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The Great Resignation: How to Re-energize and Retain Your Staff

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Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

It’s all over LinkedIn and the news: a wave of workers, mostly young Canadians, want to leave their jobs in a phenomenon coined as the Great Resignation. A recent survey by global staffing firm Robert Half has uncovered that nearly 33% of employed generation Z and millennials plan to pursue a new career in the near future. A similar report by Microsoft also found that 41% of the entire global workforce, regardless of age, is considering handing in their resignation. Even though these survey numbers are about future intent and may not reflect actual resignations, these numbers are nevertheless extremely high and concerning for employers. Let’s look at the reasons why and ways to retain staff through this reality.

Current Trends

It’s no secret. The pandemic profoundly reshaped the workplace as we knew it. As things stand, the following has been uncovered:

  • Flexible work is here to stay (73% of employees want flexible remote work to stay and will consider leaving a position if such options disappear)
  • Leaders are out of touch with employees (54% of employees feel overworked while 61% of business leaders report they are thriving—a stark contrast)
  • High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce (31% of millennials are struggling with low morale and most are experiencing digital burnout)
  • Generation Z is most at risk and needs to be re-energized (60% feel overworked, struggle getting a word in during meetings, lack engagement and excitement for work, and don’t feel as if they can bring new ideas to the table. Most of them have not experienced in-person onboarding, networking, and training)
  • Shrinking networks are endangering innovation (while interactions with immediate teams increased with remote work, contact with more distant networks diminished, creating silos)
  • Authenticity spurs productivity and wellbeing (employees want transparent managers and leaders that openly acknowledge issues and address them collaboratively)
  • Talent is everywhere in a hybrid world (being able to work from anywhere has opened a world of possibilities for most employees, who can now technically work for companies located just about anywhere)

Practical Solutions

  • Create hybrid workplaces, which allow in-person collaboration AND remote work. A location-centred approach will now push people away. Most have reshaped their lives to fit the new reality and have no desire to return to a physical workplace full time. However, humans are social beings and want to connect, bounce ideas around and experience in-person events. As such, physical space is still relevant. Talk to your teams, see what they want, and work around that. A top-down and rigid approach will not be useful to retain staff.
  • If possible, meet with people individually. This can be done in person (ideally) or remotely (for businesses with employees spanned across the country). Since many business leaders are disconnected from workforce concerns, it’s important to uncover why people are struggling. If your company is large and has middle management, create that space for your team leaders as well. They know the operational kinks and will have valuable insight to offer.
  • Boost morale with special events and motivate your staff with gift cards. People are fatigued and feel overworked. Counter that by pressing reset! Now that it’s generally safe to do so across the country, reunite your people. If your staff is spread out, orchestrate micro gatherings. Plan a staff BBQ, organize a golf tournament, and most importantly, reward your people. Take time to acknowledge openly that things have been challenging and place your employees in the spotlight. Offer kind words, express how each individual made a contribution in great detail and offer everyone a gift card to thank them. They’ll leave with a renewed sense of appreciation for the workplace and carry that through as they shop for something they want!

As always, Gift Card Warehouse is committed to supporting companies who stand out and nurture their employees with gift card rewards. Reach out and let us assist you as you navigate this critical time in workplace history. Our dedicated customer service representatives will help every step of the way.