Executive Benefits

Achieving Great Retention in a Climate of Great Resignation

Achieving Great Retention in a Climate of Great Resignation

Author Executive Benefits Team
Date October 5, 2021

Why is 2021 being called the year of the Great Resignation? 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021, alone.

The article shared here, (Combatting The Great Resignation with Great Retention) from author Patty O’Neil, provides helpful insights for employee retention, especially during the current climate of the “great resignation.” Although the nuances and specifics may vary when organizations face the challenges of rewarding and retaining key executives and highly compensated employees (HCEs), the spirit and intent are much the same, regardless of the employee’s role or position in the company.

A stable and valued workforce, at every job and skill level, increases the productivity of the organization, better positioning the company to realize its goals. Read on to learn more about how your organization can create a climate of great retention. And for more insights on how to use executive benefits strategically to reward and retain key HCEs, contact any member of the Executive Benefits Team.

Combatting The Great Resignation with Great Retention

Recent polls show that over 40% of US workers are actively searching for a new job.

The costs of losing an employee range anywhere from 25% to 200% of annual salary due to lost productivity, hiring a replacement, and training the new employee. In addition, there are the intangible costs of impact on the work environment and employee morale.

“Let’s face it, people don’t stay in jobs forever. There will always be turnover and that can even be a positive. Replacing staff can have benefits, but you want to retain the strong players and have some control over your workforce. Avoiding a mass exodus is always important.”

What are some strategies to retain staff?

An easy answer is to offer a pay increase when someone resigns and hope that they will stay. That’s usually not the right answer and is at best a short-term solution. The reasons that an employee decides to leave are not typically only about pay.

A better solution is to create a great retention strategy to stay ahead of the curve. Some of the ways that retention benefits the business are greater productivity from more experienced employees, stronger relationships and continuity on your teams. Those things lead to more success for your business.

Here are some of the things you can put in place as part of your retention strategy:

  • Start with your hiring process. Hiring the right people with skills, goals and alignment with the culture of the organization goes a long way. Once you hire the right person, you should ensure that you have a strong onboarding process. Make sure that the new hire has what they need to get started, including a tour of the facility, company for coffee or lunch the first day or two, introductions to key team members and other functional areas of the company. Follow up with regular communication from their manager or a “buddy” for questions and regular check-ins.
  • Managers play a critical role in retention. Train managers to be leaders and strong communicators. There’s a tried-and-true expression that says: “Employees don’t leave bad companies; they leave bad managers.”
  • Employees want to know that they are making a difference in the organization and know that they are moving forward in their careers. Recognition programs, promoting from within, and creating career opportunities are key to retaining strong contributors.
  • Measure and support engagement throughout the employee lifecycle. Check-in frequently to gauge the work climate and overall morale. Things change and regular communication can help your organization to stay ahead of problems. Consider conducting regular short surveys to identify issues that are important to your employees.
  • It may go without saying, but a competitive pay and benefits program is also important.

It’s never too late to create, review or change your company’s retention strategy, and it’s more important than ever given the tough recruitment market trends.

About the Author

Patty O’Neil Messer is a seasoned Human Resource Generalist (HR) with years of experience working with management teams to develop and support strategic HR initiatives. Her strength has been in building relationships with clients, understanding their business and partnering to add value.

Resources used in preparing this article: “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last several months.” (https://hbr.org/2021/09/who-is-driving-the-great-resignation)


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