Why Your Employees Are Looking for New Jobs – And How to Stop Them from Leaving

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December 6, 2021
Rana Good
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We’re going through an unprecedented time in the workplace — where we work and how we work will never be the same. The pandemic has caused a huge shift, and jobs that could never be done from anywhere but the office are now conveniently done at home. With this massive change, many employees have re-evaluated their careers. Subsequently, many have decided to quit or change their jobs, or even founded their own businesses. For employers, employee retention has never been more important and challenging. Every single business with employees should be thinking about how they best keep their talent to maintain their operations.

To find out more about how to stop great employees from leaving we spoke to Chason Hecht, Founder and CEO of Retensa Retention Strategies. He’s an advocate and innovator of employee retention strategies and Retensa Retention Strategies uses predictive analytics software to address the social and financial impact of employee turnover. We discuss the main reasons as to why people are leaving and four tips to help retain them.

Factors Leading Job to Departures

While COVID-19 isn’t the sole reason that employees have left their jobs, it certainly illuminated problems or dissatisfaction with the workplace at an accelerated rate. “After an 18-month pause and years of frustration there’s a pent-up desire to move jobs,” says Hecht. “Covid forced people to confront the uncomfortable truth that they don’t like their job.”

Not having to go to their physical workplace allowed people to have more time to reflect and identify what’s meaningful to them. For many of them that meant some or all of these three factors in the current environment — experiencing meaningful professional growth, appropriate financial compensation in their role, and being able to protect themselves from the pandemic by staying home. “People are leaving their jobs because they don’t want to be unhappy and they don’t see growth or opportunity in their positions,” says Hecht.

The gig economy is helping accelerate job departures because side hustles give people a stronger financial footing. Many quit because they have acquired extra revenue on top of their base income that gives them a financial cushion. Another interesting factor is that many employees were able to develop two successful revenue streams, and do not want to return to the office because it would prevent them from running both. “Those who do have their side hustle and work from home, they never want to go back to the office,” says Hecht.

Here are four ways to retain employees according to Hecht:

1. Tie Raises to Performance

“A raise only lasts three weeks in terms of motivating employees,” says Hecht. Be cautious to use money as a retention incentive.” Hecht states that a performance raise is a much better motivation factor and that the concept of ‘if we achieve X, we will get Y” is a better tool to get people to stay. It creates a sense of combined purpose that makes employees feel valued and their work appreciated.

2. Ask Employees What They Want from Their Workplace — and Their Worklife

Sounds simple right? However, many employers never ask their employees what they want to work on or how the workplace could be improved. As an employer, you may discover some pain points you haven’t thought about or even get new ideas for your business. “It’s the easiest and cheapest thing to do,” says Hecht. And don’t limit feedback to things about the physical office or what happens 9 to 5. Find out how work affects them in off-hours. Things like late-night e-mail expectations or long commute times can play a big role in employee happiness and retention.

3. Flexible Work

COVID-19 showed us that a lot of jobs can easily be done from home. Whenever possible, employers should continue to offer people the flexibility to work from home or anywhere remotely. “I’ve been telling people to embrace working from anywhere,” says Hecht. “The fact is that 25 percent of people never ever want to go back to the traditional workplace.”

4. Dialing into Flexible Work Arrangements

Remote work is becoming a non-negotiable for many employees. However, there are many jobs that will never be remote; think restaurants, hospitals, or garages. Flexible work hours are becoming standard and people who do have to come in should be able to select a block of hours to work that suits them. This re-imagines the workweek to assign work according to need, not just 40 hours a week. “The idea of the 40-hour workweek is being diminished and flex-time soon will become standard,” says Hecht.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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