When the pandemic hit, workers were being furloughed or laid off in droves as forced shutdowns shrank or entirely eliminated many businesses. As businesses attempt to hire people back, another phenomenon has taken shape. Workers are refusing to go back to previous jobs or quitting the ones they do have. With so many positions to fill and so many people not working, what’s an employer to do?
Money Alone is Not Enough
Logic might dictate that the best way to attract top talent is to offer top salaries. But in today’s world, that is no longer enough. After the insecurities experienced throughout the pandemic, employees are looking not just to be paid for their work, but to be nurtured by their employers.
Health and Wellbeing, Flex Schedules and Financial Wellness
By offering healthcare benefits, employers show that they value employee health and well-being. And in the current environment, where saving money is more important than ever, employers have the option to offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and help employees offset deductible costs with a Health Savings Account (HSA).
Paid time off shows that employers value employee mental health and relaxation. Add parental leave, and you’ll demonstrate support for their family life as well.
As offices open back up, employees may still struggle with caring for dependents, so offering a flexible work schedule, along with hybrid home/office time, shows that you value their personal time and responsibilities. A Bloomberg survey in 2021 found that 39% of employees would quit if they employers did not provide flexibility.
By making it easier save for a rainy day, employers show they care about employee futures. The Federal Reserve estimates that 36% of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency. Emergency Savings Accounts (ESAs) allow employees to automatically contribute post-tax funds into a savings account each pay period, eliminating the chance to spend it elsewhere. ESA balances build up faster and easier than when employees have to make deposits manually.
Communicate – and Listen
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021 alone, a new single-month record. Could employers have seen it coming?
More than ever, employees are seeking out positive work environments with openly supportive management. Often one or both of these elements is missing. Especially at a time when life seems to be changing faster than ever, good communication is essential. And it’s just as important for managers to listen to their employees. If you observe a less-productive employee who is reluctant to communicate, you may have an unhappy worker on your hands who may soon be looking for employment elsewhere.
By communicating often, openly and honestly, employers can improve their likelihood of retaining talent by creating the nurturing employment environment your employees need and want.
Take Action Now
What actions can employers take now to encourage employees to stay? Beyond those outlined above, Employer Benefit News (EBN) has some additional suggestions:
- Review the options offered for personal development and training. Younger employees in particular want to be cross-trained for future job opportunities, not just shown how to carry out their current responsibilities.
- Consider the amount of time spent in meetings. Long meetings and unproductive meetings often show up on employee lists of things they dislike most about their job.
- Recognize good work and how it contributes to the company’s goals. We all like to be told that we’re doing a good job and hear how we contribute to the success of our employers.
Employers can lessen the effects of major staffing shortages with careful thought and action. For expert help with planning and implementing these and other actions to successfully attract and retain talent, talk to your benefits broker and third-party administrator (TPA), among other professionals.
DataPath, Inc. is a leading provider of technology solutions for cloud-based benefits administration.