Employee Retention: How to Get Staff to Stick Around
At this point, most employers are well aware of the devastating effects the pandemic has had on employee retention. In 2021,3.98 million workers quit their jobs each month, which is up from an average of about three million per month in 2019.
As of January 2020, the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These statistics reflected little change from 2018, when the median was 4.2 years. At the time of the 2020 study, 25-to-34-year-olds spent an average of 2.8 years in a position, and 18-to-24-year-olds averaged between eight months and 1.3 years.
As this study was conducted before COVID-19 reached its peak, this shift is not just caused by the pandemic. The trend seems to also be tied to the generational shift in the workforce. Gen Z and millennials now make up the majority of workers, and they have different priorities than previous generations. In fact, a study by LinkedIn found that 25% of Gen Z workers and 23% of millennials plan on leaving their job within 6 months. This is more than double the percentage of boomers who plan on doing the same (12%) with Gen X coming in at 16%.
As an employer, you need to be prepared for an upwards trend in resignations. Boomer workers are already retiring in droves, and Gen X workers are expected to follow suit. As a result, the latest generation is destined to occupy 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they have demonstrated that they are very selective about the companies they apply to.
How to Improve Employee Retention
There are a few reasons behind this trend. Gen Z and millennials grew up during tough economic times and saw their parents struggling to find and keep jobs. They're also more likely to have gone through several job changes themselves before settling into a career. This has led to a lack of loyalty to any one company.
Additionally, Gen Z is the most diverse generation, and they prioritize working for companies that reflect their values. They also want to work for companies that offer flexible hours and the ability to telecommute. With the pandemic, more workers realized that they don't need to be in an office to do their jobs.
So what can employers do to retain employees, especially Gen Z and millennials? If you want to hold on to your employees for longer than a few months, there are a few things you can do.
One way to keep your employees is to encourage their development. millennials and Gen Z workers are always looking to improve their skills and grow in their careers. If you can offer opportunities for them to do so, they're more likely to stick around. Once you've identified their development goals, create a plan to help them achieve those goals.
The next generation of workers wants to know that they have the potential to move up in their careers. If you can offer them a clear path to advancement, they're more likely to stay with your company for the long haul. You could create position descriptions for the next level up or create a mentorship program.
Foster a Sense of Community
Community is important to Gen Z and millennials. They want to work for companies that are like-minded and have similar values. You could create an employee resource group or host regular events that allow employees to connect with each other.
On the same side of the token, diversity and inclusion are very important to this generation of workers. They want to work for companies that are diverse and inclusive and make an effort to create a culture where everyone feels welcome.
To accomplish this, you could use a feature like Unbiasify to help you rule out unconscious bias in your hiring process. This Chrome plugin works by omitting names, faces, and other identifying information from resumes so that you can focus on the candidate's qualifications.
Stay Updated on Technology
Millennials and Gen Z are used to having the latest and greatest technology at their fingertips, and they expect the same from their workplace. Make sure you're using the latest technology in your office. This includes everything from the software you use to the way you communicate with employees. If your company is still using outdated methods, your employees will quickly become frustrated.
Those dusty old laptops and software programs aren't just impacting morale, they're also costing you money. For instance, a task that would usually take your employees an hour to complete with the latest technology could take twice as long with outdated equipment. This not only decreases productivity but also increases the likelihood of errors being made.
Flexibility is key when it comes to retaining Gen Z and millennial employees. They want to be able to have a good work-life balance, and they don't want to be tied down to one location. For example, you could offer flexible hours or the ability to telecommute. You could also offer hybrid working arrangements, where employees split their time between the office and working from home.
Also, if you have two employees who are both interested in reduced hours, you could offer a job-sharing program. Job-sharing programs work by having two employees share the duties of one full-time position. This arrangement is beneficial for employees who want to reduce their hours but don't want to give up their job altogether.
Offer Competitive Benefits
The next generation of workers also wants competitive benefits. They're looking for companies that offer good health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. If you can offer these things, you're more likely to retain your employees.
In addition to offering competitive benefits, you should also make sure that your employees are using them. For example, if you offer a gym membership discount, make sure your employees know about it. You could also offer wellness programs to help your employees stay healthy.
By offering competitive benefits and making sure your employees are using them, you're showing that you care about their well-being. This will go a long way in retaining your employees.
Make Your Workplace Comfortable
Comfort is important to millennials and Gen Z. They want to work in an environment that is comfortable and inviting. This means having things like ergonomic furniture, good lighting, and a comfortable temperature.
You could also offer amenities like a game room or on-site child care. These things will make your workplace more attractive to the next generation of workers.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Finally, you need to keep communication lines open. Millennials and Gen Z want to be able to voice their concerns without fear of retribution. They also want to know that their opinion matters.
To accomplish this, you could hold regular town halls or send out surveys. You could also create an employee resource group or host regular events that allow employees to connect with each other.
By keeping communication lines open, you're showing your employees that you value their opinion. This will go a long way in retaining them.
The bottom line is that if you want to retain your next generation of employees, you need to be willing to meet them halfway. They're looking for development opportunities, a sense of community, and flexibility. If you can offer them these things, you're more likely to keep them around for the long haul.