A lot of businesses think they know, but with resignations at 4.7% towards the end of 2021 – almost one in twenty employees – the highest since 2016 – are they taking necessary steps to understand their employees’ needs, wants and expectations? Or are companies letting valuable talent go, simply because they don’t know what will make them want to stay?
What do your employees really want from work in a post Covid-19 landscape?
People are calling it the Great Resignation: a term coined by Anthony Klotz, who predicted that a wave of resignations would follow Covid-19 lockdowns, driven by sudden, significant changes to our relationship with work. Poor work/life balance, work-related stress and career dissatisfaction were thrown into sharp relief by the pandemic, as working from home permanently changed our perception of working life and the way it impacts on our time, our priorities, our wellbeing and our motivators.
In short, the pandemic made us reconsider what was important to us – and it’s changed the values that drive employee motivation forever. The question now is whether employers can learn to harness those drivers, to enable a culture of high performance and employee happiness.
What is the great resignation, really?
Straightforward resignations aren’t the only consideration. Businesses are also seeing an increase in requests to change department, downshift to different roles, take sabbaticals, work from home or reduce working hours. When those requests are denied, employees are taking their skills to more people-centric organisations that can offer them what they need, or walking away from their career entirely. The result is talent lost, often needlessly: thanks to employers not being able to see the ‘bigger picture’ and realise that employee drivers and commercial needs go hand in hand.
What’s driving employee satisfaction – and performance?
The answer used to be simple: money and status. But the world we work in today is more complicated. Connectivity and hybrid/home working has blurred lines between professional and personal life. A pay rise is not enough if we are unhappy. A promotion is not enough if it creates more unwanted stress.
Some have argued that what people really want from work is enough time to do what they love outside of it. But is that the whole answer? We’d argue that being fulfilled at work is always going to impact happiness outside of it, regardless of how much time it affords us elsewhere.
So how can you find out what is actually driving employee performance and satisfaction, to protect your business from The Great Resignation? The short answer is: ask.
But this isn’t just about having more 1:1s. It’s about enabling each employee to identify and share what motivates them through open, honest conversation – and taking action to facilitate, track and measure it. These drivers could well include money, and progression at work but increasingly embrace health and fitness or time with family and friends, as well as fulfilment at work or a sense of belonging. But they will be different for every employee – and it’s by recognising this difference that businesses will not only retain their talent but enable high performance across their team.
By facilitating these conversations, OpenBlend enables its customers – including Gymshark and M&C Saatchi – to understand and manage their employees’ individual drivers and motivations, retain their talent, and get the best out of every employee. To discover more about the OpenBlend approach to employee motivation and performance download our guide to employee motivation.