The Great Resignation: How You Can Prioritize Your Team and Lower Employee Retention Rates

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. The resignation rate peaked in April, but it still remains unusually high.

Economists are referring to this as The Great Resignation which started around the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

So, what caused this sudden change in the job market and how can you, as a leader in your company, offset this trend in your work culture?

As the new year approaches, it’s time to make decisions and goals that will transform your work culture and raise employee retention rates in a time when Americans are more inclined to job-shop than stay at one place for very long.

What is The Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation started around the pandemic in 2020 and has bled into 2021, causing major shifts in the American economy and workforce.

The Great Resignation refers to the massive exit of employees in the American workforce and the difficulty many employers are facing when trying to find replacements.

Why is this happening?

COVID-19 allowed a lot of time for employees to rethink their career paths and question what they really want out of the jobs.

While most people expect younger employees to increase the turnover rate, employees between the ages of 30-35 and 40-50 have all increased their resignation rates by more than 38% during The Great Resignation.

Some people had put off switching jobs, and the pandemic was the perfect time to transition to another position, while others were able to escape from unhealthy company cultures.

Whether your company has suffered during this time or is thriving, it’s important to identify the impact it’s had on the workforce and what you can do to combat the recent employee retention trends.

How can you stop The Great Resignation from impacting your company?

Calculate your turnover rate.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review Article, the first step you should take is to quantify the process. When you quantify the problem, it helps you identify the size of the issue and how it is directly impacting your business.

So, how do you do that?

According to the article, you should use this formula:

Number of Separations per Year ÷ Average Total Number of Employees = Turnover Rate

You can also use this formula to break down your turnover rate even more. For example, you can discover how much of your turnover is from resignations versus letting employees go.

Identify the reasons behind your turnover rate.

Your next step should be to identify the underlying reasons behind your turnover rate.

This can vary from company to company and takes a lot of commitment and analysis to get a full picture of the reasons behind your turnover rate.

The first step you can take to identify the reasons behind your turnover rate is to talk to your current employees. 

Every quarter, send out an anonymous survey with questions like:

  • Do you like your job?
  • What do you like/dislike about the company?
  • If you could change anything, what would you change?
  • Would you recommend this company as a great place to work to your friends?

Another great way to get a feel for how your employees feel about the company is to take your exit interviews seriously. When an employee decides to leave the company, conduct an intentional exit interview and ask them to be honest.

Your employee has nothing to lose at this point. Listen intently and evaluate if what your employee says has real merit and assess what you could do to fix it in the future. 

You should also take time to assess your company culture and leadership. 

You can boost your company culture by implementing employee engagement such as:

  • Job satisfaction assessments
  • Annual employee reviews
  • Internal process reviews
  • Employee events and activities

Also, review your employee data. Do you notice any trends in the employees that are leaving your company versus the ones who are currently working at the company?

Identifying common trends could help you identify any gaps in processes, culture, and leadership in your organization.

Make a change.

Once you’ve identified your retention rate and reasons for the turnover percentage, you can take action.

Here are some ways you can lower your retention rates and keep your best employees:

  • Offer better pay and benefits
  • Offer reasonable time off
  • Set a precedent for open communication
  • Establish trust and avoid micromanaging

One thing to keep in mind as you work to transform your company culture is to communicate with your team. When they see you making an effort to improve your company culture, they will feel cared for and supported.

So, be transparent with your team and ask for input along the way. When your employees feel included, valued, listened to, it will boost your company culture.

How CCA Can Help

Whether your company has been affected by increased turnover rates or not, it’s never too late or too early to prioritize caring for your employees, boosting your company culture, and, as a result, decreasing your retention rates.

At Corporate Chaplains of America, we work with businesses nationwide to provide teams in the workplace with the support they need to get through life’s ups and downs. 

When you invest in professional and emotional support for your employees, you show that you care for them as human beings, not simply as employees.

At CCA, our team is dedicated to you and your team. Your chaplain is a trusted confidant that your team can go to no matter what.

Our chaplains are available 24/7 for you and your team. When your employees have someone to talk to, it can make an unsteady time seem a little steadier. Your team needs that support, and our team can be that for them. Contact Corporate Chaplains of America today to learn how to support your team as you seek to grow a thriving, healthy work culture for your team.

Is your company culture holding your business back?

Download our informational PDF guide “The Company Culture Advantage” to find out how your team’s culture could benefit from a dedicated Corporate Chaplain.