The “Great Resignation”: 3 Tips for Employers

Jun 23, 2021 | Career Transition, On Leadership

There’s a new phenomenon happening in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are calling it the ‘Great Resignation’.

Depending on which survey you read, over 40% of workers are thinking about quitting their current jobs. That’s nearly half!!!

Help for Employers Navigating the ‘Great Resignation’

This level of volatility can be overwhelming and intimidating for employers.

Many employers are beginning to hire again after the pandemic, meaning they already have more job openings than usual. This can be overwhelming on its own.

Adding resignations to create even more job openings makes it seem like an unclimbable mountain for employers.

Here are 3 tips to help you effectively climb that mountain. They all require more work in the short term but will pay off in the long term.

Help Them Leave

Say what?! You don’t want them to leave, and now you are supposed to help them?

Here’s the truth. Once a team member has decided to leave, their mind is made up. No amount of justifying will convince them otherwise.

At this point, the right thing to do is to congratulate them and support them in their transition. This can take many forms depending on when they inform you.

If someone lets you know they are thinking about leaving, you should support them to do what’s best for them. Many people would be afraid to be so open with their boss for fear of being let go or laid off. So long as they’re still doing a good job while with your organization, then you should be happy to keep them as long as you can. Not to mention, it gives you time to do a proper search for their replacement.

Offer them help in their job search if they need it as well as a reference if they do a good job. If they need to step out for an interview, it’s okay to let them so long as they’re still getting the job done.

If someone comes to you ready to resign, congratulate and support them. When you do this, they are more likely to help you with the transition period. They might even stay a little bit longer to help if they can. As well, take time to celebrate them on their last day with a genuine thank you for their efforts. I have ordered food from their favourite place and thanked them in front of the team with a parting gift.

This will help you navigate the Great Resignation because it demonstrates that you genuinely care about the people you work with. Doing this increases retention. When people do resign, your reputation will be strong and departing employees will be more likely to speak highly of you and your organization. A strong reputation helps attract the right applicant.

Check Your Value Proposition

Review all the benefits and drawbacks of working with your organization. You want to make sure that working with your organization offers as much value as possible.

This will help you in two ways. First, it will help you retain team members. While many people are resigning because they want to move to roles that bring them more fulfillment, many are also seeking a greater value proposition. Second, it will help you attract a pipeline of higher-quality applicants to the roles you have.

In short, you’ll have fewer openings due to lower turnover, and the openings you do have will attract the right candidates.

There are two big things to look for when reviewing your value proposition.

The first thing to look for is whether your total compensation is competitive with the industry you are competing in. People will accept less money if they feel fulfilled, so you don’t necessarily need to be blowing your competition out of the water in compensation. But you can’t be completely uncompetitive either.

If your team members can’t survive, then they’ll have no choice but to seek other employment. Checking where you’re at and being competitive with the top end of your field will help your value proposition.

Second, find out how your organization is doing culture-wise. Doing a culture survey of your team can help you know how your organization’s culture is. The right culture is one where people feel autonomous, competent in what they do, and are connected to their workplace. These three traits lead to people feeling fulfilled by what they do. If they are fulfilled, they are less likely to resign.

The bottom line is this. If your team is paid comfortably relative to their role and finding fulfillment, they are less likely to resign. As well, having a great value proposition will help you attract the right candidates for the openings you do have.

View it as an Incredible Opportunity

Believe it or not, this is a great opportunity for your organization! It may not feel that way because it feels like a mountain of work in the short term.

However, this is your chance to reset your organization. It’s an opportunity for you to find people who will feel purpose from the job openings you presently have.

Take the time to review your recruiting and interviewing processes to ensure they are designed to identify candidates who will be fulfilled by the work your organization does. Processes like these focus on the quality of hire over time/cost of hire. In other words, you are not focused on just filling the position for the sake of it. You are seeking a higher-quality candidate for the role.

It can be tough to focus on quality over time because of the overwhelm of filling several positions. But it will pay off in the long term.

Here’s what you need to check for. You need to make sure that your job posting is written to attract the right kind of candidate. From there, you need to make sure you are sourcing the job where the right candidates are hanging out or looking for jobs.

Once you have found good candidates, you need an interview process that identifies self-motivated candidates who will be passionate about your business. You can create an interview guide that will measure both to help you find the right candidate for each and every role you are seeking to fill.

When faced with a large number of openings, many organizations simply focus on filling the role as quickly as possible. If you can focus on the quality of hire, you can use the Great Resignation to trigger an organizational renaissance. You will fill the positions with people eager to learn and improve your business.

If you follow these steps, the Great Resignation will go from being intimidating to a climbable mountain that will strengthen your organization.

It is recommended that you practice these three steps regularly, not just when faced with a crisis. Consistently treating people well as well as reviewing your value proposition and onboarding processes will benefit you. You will have fewer people resigning and you’ll get the right people on board when you have job postings.

Your organization will thank you and your time will be better managed.

If you feel discouraged not having already done this before the crisis arrived, it’s okay! There’s no perfect time to start getting better at this!

If you need any help implementing this strategy, I am here for you!

Tim Dyck
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