The Bayard Brief: Labor Market Insights — November 2022

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The Long Goodbye: Coming To Terms with the New Employee Retention Reality.

  • 10.20.2022

First it was the pandemic. Then the great resignation. And now it’s quiet quitting. Could things get any uglier for American employers?

Companies continue to grapple with an employee shortage and a skills gap and now a projected 50–75% rise in turnover with 65% of employees re-thinking the work experience in their post-pandemic lives.

 Consider the pandemic’s long tale: In March of 2020, 48.7MM people, about 35% of the workforce still worked from home and stimulus packages created a whole lot of demotivated “thousandaires”. But while the rate stabilized for a year, it’s once again on the rise with a record 4.52MM employees quitting their jobs in March 2022. As it turns out, working-from-home and more time with the family ain’t so bad after all and stressful commutes, office politics, and daily grinds don’t compute in a trade-off analysis.

 Old issues, say hello to new issues,

According to Pew, low pay, lack of opportunities for career advancement, and disrespect have always been the top reasons Americans leave their jobs. But while these issues aren’t so new, the cost-of-living crisis as well as stagnant salaries that no longer cover basic living expenses is exacerbating the problem. And in a remote work world, the more restrictive you are, the more likely someone will bolt for the allure of financial flexibility.

 And the solutions are…

A few rules of the road to consider. For starters, if you’re one of those “everyone back to the office” hold outs, realize that in the same way frictionless commerce suits consumers, frictionless employment works for employees. Just get your arms around the fact that there will always be some employees who take advantage of a flex office policy, yet these same employees will always find a way to bend the rules no matter what your policy is.

 Next, the best communication policy is to over communicate: Increase your performance evaluation cadence, accept feedback more liberally, and allow workers to address any concerns or issues in the workplace without their comments disappearing down a black hole.

 Finally, invest in employee engagement. A million and one stats prove its importance, but not only does an engaging internal brand bond employees to each other and the mission, it drives company performance. The ultimate two-fer.

 Oh yeah, don’t forget that there’s a reason mental health is top of mind: Mental health IS health. Period. And so your sensitivity to workloads and burn-out, plus the need to be a “social” employer matters more than ever.

Bottom Line

Technology-enabled remote work and employees digging in to save money isn’t a trend, it’s your company’s future. This puts a bright hot spotlight on both talent acquisition and HR to drive an employee proposition that galvanizes employees and rewards them with as many zero-cost intangibles as possible. 

You may not stop them all from bailing, but you can start driving a repetitional change that pays you back big time.

100 years strong.

Bayard has been developing recruitment and retention strategies for yes, a century. And now, as the nation’s premier partner for some of the world’s leading brands, we’re here to help companies leverage cost effective retention strategies and the full range of peerless services for TA and HR.

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