In December 2021, 4.3 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs. With workers continuing to leave their jobs at record-breaking numbers, many small businesses are left struggling to both find and retain employees.
Here are a few of the most common reasons employees are quitting their jobs and tips for how to prevent them from leaving:
- They Want More Flexibility
The pandemic caused people to rethink their priorities and their work-life balance. After getting a taste of remote work, many employees began to see the benefits of no commute, being able to spend more time with their families, flexible hours, and the comfort of working from home. According to Joblist’s latest Job Market Report, 61% of all job seekers are interested in remote job opportunities for 2022. Of workers currently working remotely at least part of the time, 45% say they would quit if their employer required full-time in-person work in 2022.
While not every industry can function remotely or allow for flexible working hours, if your company has the opportunity to accommodate employees by offering a less rigid schedule or the possibility of working from home, you may want to consider it. Not only will it increase job satisfaction for your current employees, but it will also allow your company to open itself up to a broader pool of job seekers. If you’re hesitant to give it a shot, start small by implementing one work from home day per week and see how it goes. Or try allowing employees to begin working a couple of hours later, earlier, or even in the evening to better accommodate their individual schedules.
- Toxic Work Culture
A recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review found that a toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry-adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover. According to the study, the leading elements contributing to toxic cultures include failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior.
If you think a toxic corporate culture may be the culprit for your hiring or retention problems, you need to take a long look at your current culture and values. Here are a few tips to help you improve your company culture:
- Host team building events to foster a positive atmosphere for employees
- Recognize your team’s achievements and celebrate their wins
- Create contests to spark motivation and engagement
- Embrace differences and keep diversity and inclusion at the core of your culture
- Promote wellbeing and the importance of caring for your mental health
- Create a mentoring program for newer team members.
- Poor Communication from Leadership
How often do you check in with your staff members to ask them how it’s going, give them feedback, or ask them for their input? If your answer isn’t a resounding “frequently”, then your employees may not feel heard, they may not feel valued, and they probably aren’t going to stick around for very long. It’s no fun to question where you stand, if your boss is satisfied with your performance, and what you should be working towards achieving.
In order to keep employees engaged and prevent them from feeling disconnected, make it a point to meet with them on a regular basis and listen to their challenges. Be sure to ask them for feedback to determine how you, as their employer, can improve. Find out what they are struggling with and if they feel overwhelmed. As a leader, it’s so important to be accessible to your team members and to be a good communicator. Want to get a clear picture of how your staff feels? Consider implementing a quarterly employee engagement survey.
With record-breaking numbers of Americans quitting their jobs during the last year, The Great Resignation is showing no signs of slowing down in 2022. Businesses across the country need to reevaluate their policies to be able to retain their best employees and attract new ones.
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