In 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of more than 3.95 million workers quit their jobs each month. Though the Bureau only began reporting the number of U.S. workers who resigned in 2000, last year shattered the record. For comparison, the lowest monthly average was in 2009, which saw around 1.75 million workers quit each month.
The numbers support what anyone managing employees at a big or small shop understands — the Great Resignation is underway, and recent surveys indicate it is not slowing down. It makes sense for businesses to embrace this change instead of hoping it will subside. But, how can they do this? At Gentry, we help many clients fill holes in their staffing caused by the Great Resignation, and we see several key areas where companies could optimize and grow during this difficult staffing crisis.
Embrace Curiosity at Your Company
First, companies that desire to embrace the Great Resignation must also embrace curiosity. Managers and executives need to view the Great Resignation as an unprecedented opportunity to learn and grow. Part of this is assessing how team members truly feel about their jobs. Does management have an accurate picture of their employees’ work values and satisfaction? Perhaps employees’ career needs do not align well with current company policies.
Some companies do not accurately understand what attracted employees to work at the company in the first place. Conducting a comprehensive survey of employees will begin clarifying these aspects, and more, which can inform your organization’s policy and culture changes. This is something companies can choose to utilize on a regular basis, making employee feedback integral to their internal policies.
In light of the Great Resignation, your company might also consider including previous employees, recent retirees, and freelancers in these surveys to understand their work values and attraction to your company. It may even open the door for those who are interested in returning to work for the company in some capacity. As a matter of fact, many of the expert engineers at Gentry came out of retirement to continue working on exciting engineering projects in a lessened and more flexible role.
The Great Resignation is happening to every business sector across the country. Maintaining a curious and humble perspective is key to adjusting and reacting well to our new employment environment. Continue to research how other companies deal with this significant change to equip yourself with insights and learnings along the way.
Embrace Change at Your Company
The second key to embracing the Great Resignation is flexibility. It seems the future of work will emphasize flexibility in all aspects of the job. Work flexibility now includes anything from location, to hours worked, to unlimited vacation time. The 9-to-5 paradigm looks to be a relic of the past.
To fully embrace the changes brought by the Great Resignation, employers must prepare to not only survey, but implement learnings from employee feedback. Companies know it takes significantly longer to recruit someone than to replace an employee who gave their two-week notice and departed. As the labor market contracts further, the time devoted to hiring the right person increases. As it stands, the solution is to bolster retention while ramping up creative recruiting efforts.
Implementing new policies that not only attract but also retain employees is crucial. One such new policy recently established at Zapier, a fully remote company, includes HR support for those looking to move on from their current positions. This support provides resume feedback, interview prep, and more to current employees. As a result, HR staff are alerted to potential losses with more than two weeks’ notice. And employees can now safely search for new opportunities, and HR can offer creative solutions, to their workplace issues and career goals.
Embrace Innovative Solutions at Your Company
But what happens when companies employ both curiosity and flexibility in their practices and policies and still end up with gaps to fill in employment? In this case, innovations in human resources technologies can bridge the final gap when talent is scarce. New HR software, data analysis tools, and other recent HR innovations could help companies gain insight into their employment needs.
Some companies with talent acquisition troubles use innovative workforce agreements to fill employment gaps, such as SOWs and MSAs. These contracts outline deliverables and project goals. They keep everyone on the same page about deadlines, scope, leadership, and project expectations. Previous employees, like recent retirees, might consider returning to the fold under such a contract. Independent-minded achievers that might be aiming for a different working arrangement than current policies allow may flourish under such innovative agreements.
These kind of innovative contracts are how many Gentry team members ended up working for their previous employers after fully retiring from their elite engineering careers. When organizations utilize all the previous practices to embrace the Great Resignation and come up short, there is still more to do. Look outside the organization for talent support and innovative solutions.
Learn How Gentry Helps Employers Embrace the Great Resignation.
Human Resources Officers, Supply Chain Managers, Procurement Specialists, and others work with Gentry to identify creative solutions to their engineering workforce needs. Gentry assists their companies in establishing the appropriate service agreement for each company’s needs. In this way, companies can fill current Great Resignation employment gaps and remain within the bounds of corporate policies. At Gentry, we accommodate many forms of contractual agreements preferred by companies as we partner with you. Reach out to our team to set up a consultation and learn more about how you can fill critical engineering roles with our innovative workforce solutions.