Human Resources: How to Attract and Retain Talent in The Midst of the “Big Quit”?

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The pandemic, as we know, has had a considerable impact on the world of work by accelerating its dislocation. There has recently been talk of the “Big Quit”, particularly in the United States, where a record number of people have quit their jobs, with more than 73% of workers thinking of leaving. In August 2021 alone, 4,3 million people decided to quit their jobs in the United States. That’s a lot.

For many, the pandemic has been an opportunity to rethink their careers, working conditions and long-term goals. While many companies tried to bring their employees in person, many of them ended up enjoying teleworking, an option that had been offered or even imposed during the pandemic. And for good reason: teleworking brings with it flexibility of schedule, not to mention a better work/life balance.

According to an Adobe study, this exodus is being driven more by Millennials and Generation Z. More than half of them said they plan to look for a new job in the next year.

With the looming labor shortage, how do you attract and retain talent? Without proposing a miracle solution, I think that there are some paths worth exploring.

Of course, there is the extension of benefits or salary increases. Too easy. This is hardly a sufficient patch to stem the tide of resignations. And salary is no longer the top priority for young people (although it still ranks in the top 5).

Give work a meaning seems to me to be much more interesting. Yes, I know, a lot of people talk about that. But for a good reason. If you can’t explain to your employees why they do what they do, you’re in trouble.

Everyone, you, me, is looking for meaning. Life is short. If on top of that you have to spend most of your life doing what you’re told or doing a job that doesn’t make you happy, chances are you’ll end up among the frustrated people who regret not having taken full advantage of it and especially not having done something they would have dreamed of doing.

So, give meaning to your company, give it a clear mission, and if possible, defend a just cause that goes beyond you. It will attract the support of your staff and attract those who are looking for this meaning. All the studies show that the simple fact of giving meaning to what you do has the effect of making you more fulfilled and more engaged in your work. And I’m not talking about your stakeholders, especially your customers. They would much rather buy the product or service of a company that pursues a just cause than a company that focuses only on its results.

Also, make sure your employees can reconnect with each other. Teleworking has created a disconnect between people. Remember, we are social animals. A Harvard University study, famous for its length (80 years!) demonstrates, if anything, that social interaction is an essential factor in happiness, and longevity.

Add to this a dose of empathy and compassion, by being attentive to their mental health and their concerns. Everyone is stressed. If you add to that by putting them under more pressure, it won’t work.

Facilitate solidarity actions within the company. There is nothing like volunteering or sponsoring skills to make you happy. It’s serotonin, which, as everyone knows, is the happiness hormone. There is no shortage of platforms that allow this kind of thing. But if you choose one, make sure it’s fun. You can offer the best volunteering platform in the world to your employees, but if it’s not fun to use, I guarantee they will never use it.

And last but not least. Walk the Talk. Make the company the embodiment of its mission. If you just write a charter or make pretty ESG reports because it looks good, it will be noticed. The company has to exude meaning from every pore and do everything to make its employees feel good. A company that has a lot of burnouts will quickly get a bad reputation and no one will go there.

If these tips are not enough for you, you can always contact me. Employee engagement is my thing

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