With reports that up to 55% of employees are looking to change jobs in the next year, these are anxious times to be an employer—particularly a small employer, where the loss of an employee can be highly disruptive. This phenomenon—dubbed “The Great Resignation”—need not be a negative to your organization, and can work to your favor when you commit to being an employer of choice. Here are two principles that can help you attract the great talent that’s in search of a new home, and retain some of your most valuable people:
1) Embrace geographic flexibility. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, in many industries, remote work accommodations made necessary by the pandemic are becoming a permanent feature of the way our people want work. Leading global brands are recognizing this new reality and building this into their talent acquisition and retention plans. By taking a fresh look at how more of your company’s work can be done by remote employees, you can not only meet the new expectations of many of your current-but-looking staff…but also help you attract talent far from your offices.
Of course, there are some significant challenges inherent in enabling a remote employee to be successful. These challenges range from cultural issues (how do we encourage buy-in to our culture and values when we aren’t physically together?) to compliance headaches (how do we deal with employment laws and tax filings in states where our remote employees live, but we otherwise have no presence?) Fortunately, Professional Employer Organizations – such as Questco, where I serve as CEO – are designed to work with the small business to handle these concerns efficiently and effectively.
2) Treasure your managers. With so many front-line jobs unfilled, it’s often overlooked that our middle managers are forced to step in personally to close the gap. There are unprecedented demands on managers’ time and focus, which creates a real danger that their needs are overlooked. Even more challenging, we are often calling on our managers to be more sensitive to the needs of our rank-and-file staff…even as these managers are prime targets for attractive offers elsewhere, and may feel disconnected from the decisions being made and the culture they are asked to support.
This group is precious, and needs specific support. It’s crucial to open new communications avenues that are individualized, authentic, and safe. It’s an ideal time for more senior leaders to embark on career-centered conversations with junior managers, so that we more completely understand their challenges, viewpoints, and personal career expectations. If we don’t take the time to listen to our managers, their next employer will.
Those that adapt to the new dynamism and changing expectations of the workforce will be rewarded with unprecedented access to great talent and the competitive advantages that talent creates. There’s never been a more exciting time to be a thoughtful, team-centered employer.
Originally posted on Forbes.com.