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How better people decisions can help companies hold onto talent

Ian White, ChartHop
Ian White
Ian White is the CEO, CTO and founder of ChartHop, a people analytics platform that helps companies improve organizational health, drive alignment and accountability, and save time and money. Previously, he was the founder and CTO of Sailthru and was the first head of engineering at Business Insider.

Professionals are resigning. Boredom, stress and leadership’s inability to provide visibility into a company’s direction are driving the Great Resignation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee turnover continues to rise, with the monthly quit rate reaching a high of 4.5 million in March alone.

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The struggle to retain employees is contributing to a market of seemingly endless job opportunities. Yet many candidates aren’t applying. Instead of finding new opportunities, some candidates are opting not to work, leaving HR teams scrambling to find employees while employers hold on by a thread.

Businesses that choose to operate as they have for decades will continue to find themselves unable to recruit or retain employees. Companies have to make better people decisions to hold on to talent, such as facilitating employee connections, personalizing and prioritizing employee wellbeing, providing visibility into organizational goals and roadmaps, and collecting valuable insight to drive action.

Related: A Great HR Resignation is on the way. Is your organization ready?

Facilitate Employee Connections

A survey of 400 employees revealed that approximately 17% of employees worked from home five or more days a week prior to the pandemic. Today, that number has shot up to 44%. Employees asked to navigate the world of remote work for the first time felt physical separation from their peers and emotional isolation. The feeling of isolation can lead employees to become unmotivated and disconnected from their work.

Technology has and will continue to play a crucial role in keeping employees connected to their peers and managers. Platforms such as Zoom, Slack and Teams help close the isolation gap. However, managers must be mindful of employee wellbeing and facilitate weekly and monthly one-on-one meetings to record feedback, track progress and create meaningful connections, even from afar. The ability to stay connected and aware of employees’ feelings can help managers provide support, build stronger connections and create an exceptional employee experience.

Personalize and Prioritize Employee WellBeing

Organizations often implement a one-size-fits-all approach to enhance their employees’ wellbeing. However, that approach falls short because each employee has a unique skillset and work style. Leaders must learn how to identify these traits and consider them when refining an employee wellbeing model.

According to Gartner, 46% of employees report feeling their organization’s wellbeing program is not personalized to meet individual needs. Organizations can use “About Me” profiles to help employees learn about each other, their work styles and approaches to communication. Surveys alongside people analytics platforms can provide a broader view of the organization, allowing leadership to prioritize and personalize wellbeing programs more efficiently. Doing so allows a better understanding of what employees need to thrive in a company.

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Provide Visibility Into Organizational Goals and Roadmap

Employees who are not a part of the leadership team often find themselves in the dark. When people can’t see how their day-to-day tasks drive growth, they can feel disconnected from the broader company mission. Today’s workforce requires visibility from leadership teams, including managers and executive leadership.

The pandemic is a prime example of the importance of sharing a company roadmap with employees. In the face of adversity, trial or disaster, a comprehensive overview of a company’s plan of action can help employees feel inclined to take action. Providing visibility into an organization’s roadmap lets employees better understand the impact of their work and how it can help meet company goals.

Collect Insight to Drive Action

Employees should feel empowered to share ideas, concerns, feedback and information to contribute to the bigger picture. Organizations that don’t seek employee feedback risk making decisions that prove detrimental to company-wide health. Meanwhile, employees who feel their voice can’t make a difference face disengagement and burnout and will likely add to an organization’s turnover rate.

A Journal of Management Studies survey found that 50% of employees remain silent at work in fear their ideas or feedback will backfire and embarrass themselves, their managers or the company. Managers are responsible for creating a safe space to share ideas and feedback, facilitated through initiatives like 1:1 meetings or anonymous surveys. People analytics can help consolidate feedback, create reports and surface trends in engagement, DE&I initiatives, compensation and overall performance.

An end to the Great Resignation is nowhere in sight. Microsoft reported that approximately 41% of global workers are considering leaving their jobs, citing burnout and dissatisfaction with their employer as key reasons. Until organizations take a genuine interest in employee feedback, prioritize wellbeing and provide visibility into a company’s direction, quit rates will continue to rise.