How to Engage Your Workforce During the Great Resignation

2021 has shown us that the Great Resignation is real. Some companies are convinced that a return to “normalcy” will occur in the new year; others are completely panicked that the Great Resignation reflects the realities of a new normal. In the midst of such an exodus, how can you convince employees to stay? Sometimes it’s about the money — it would be remiss to leave that factor out of the conversation — but money is a short-term solution to a much greater challenge. The truth is that people are leaving for a number of reasons.

Instead of asking how to convince your employees to stick around, ask yourself this: How can I engage my workforce during the Great Resignation so they want to stay? What is my role in making this a more engaging, fulfilling place to work?

It goes without saying, everyone wants a job that feels like more than just a job. Staff seek employment that provides value and an intrinsic return that goes beyond a paycheck. Money is an undeniable piece of the puzzle, but you can do more to help employees feel complete at work, inspire commitment and, in turn, ignite ongoing loyalty.

4 Ways to Engage Your Employees

The nuances of a company are so important when it comes to engaging employees. Real, lasting change happens when you address the very human elements of culture at work like communication, connectivity, and belonging. 

Here are four nuanced ways to engage your employees: 

  1. Create a culture of feedback.

Ask for and provide feedback in group and one-on-one settings. Over time, a culture of transparency and open communication inspires people to take personal ownership. They feel like they have the ability and autonomy to enact real change. This is the foundation for everything else – if you don’t listen to your team, you won’t earn their respect or their loyalty. Ask them questions too, and get curious about their perceptions and what they have to say.

  1. Celebrate and reward more.

Like feedback, regular celebrations can become part of the fabric of your company’s culture. First and foremost, be generous with praise. If you’re pleased with someone’s performance, that shouldn’t be a secret. Offer other unique rewards as well including mentorship and promotional opportunities. Actively seek reasons to celebrate and do so by showing an interest in the career development of your top talent.

  1. Promote workplace diversity & inclusion.

Promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion may require you to review your current policies and practices. Ultimately, your dedication to making change speaks volumes to your team. It shows them that you prioritize their well-being and believe in the benefits of diversity. Specific inclusive strategies include offering on-site daycare or allowing employees to take time off for religious holidays that may not be officially observed at your company.

  1. Offer flexibility.

Your employees should have a sense of agency over when and where they work. Especially since the emergence of COVID-19, people crave (and expect) the option of remote work. Some may even request to make their own schedule. Whatever your policy is, reassess whether it gives your team an adequate level of freedom to meet their individual needs. You must consider where you’re willing to bend. 

Become Great in the Face of the “Great Resignation”

Work, work culture, and our perception of both are changing. People are re-evaluating their priorities, asking for more from employers, and, if necessary, they’re walking away when their needs aren’t met. How you react now is more important than ever, so instead of ignoring your employees or coming up with short-term solutions, engage them. Take this opportunity to become a great place to work; not just one that is good enough.