With every news story trumpeting The Great Resignation, it’s easy to think that the vast majority of employees are cleaning out their desks and handing in their notices. In January, 4.3 million people quit their jobs, according to the US Department of Labor, and 11.3 million jobs went unfilled. According to Gallup's research, 48 percent of employees are actively searching for new roles. But those numbers still leave a wide swathe of people who aren’t leaving, that often go overlooked. As an HR manager, you’re probably frantically trying to replace employees who left, while still trying to expand. The people who are coming in day after day are the backbone of your organization, but they still have needs that may be going unmet. Rather than risk having a loyal employee sign the next resignation letter popping up in your inbox, here are some tips for looking after the people you normally don’t worry about.
Think of your employees like customers; you want to keep them happy and make sure they’re satisfied with your “product.” Companies frequently survey their customers to gauge their satisfaction; why not do the same with your employees? You can hold one-on-one conversations in order to help understand their goals, motivations, and ambitions, and ask them how you can help them get there. Employees want to know that they are making a difference. These conversations need to be ongoing, so don’t call someone into your office and assume your work is done. As HR, you can encourage each manager in the company to make these conversations a regular part of their duties.
When you’re recruiting someone, you’d offer them an attractive salary, and this is certainly an option to retain good employees. But it also might mean offering them more flexibility, or even more chances to get involved with and share in the company’s mission through rewards or profit-sharing. A report by beqom found that over 70% of American workers would take a more flexible job over a higher-paying one. Flexible and remote work options have become a way of life, so now is the time to reevaluate whether your current employees are happy with the arrangement. Flexibility is not only about the number of hours. It may involve start and end times and paid time off. You might even find other forms of wiggle room if you really listen to your employees. They might even suggest something you’ve never even thought of.
Are you consulting your employees before making day-to-day decisions? Some decisions you make on your own, even if you don’t think they’ll have an impact on your employees, actually do. Following rules and regulations that you haven’t revisited in ages because “it’s always been done that way” may inadvertently be making people’s lives harder. When decisions are made without input from all possible stakeholders, the company starts to feel like a dictatorship. Making sure employees feel valued while still demonstrating leadership and decision-making ability is difficult, but your staff will be happier when they feel their opinions are valued.
Even if they are already making a positive impact on the organization, they may not see it, so it’s up to you to give them rewards that reassure them that what they do matters and that they are valued, especially during difficult times. Rewards don’t have to be tangible; they can be as simple as a thank you and details of just what impact they have on the company. Research from Cornell University showed that immediate rewards increase motivation by linking goals with activities in a tangible way. Incentives like profit-sharing encourage a “founder mindset” in employees and create confidence that they are making an impact. Equity plans are another important way to allow employees to share in the company’s success. Upstock offers equity through restricted stock units. These use a quick, low-cost infrastructure and defer compensation so that workers receive their stock once certain milestones are met, so workers don’t have to pay taxes out of their own pockets. Furthermore, it gives them a tangible reminder of just how much impact they are making on the company.
Even the most loyal employees have unmet needs, and it’s important to check in to make sure that you’re meeting these needs in every way you can, even when it seems like you don’t have to. After all, these days, each person in your organization counts more than ever.