Think the great resignation is a passing fad? Think again. According to a recent Gartner, Inc. press release, U.S. employee annual voluntary turnover is likely to jump nearly 20% this year. Not only do these resignations effect those changing jobs they impact those staying put. In fact, a new UiPath Survey revealed that 83% of those left behind have had to take on up to six new tasks outside of their job descriptions due to their coworkers resigning and 77% of Americans reported they no longer know their responsibilities. It is not surprising that only 32% of full- and part-time employees are now engaged as reported by Gallup.
Get clear on what’s important
Get clear on what is important to your employees before it’s too late.
82% of employees say it’s important for their organization to see them as a person, not just an employee, yet only 45% of employees believe their organization actually sees them this way according to another Gartner, Inc press release.
77% of employees want to work at an organization where they feel connected to the purpose and the people, yet just 44% of employees agree their organization is effective at helping them connect to the mission, values and leadership vision and just 38% of employees agree their organization is effective at helping them build authentic relationships with coworkers and managers as reported in Blueboard’s The State of Workplace Connection Report 2022.
The top three characteristics employees are looking for at work are pay (71%), a fulfilling job (69%) and an environment where they can truly be themselves (66%) according to PWC’s 2022 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey.
What workplace essentials are important to your team? Are these elements a part of your culture?
Five steps toward becoming a firm of choice
From employee to individual
Today’s professionals want to be seen as human beings rather than numbers. Not only do they want to be themselves at work, they want to be valued. The best way to get started is to shift your focus and approach. Get to know each member of your team as a person.
Who are they?
What is their situation?
What are their interests and aspirations?
What causes are meaningful to them?
What puts them at ease and allows them to be themselves?
Use this knowledge as a foundation for your interactions, communications and relationship building.
Clarify everyone’s role
Whether by choice, evolution or attrition, you and your team members may or may not be doing what you were originally hired to do. Now is the perfect time to clarify each person’s role and how they fit into the organization. If preferences have shifted during recent reflection, learn more. Is this shift something the firm can accommodate? Wherever possible, align roles to individual interests and aspirations so work is challenging and meaningful. For those having to take on additional responsibilities due to the departure of other employees, be open about the situation. Ask how this is affecting them. While the extra work may be stressful for some, it could be enjoyable work for others. Talk about possible scenarios going forward along with the opportunity to speak openly about career advancement. For more insight, check out the PCPS Firm Competency Model.
Foster connection and community
While remote and hybrid workplaces provide employees with welcomed new freedoms, they can also cause unintentional disconnects between individuals, teams and leaders. New employees that joined your firm during lockdown may not have met their colleagues, managers and mentors in person or had the chance to get to know them. These situations can challenge collaboration, relationship building and sense of community within your firm. As a result, they can lead to isolation and loneliness causing employees to disengage from their work. It’s time to encourage connection among the team and foster a sense of community within your firm. Create new ways for your employees to come together. Get back to celebrating personal highlights such as a new camper, pet, or special anniversary. Host a summer cookout. Identify a service project that is important to the crew and have a day of service for that cause. When employees feel connection is a part of the firm’s culture, it helps them engage in what their peers are doing and makes them want to stick around.
Take an interest in what employees have to say
To build a place where employees are happy and engaged, make time regularly to learn what’s on their minds. Listen closely to what they have to say. Show them you value their opinion. Employee discussions, roundtables and surveys can be valuable forums to gain insight and measure satisfaction. Remember, if you ask for others’ input, demonstrate that you hear them then do something meaningful with what you have learned.
Make time for skills development and networking
Summer is an ideal time for skills building and career development. What a perfect way to say to employees “We believe in you and your career.” Add networking and focused discussions with peers into the mix for greater impact. Make these activities a priority again. Learn what peers are doing in similar parts of the practice such as tax, technology, CAS or operations. Tap into ways to retain more fulfilling and sought-after work too. Be on the lookout for association events, industry meetings and professional conferences where you can network with peers and build your skills in tandem. Make the most of your participation in these gatherings by being purposeful in what you want to accomplish and who you want to meet. A little planning on the front end can go a long way. Check out these opportunities for networking and skills development.
Here’s to bucking the great resignation trend by giving your employees a reason to stay.