By: Itai Green
In September, McKinsey released a report describing the “Great Attrition,” a recent wave of cross-sector resignations we have witnessed throughout the world, primarily based on the exhaustion of employees due to the pandemic.
Some 40% of US employees reported that they are somewhat likely to quit within 3—6 months, and many are willing to do so without an alternative workplace. This figure is reported across sectors and industries, and 64% of employers reported that they expect the problem to continue or even worsen in the next six months.
The wave of resignations is not only the result of employees’ fatigue, but also stems from employers’ lack of response to the changing world and the changing needs of their employees. Employers simply do not understand why employees resign, and find it challenging to recruit and retain employees.
Employers believe that employees mostly resign for work-life balance and compensation reasons, while employees report that they generally resign because they do not feel valued by the manager or the company and do not feel connected to the workplace itself.
The pandemic has changed the labour market, and it is time to acknowledge the new reality and face it. Those who want to remain competitive in 2022, while using the same methods and tools they used in 2019—will be defeated by competitors.
Managers need to take advantage of the coming months to rebuild, redefine and reimagine their recruitment and retention strategies, as well as their company’s organizational structure, based on the following principles:
The workplace must produce the best from its employees. It is crucial to map the wishes of the employees and their current needs. While one may be looking for a challenge, the other might be looking for comfort, a third employee is likely looking for recognition, while the fourth is looking for a long-term professional horizon and training. The organization must learn to provide each with what they need. Distributing a questionnaire to employees for feedback, combined with personal conversations, will help in optimal coping. Employers need a sharp-sighted view of reality and closing your eyes is not a helpful way of coping.
Familiarity with the Changing Job Market
It is essential to know how competitors cope and understand how the market perceives our organization. It is also advisable to research what is happening in similar companies overseas. And it is important to compare to the companies that are considered to be the most attractive workplaces in order to learn and improve.
Look in the Mirror and Ask Yourself
A company must ask itself difficult questions such as: Do we have ‘toxic’ managers in terms of their impact on employees? Do we have the right people, in the right places—juniors and executives alike? It is recommended to establish a thinking team with the participation of the CEO and Chairman, who will conduct a quarterly brainstorming session and work to implement the change in light of the previous notes above.
Your employee expects a fair salary, but it does not stop there. It is not enough to raise wages to retain employees—companies should also offer incentives, such as bonuses, options, profit sharing, professional training and a professional horizon as part of a personalized reward package.
Recruiting new employees is far more expensive than retaining good ones. Retention and internal mobility of high-quality employees should be encouraged as a policy. It is recommended to use technological solutions such as OnePep, which specializes in improving retention through transparency, communication, and creating a connection to the workplace and Glean Labs, which specializes in mapping the skills of employees in the organization.
Culture and Discipline
Employees should not be viewed as a production line, but rather as a part of a team with a mission that has a meaning and an impact. Employees, in many cases, want to feel that they belong to something big, part of a community. Do your employees feel that way?
The workplace must adapt its employment model to the changing world and leverage this change to become more attractive in the eyes of employees, many of whom, and across industries, are interested in working remotely or in a hybrid model. A great example of this is the PWC US which recently moved to work from home fully, except for three days a month, as part of their new policy. This decentralization is a great opportunity to reduce office space and allow employees interested to work, for example, from shared workspaces (paid by the employer) in near-home locations, without wasting valuable time in traffic jams.
Do you offer your employees personal development opportunities and options for future careers? A workplace that wants to recruit and retain employees must also offer them opportunities for the future and help them become relevant to the changing world.
The workplace must be relevant to the times we are living at. It must change, encourage Open Innovation, Digital Transformation and automation in every aspect and each department. This will make the workplace more efficient and allow an organizational structure suitable for flexibility and rapid change. Such changes usually offer a rapid ROI.
You should not do in-house what you can get from external professionals. Companies need to have more project managers, integrators and product managers and fewer developers. This is also true in other professions. The employees in the organization should have the ability to work with people outside of the organization, manage and guide them successfully.
It seems, therefore, that more and more corporations, especially traditional ones, are failing to retain employees and recruit new ones. When they understand that the world has changed—they will succeed. A traditional corporation cannot compete with attractive salary offers from unicorns and startups, which are the main competition for talent in diverse professions. The solution lies elsewhere.
The crisis is affecting most of the labour market and is not expected to pass any time soon. Those who will not adjust themselves to the changing reality will disappear.
The crisis is an opportunity to optimize human resources, recruit, move employees internally and promote employees that are open to innovation (FOMO), while saying goodbye to ego-driven risk-averse (NIH) ones.
Companies that shut their eyes and ignore the signs will be harmed, left without high-quality employees, and soon become uncompetitive.
The changes are rapid, and organizations must change and do so quickly.
About the Author
Itai Green is the founder and CEO of Innovate Israel. He is one of the dominant leaders of Israel’s corporate open innovation. Itai is recognised as a leading player in Israel’s startup ecosystem and is at the forefront of launching its growth at a rapid pace. Itai leads innovation processes by connecting global corporations with the Israeli startup community to create advanced technological solutions; focusing on IT, consumer products, pharma, finance, travel, e-commerce, retail, banking, insurance, energy, construction tech and IoT. Itai is a member in several startup advisory boards. In the past, Itai was head of business development and Innovation at Amadeus IT Group in Israel, amongst other prominent positions at Elbit, CEO at Maxtech Technologies, VP Business Development at Techtium and the co-founder of JerusalemOnline. Itai is the founder of the ITTS community (Israel Travel Tech Startups). ITTS houses 350 Israeli traveltech entrepreneurs and strengthens the internal collaboration between startups, as well as increases the level of engagement between startups, multinationals and investors. Itai has also created the IITS community (Israel Insurance Tech Startups) for the Insurance start-up sector.
Email: [email protected]
Featured image via Unsplash.