Over the past few months, we have witnessed record numbers of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs as part of the ‘Great Resignation‘.
While a lot of HR commentary on the topic focuses on the impact of salary on employees’ decision to stay or leave their job, the reality is more complex.
What it boils down to is a deep rethink of what constitutes a good employee experience. This is a perfect opportunity for HR to think about its own role within the organization, and what it wants to be known for moving forward.
Power to the people
Workers’ intellectual capacities, emotional energy, and mental health have all been tested during the pandemic, with many opting to focus on improving their work-life balance.
In addition, employees have realized that they could be just as productive working remotely or in a hybrid environment, putting the onus on businesses to offer the right technology to support a ‘work from anywhere’ culture for previously office-based jobs.
This saves employees precious commute time, giving them back time to spend with their loved ones – a luxury many didn’t have pre-pandemic.
Whilst global economies start stabilizing and finding their way out of the crisis, this shift towards increased workforce mobility is here to stay.
In fact, findings from Randstad’s latest Workmonitor report revealed that one-third of respondents would consider quitting their job if it did not fit well with their personal lifestyle and prevented them from enjoying life in general.
This shows a growing employee need for control and decision-making over their work experience, especially amongst millennials and Gen Z.
The ‘Great Reset’
In addition to going through very tough economic times to keep their business afloat, leaders have had to go to great lengths to keep their teams motivated.
First in the face of a pandemic and now during a phase of mass resignation, which is made more complex by the increased challenge of finding talent in a hyper-competitive market.
However, looking at the ‘Great Resignation‘ solely through the lens of the losses would be short-sighted.
Instead, businesses should consider it the ‘Great Reset’, and treat it as an opportunity to reflect and identify opportunities to adjust their culture to attract and retain talent.
This involves taking the time to better understand the real reasons behind employee attrition and re-evaluate existing employees’ relationship to their place of work, both physically and culturally.
As the pandemic continues to change the labor market landscape, organizations need to recognize the growing need to modernize their workplace by providing employees the flexibility to work remotely, while simultaneously building a strong community and culture.
This involves finding methods to better understand the real reasons behind employee attrition and re-evaluating their relationship with their companies.
Using tech to improve the company culture
For businesses, the first step consists in reviewing and adapting their people strategy. This includes recognizing that employees’ needs may evolve over time, and developing a plan to keep up with these changing requirements.
Managing post-pandemic people, who have endured significant mental wellbeing challenges, involves allowing them to share their views and perspectives on what a healthy work environment looks like.
Businesses can then use these insights to draft an employee experience strategy that effectively addresses their employees’ current challenges.
Great talent management involves understanding employee needs and expectations in real-time. This can be done with cutting-edge tech tools that are driven by data and artificial intelligence.
In the last few years, an entirely new set of data-based tools for efficient employee performance management have entered the market to replace the traditional annual employee surveys, which were not only time consuming but also ineffective, as they were unable to provide any insights in real-time or to identify patterns over long periods of time.
Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), today’s tech tools enable businesses to visualize employee development and gain insights that enhance engagement and mental wellbeing while minimizing stress and staff turnover.
The future of talent management is all about utilizing AI tools that rely on anonymized, valid data, and aim to give employees a means to voice their perspectives.
With these tools, organizations can not only fix issues before they snowball but also significantly bolster productivity, understand staff and optimize their people strategy.
While it’s clear that recruitment will always be an important part of HR’s mission, it shouldn’t be in response to employee exodus that could have been prevented with efficient and frequent employee surveys.
Instead, recruitment should be focused on growing headcount in organizations that promote employee wellbeing and work-life balance, safe in the knowledge this sentiment is shared by their workforce.
Embracing an authentic company culture that employees feel fulfills their career and personal purpose is a sure way to attract and retain today’s talent.
The best way to do this is to give employees the tools they need to share their views and actively use this to drive the people strategy. This will help ensure employees are able to help create a positive corporate culture for the future.
Organizations should welcome the fact that people want to give their best at work and will do so if employers give them the right empowerment.
Today’s employees are seeking to be heard and to feel that their needs are covered by flexible working conditions.
Whilst it could be tempting for organizations to side-step these challenges, it is imperative to adopt cutting-edge engaging strategies that will transform the working culture and position the businesses that adopt them as the most attractive places to work.
Thankfully, AI technology tools are here to help us drive this necessary engagement shift to ensure that decisions are made from objective data and always updated feedback. All businesses should be investing in these.
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