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6 Small Changes to Make to Attract and Retain Talent Amidst the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation continues full speed ahead as the Labor Department recently reported that more people quit jobs in August 2021 than any month in the past 20 years. 

Why are people resigning? 

Everyone’s story is unique, but 40 percent cite burnout as the chief reason. Burnout at work can come from a host of contributing factors including: 

  • Too much communication and meetings
  • Feeling tethered to devices
  • Feeling overwhelmed by job load and responsibilities
  • Not having a fully-staffed team
  • Toxic culture
  • Lack of recognition
  • Seeing no path to advancement 
  • Lack of clear boundaries between work time and personal time

In a poll on the McKinley Marketing Partners LinkedIn page, 52% of respondents cited lack of work/life balance as the chief reason they have felt burned out at work. 

And with the COVID-19 pandemic not quite in our rearview mirrors, feeling burned out may simply occur from the exhaustion of dealing with the trauma of almost two years of fear, uncertainty, sickness, and death.

So with a workforce feeling burned out, what can employers do to attract and retain strong talent? 

The answer is complex, but implementing small, incremental changes that keep employee wellness top of mind can make all the difference. Here are six practical ways to build a culture that will energize team members and help them avoid burning out. 

6 Small Changes to Make to Attract and Retain Talent Amidst the Great Resignation

  1. Be mindful with scheduling. Help people feel less fatigue by the end of the day by scheduling down time between meetings. Don’t require people to sit in back-to-back video calls. Give them enough time to go to the bathroom, grab a snack or take a quick walk to the mailbox.
  2. Build a culture of vulnerability and emotional support. Demonstrate letting your guard down and sharing how you actually are. People are more satisfied in jobs where they feel supported holistically. 
  3. Make your team feel that it’s safe to share about life outside of work. Communicate that this is a culture where it’s ok to share what’s actually happening in your day and in your life. If you are caring for a sick child, let them know. If you take a call while out walking your dog, that’s ok. Normalize work-life integration. 
  4. Prioritize connecting your employees with their passions and values. Since COVID, a lot of people have had realizations that their work does not feel meaningful to them. Check in with employees to see if their work is feeling aligned with their personal motivations and goals. How can their job morph to feel more meaningful? Help identify new opportunities that may exist within the organization to help them increase personal alignment. 
  5. Demystify the path to advancement and raises. In the hiring process and beyond, clearly convey what is required to advance in your organization. What accomplishments need to occur to be considered for a salary increase? Paint a clear picture for employees so they stay engaged and moving forward. 
  6. Give people the option to take meetings in whatever way they feel most comfortable and engaged. Free people up to join meetings via phone, with video on, or video off. After working remotely for 18+ months, people are “Zoomed out.” So while making sure team members are engaged and contributing, make sure they know it’s ok to turn off their cameras from time to time.  

If your organization is one of the thousands that find themselves short-staffed and hard-pressed to find the talent that is desperately needed, consider implementing some of these changes to make your existing team members a little more engaged and energized. It could be the difference between someone giving notice or not. 

by McKinley Marketing Partners