive brand that extends internally as well as externally.

Employees are more likely to demonstrate loyalty to a company when they align with its mission, values and services. Developing an internal brand that focuses on connection, progress, and a commitment to employee development will help enhance employee pride and ultimately retention.


This connection happens when companies clearly define what they believe in and ensure that everyone from the CEO down exemplifies the company mission and values.

While an effective internal brand helps employees feel appreciated and supported, a positive external brand attracts employees who wish to align themselves with its messaging and public image.


3. Focus on the big-picture

Seeing the company, its wins, and contributions publicly celebrated gives employees a sense of pride in contributing to the big picture. Let employees know how the company products or services contribute positively to society and demonstrate a direct correlation between their contribution and the end result.

When employees feel appreciated and supported, they will work harder to help the company succeed. This employee enthusiasm also directly impacts customer service and engagement. Those who believe in the company, its services, and its values will be more likely to put their best foot forward when interacting with customers.


4. Commit to employee development

People want to work for employers who help them deliver their best and support them on their path to career growth and success. Successful brands retain their top employees and motivate them to throw their whole selves into a company by providing growth opportunities. Be sure to communicate promotion opportunities, education options, and succession plans to give employees a vision of their future within the company.


5. Embrace flexibility

Another trend we're seeing out of the pandemic is flexible, hybrid workplaces, focusing on giving employees more control as long as they meet deliverables and expectations. Allow employees to step up and take responsibility, with support, and guidance, to become increasingly independent and grow within the organization.


This global pandemic has dramatically impacted the way we work and live. The Great Resignation and hybrid workplaces are two top trends we are seeing right now. Companies who adapt and stay flexible during these changes will retain and attract top talent and rise above the rest.