Companies need to know how to retain employees — especially now. People are burned out. The rate of employees quitting jobs is at all-time highs. It’s called “The Great Resignation.”
“People are quitting in droves because they realize there’s more to life than a paycheck,” said Jenn Lim, co-founder and CEO of consulting firm, Delivering Happiness.
Whether your company is in-person, remote or hybrid, “the most important thing to remember is that your business needs to be human, too,” she said. But, you can stem the tide of employee exodus by focusing your time and money on the issue.
Care About Their Whole Self To Retain Employees
People stick around a job because their purpose and values are aligned with your company. And it’s important employees feel managers genuinely care about them, Lim says.
Keep this front and center, she emphasizes: “Make your purpose and values real, not just meaningless words on the wall,” said Lim, who wrote “Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose And People For Growth And Impact.”
Many managers try to keep employees by offering them opportunities to learn new skills or personal development. But only goes so far, Lim says.
“People’s emotional, physical and financial states are what’s top of mind for them,” Lim said. “If you want them highly engaged and loyal, they should be top of mind for you, too.”
True alignment, Lim says, comes when everyone in the organization — from front-liners to the executives — can answer these two questions: What’s in it for me? What’s in it for all?
Set The Example To Retain Employees
Be open and vulnerable with employees. People should share who they are as a person, not just as a colleague or supervisor, said Jen Fisher, Deloitte’s chief well-being officer in the U.S. Fisher leads Deloitte’s strategy and innovation around work-life, health and wellness.
When you show you’re comfortable bringing your authentic self to work, others will too, she said. “This helps build trust and creates a psychologically safe environment, which is foundational to relationship-centered workplace cultures,” said Fisher. Fisher is co-author of “Work Better Together: How to Cultivate Strong Relationships to Maximize Well-Being and Boost Bottom Lines.”
Encourage your teams to come up with agreed upon “tech hygiene best practices” for in-person or virtual meetings, Fisher said. Habits like closing down all applications and putting away phones eliminates likely distractions.
This fosters the very personal connectivity meetings are about in the first place, especially virtual ones.
Lead With Empathy To Retain Employees
One of Fisher’s favorite exercises comes from Brene Brown, a bestselling author and college professor at the University of Houston.
Brown suggests starting meetings or calls by having all the participants name two emotions they’re feeling. Fisher says this helps managers understand where everybody is at emotionally without asking anybody to divulge personal details.
If you hear that people are down, you can pivot and have a different kind of meeting, Fisher said. Or, if one particular person is having a hard day, you can circle back and see if the person needs support in some way.
Don’t Fall Prey To Workstyle Myths
You might think the workplace is no place to make friends, have appropriate fun, or feel joy. If so, then you have fallen prey to myths that can create a toxic workplace culture, Fisher says.
“Relationships are the No. 1 driver of health, happiness and longevity,” she said. “Considering that we spend a third to half of our waking hours at work, the workplace is a critical place for developing these meaningful connections.”
Having strong social connections at work isn’t just about giving employees those feel-good fuzzies, Fisher said. It’s also good for business.
“Friends and fun at work keep people engaged, committed, creative and innovative — all of which will positively impact your bottom line,” Fisher said.
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