In what’s been dubbed the “Great Resignation” and “Turnover Tsunami,” somewhere between 26 and 41 percent of people may be planning to leave their jobs soon. This level of turnover can lead to significant loss of company knowledge, missed company goals, high recruitment costs, and a poor experience for remaining team members. 

If you’re not thinking about retention, you should be. Here are five best practices for retaining top talent in the post-pandemic hiring shuffle.

1. Offer career progression

Career advancement is often listed as one of the top reasons people leave their jobs—and this year will be no different. Of the people planning to leave their employers after the threat of the pandemic subsides, 80 percent are doing so because they’re concerned about their career advancement. And 72 percent say the pandemic has caused them to rethink their skill sets.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to discuss career goals, development, and future opportunities with your team members. And if you already do this on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to revisit your employee development plans to ensure they still align with your team members’ goals and your organization’s future needs.

A learning management system can help your team members develop the skills they need to advance in their careers at your organization. Then, when an opportunity opens up, you will have strong, internal candidates ready to go.

Three in four employees who receive promotions will stay with the company for at least three years, as do 62 percent of workers who made lateral moves. And changing up team member responsibilities, even without a raise or title change, increases the likelihood of retaining top talent by over 20 percent.

2. Address remote work

Most people with remote-compatible jobs want to continue working remotely—at least some of the time—and they’re willing to quit their jobs in order to do so. Forty two percent of remote workers say if their current company does not continue to offer remote work options long term, they will look for a job at a company that does. With many employers embracing remote and hybrid workforces, your top performers won’t have a problem finding new remote opportunities. 

Retain more of your team by developing a plan for remote work, and communicating it company-wide. More flexibility will appeal to a greater number of people, but do what will work best for your organization.

3. Combat team member burnout

The pandemic has been stressful, as people have faced increased concerns around health, finances, childcare, and changes at work. This has led to increased burnout. In fact, 76 percent of U.S. workers are feeling burnout, with 37 percent citing stress about Covid-19 as a direct contributor to their fatigue at work. 

Employee burnout can have a negative impact on work satisfaction, engagement, and retention—so it’s crucial that it be addressed. 

Encourage your team members to take some time off to recharge and focus on their wellness. Set realistic goals and check-in frequently to discuss progress, listen to concerns, and offer recognition. Weave elements that promote work-life balance into your culture, and make sure company leaders demonstrate what good work-life balance should look like.

Taking care of your team members will show them you care. In return, they will likely feel more loyalty to your organization and have less inclination to leave.

4. Revisit compensation 

Compensation is another top reason people leave their jobs, which could be exacerbated by pandemic salary cuts and freezes. Nearly one in five companies (17 percent) said they were cancelling salary increases in 2020, and 33 percent of U.S. adults said that they or someone in their household had taken a cut in pay due to COVID-19.

While wage growth slowed in the first part of the pandemic, it is now increasing again—as inflation climbs as well. Team members who haven’t received an appropriate raise may find higher salaries elsewhere. 

If your organization is in a position to do so, revisit compensation and make adjustments that will allow you to stay competitive in the current talent market. The cost of a raise can be insignificant compared with the cost of backfilling a role down the road—especially when it comes to your top performers.

5. Ask your team members what they want

Each of your team members has different wants and needs, so the best way to retain each of them may differ. Invite your top performers to complete a stay interview, in which you hold a candid discussion of what it will take to keep them at your organization. Ask them why they stay, what would entice them to leave, and how you can improve their employee experience. Then take reasonable steps to provide your top performers what they need.

You should also collect feedback from other sources, including online employer reviews, engagement surveys, and exit interviews. This will provide a more well-rounded view of ways you can improve the employee experience for everyone, boosting retention in the process.

Final thoughts on retaining top talent

While HR and C-suite leaders expect only 8 percent of their team members will quit post-pandemic, more than four million people in the U.S. quit their jobs in April—the highest spike on record. This trend is expected to continue, and forward-thinking employers are considering how to improve retention for their top performers. Doing so will allow them to reach their growth goals, while their competitors are spinning their wheels to backfill positions.


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