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The Great Resignation: Why Employees Leave

September 01, 2022 | By Accurate Background

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Even in a very tight and highly competitive labor market, some companies seem to be well-poised to attract and retain top talent. Why?

Based on our research, we took a look at some key differences between those we define as “recruitment leaders” and those we define as “recruitment laggards” to see what best practice approaches we could uncover that other companies may wish to follow.

Differentiating Leaders From Laggards

To help understand differences in approaches to talent retention, we separated our respondents into two groups:

  • We defined “retention leaders” as those who responded to the question, “To what degree has your organization experienced an increase in employee resignations over the last year?” with “not at all” or “a small degree.”
  • We defined “retention laggards” as those who responded to the same question with “high degree” or “very high degree.”

And we found that retention laggards also had a much harder time acquiring talent over the past year.

So, what are the leaders doing that the laggards aren’t?

Leaders Like Remote Work Options

Retention leaders are almost three times more likely than laggards to allow employees to continue to work remotely. Employees want flexibility and will seek to find employers who offer it. In particular, employers need to be prepared to accommodate fully remote workers who wish to relocate.

Leaders Recognize the Value of Competitive Compensation

Employees in organizations identified as retention leaders do leave—but for different reasons than those in organizations identified as laggards. Employees in retention leader organizations may choose to leave to start their own businesses, to spend more time with their families, or because they lack affordable or dependable child- or elder care. Those in retention laggard organizations are more likely to leave, by a wide margin (81% compared to 47%) due to compensation.

Leaders Create a Sense of Belonging

More than two-thirds of our retention leader respondents believe that creating a greater sense of belonging is the best way for HR to respond to the challenges of the Great Resignation.

Deloitte defines belonging as how organizations “foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities for the workers and how they feel like a member of the broader world.” This, they say, “impacts how an employee shows up and feels comfortable being themselves-and how they contribute to an organization’s common goals.”

Leaders Leverage Learning Opportunities

Retention leaders understand the importance of learning and career development to today’s employees and use training and career development as a way to engage employees—41% of retention leaders compared to 32% of retention laggards. Retention leader respondents indicate that they:

  • Offer more training and development opportunities.
  • Do more to aid career development.
  • Give managers better training.

Doing this not only helps employees learn and grow but also helps managers nurture an environment where employees want to stay.

A focus on managers helps too.

Leaders Do a Better Job Training Their Managers

While 33% of retention leaders indicate that they’re more likely to be giving managers better training today than a year ago to aid in retention, only 18% of retention laggards say the same. Organizations that have low rates of resignation are far more likely to give managers better training on employee retention strategies.

Leaders Are Employer Brand Focused

We found that retention leaders are more likely to have changed their corporate branding over the past year to acquire talent—15% compared to 6% of retention laggards. Employer brand is important as companies work to position what they have to offer candidates compared to their other options. Companies that can make their employer brands stand out in the talent marketplace have an edge according to Harvard Business Review.

In our next post we take a look at our fifth major finding: what “recruitment leaders” are less likely to do than “recruitment laggards.”

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