Make the most of open enrollment

Retaining Employees During the “Great Resignation”

By: Eric Collison, Vice President of National Program Development at KWIG

Labor shortages driven by the pandemic remain a challenge for companies of all types and sizes. From c-suite positions to hourly workers, help is really wanted. A record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, according to CNBC. Likewise, Bankrate reported that 55 percent of Americans plan to look for a new job within the next 12 months. The “Great Resignation” is what many are calling this extraordinary exodus of employees. Forbes described it as “a sort of workers’ revolution and uprising against bad bosses and tone-deaf companies that refuse to pay well and take advantage of their staff.” 

So, why are people quitting? 

Limeade, a leader in employee well-being, polled 1,000 U.S. based full-time employees at companies with 500 or more employees — all who started a new job in 2021 and have been there for at least three months. According to their findings, the top five reasons employees left their jobs included:

  1. Burnout: 40%
  2. Company going through organizational changes: 34%
  3. Lack of flexibility: 20%, Instances of discrimination: 20%, Contributions and ideas not being valued: 20% (3-way tie)
  4. Insufficient benefits: 19%
  5. Well-being not being supported by the company: 16%

The findings also uncovered why the job changers were attracted to their new position: 

  1. Ability to work remotely according to personal preference: 40%
  2. Better compensation: 37%
  3. Better management: 31%
  4. Better company reputation: 29%
  5. Better work-life balance: 26%
  6. Flexible work schedule: 24%

And, what about the employees left behind? 

The great resignation not only puts employers in a pinch for finding help, but it is also taking a toll on the employees who remain at the company. CNBC reported that 52 percent of employees have been forced to take on the responsibilities of their fleeing colleagues. Plus, 30 percent struggle to get work done, 28 percent feel lonely or isolated, 27 percent feel less loyal to the organization, and 55 percent are wondering if their pay is high enough. 

Cue more burned-out, disgruntled employees looking to their employers for some sort of reward for their loyalty and hard work. So, what are you to do? How can this vicious cycle of turnover be stopped? 

How to retain employees during the “Great Resignation”

The good news is that, according to these findings, employees primarily left their jobs for reasons that are within your organization’s control. As employees reevaluate their situation, it is important to recognize that to retain employees, a “new normal” may be required. 

1. Listen to the complaints of your employees

Whether you like it or not, your current and potential employees have the upper hand in this post-pandemic labor market. The pandemic triggered a shift in how people prefer to work and which benefits people value. Engage your employees in conversations about return-to-work policies, flexible and/or remote working options and what other benefits matter to them. Then, take their opinions into account when establishing the “new normal.” 

2. Beware of burnout 

As noted above, burnout is the most common reason for quitting. Burnout is emotional, physical and mental exhaustion brought on by excessive levels of stress. It leads to poor sleep, frequent mistakes, challenges in decision-making, lost motivation and increased irritability. Keep a pulse on how your employees are handling new responsibilities, routines and working arrangements. Encourage managers and employees to set reasonable work boundaries. 

3. Invest in employee well-being

Does your benefits package show your company supports employee wellbeing? Basic employee benefits packages are simply not going to cut it in this labor market. First and foremost, ensure employees have access to affordable healthcare when they need it by offering a robust health insurance plan. Promote physical fitness by paying a stipend for gym memberships, offer access to mental health care, and provide resources for financial wellness, such as financial planners and student loan assistance. A healthy workforce is a happy workforce, and a little investment can go a long way. 

4. Make the most of open enrollment season. 

As you evaluate, and hopefully, enhance your employee benefits package, it is vital to make sure your employees fully understand the offered benefits so they can take full advantage of them. After all, an overloaded employee benefits package is a waste of money if the benefits are going largely unused. 

Open enrollment season provides an opportunity for companies to help employees explore and evaluate their healthcare and benefit options. Employers and benefit providers have the opportunity to work together to boost employee engagement and benefits utilization. This year, make the open enrollment experience personal and intentional in order to instill loyalty in your employees. 

KWIG is dedicated to providing the right solutions for the way you lead

Robust employee benefits can give you a leg up in attracting and retaining employees. At Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group, we recognize the importance of having the right insurance and employee benefits solutions. We offer unrivaled client support and flexible options focused on supporting your employees so you can focus on growing your company.

If you’re interested in discussing enhanced employee benefits, contact Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group to consult with an employee benefits advisor.