The Great Resignation and Employee Engagement

Much has already been written about the “turnover tsunami” also known as the “Great Resignation.”  Studies show that half of all employees in the US have either resigned, are considering resigning or actively job hunting.

In my own poll that I conducted via Facebook, LinkedIn, and direct email, I found that 27% of those who responded had switched jobs since the beginning of the pandemic; but the number that was more concerning to me is that another 43% are considering switching positions or are actively engaged in job searching.

This begs the question of why. While employees seem to be dissatisfied with the status quo, I work with organizations who are asking how to engage their employees at a higher level. “Something seems off with my workforce” said one Manager in a recent conversation.

Let’s look at employee engagement. Things we know:

  1. Employees want something different. The employee “experience” is a real thing.
  2. Communication is critical. Employees who do not understand their roles and responsibilities, but also the mission of the organization feel undervalued and unappreciated. Synergy is a real thing.
  3. Employees report that a lack of training is causing additional stress in the workplace.
  4. The pandemic changed the way we do business. With more people working remotely, new types of employee engagement tools are needed.

So, what does this mean for employers to retain employees, motivate their workforce, and ensure they have a pipeline for attrition?

  1. Managers need to ensure that what they are promising in the interview is delivered. 
  2. Good on-boarding practices are necessary. That means, have all the tools required to do the job ready on Day 1. Ensure introductions are made and that a training plan is ready. Frequent follow-up and check-ins with new hires are needed.
  3. Implement a culture of engagement. This can look different in each organization. Some basics for engagement are clear communication and direction, good supervision, empowerment, training and development and recognition and reward programs.
  4. Leaders should solicit information. Ask your workforce questions including their thoughts on continuous improvement.

I leave you with a quote from Stephen R Covey. “Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world. To win the marketplace, you must first win the workplace.”

Written by Blog Contributor: Pamela Watkins