How the Great Resignation is Affecting Employee Engagement

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Though we can all agree that COVID-19 continues to be one of the worst global disasters in recent memory, not everyone truly realizes just how deeply the pandemic has affected our culture. The existence of the virus has changed how we think about the true meaning of life and how it should be lived.

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How the Great Resignation is Affecting Employee Engagement

That leads us to the great resignation, which is the current movement where people are quitting their jobs in droves in hopes of finding something better. With fewer employees to go around, many corporate leaders and HR managers have been forced to think about how they treat employees, and have hopefully realized it’s time to make a change. Let’s talk about policy revisions you can make to improve employee engagement and satisfaction.

What is the great resignation?

The great resignation refers to the massive exodus of employees from all positions and walks of life who left their jobs in 2021 after the pandemic ravaged the nation. The issue continues in 2022, as in January alone, over 4.3 million people left their jobs. This phenomenon is not restricted to the United States either, as there has been an uptick in resignations in Europe as well.

Though people might give slightly different answers when asked why they left their job, many will say that the pandemic taught them that there is more to life than sitting in a cubicle and working nine to five for a boss or company who doesn’t really care about their wellbeing. Since the pandemic taught us that life is precious, many people are now looking for jobs where they are appreciated and where they can feel like they’re making a real difference.

The fact is that the great resignation is a stark reality, and people are not giving up on their desires to have a better professional life. Managers and HR leaders need to recognize that employees want to feel like they are in an atmosphere that promotes efficiency and productivity and start making big changes if they hope to get staffed up again.

At a minimum, you can start to make that happen by designing a more productive workspace. That means creating private desk areas but also having an open space where employees can get together and bounce ideas off of one another. Office chairs should be in good condition with a solid design that keeps the employees upright and engaged. Also, allow a lot of natural light and plant life in the office to create a more welcoming atmosphere.

Employees want to succeed

Having the right furniture is a good start, but you need to build on that and show employees that they’re not just faceless entities but, instead, valued members of the team, and that goes for every industry, from law firms to superstores.

Lately, many retail organizations are changing how they treat employees with a focus on building them up for success. They are doing important things like changing the generic title of “associate” to something more official, like “consultant” or “stylist”. Many are also giving employees more tools to succeed, from communication platforms to customer relationship management software, that allows them to provide more personalized service so they can assist customers to the best of their ability and feel like they are making a difference.

Your company can also help people to feel valued by putting a roadmap in place for how they can grow in their position and be promoted to a higher rank. Human resources can start this routine during a new employee’s orientation. If an employee doesn’t see a future in the company, then they are not going to put their best foot forward, and many may have one foot out the door. To that end, HR reps should show each new worker the exact steps that they can take to reach the next level of their career so they have something to work towards.

If you talk to an employee and they want to succeed but they are not sure which direction they want to go, then allow them to try new things by cross-training in different departments. Once they learn what they would like to do, create a roadmap and help them to get there.

Employees also want to be valued

Though employees want to be engaged and see their careers go to the next level, they also want to feel like their company sees them as human beings with lives outside of the office. It all comes down to work-life balance and how your management team can work with the employees when they have genuine concerns.

For instance, if an employee has kids that they need to bring to school in the morning, can you allow a flexible schedule where they start later in the day and make up the hours in the evening? Or is it possible to allow select employees to work remotely from home if their commute is causing them stress or monetary issues? Consider it, and your employees could show their gratitude through their work.

Remember that some employees won’t feel like they can come to you with their concerns, and if that is the case, then management is doing something wrong. Managers and HR reps need to have an open-door policy where an employee can come to them at any time and feel like their voice is heard. If people still don’t come forward, then consider getting the temperature of the office through surveys and interviews, and then use the information you gather to make a positive difference.

Finally, paying your employees a thriving wage is the best way to show them their work is valued. No one feels valued by a company that doesn’t pay them enough to cover their bills.

Final thoughts

In the end, your management team can’t single-handedly end the great resignation, but you can make the necessary changes to make your company more appealing to employees looking for something new. Consider the tips mentioned here, and you can bring in the bright talent that you desire.

Indiana Lee

Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering workplace issues, social justice, politics, and more. You can follow her work on Contently, or reach her at [email protected]

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