BusinessDay

Stemming the tide of resignations

Another weekend is upon us. This is great news for some and not so great news for others. If you are meeting and exceeding your targets, then it is great news but if not then the speed at which the weekend comes round each week can be annoying.

This week, we have some tips on how to stem the tide of resignations happening after the pandemic. During the pandemic many people got laid off mainly because of the uncertainty of the future. Now, many workers are feeling that trust and loyalty have been broken and therefore feel they can move jobs without remorse.

There are various reasons why people are resigning. Many people are re-thinking how they want to live their lives after the pandemic. They are leaving in search of more money, more flexibility and more happiness. Some think returning to the workplace may be unsafe and so are opting out for continued remote working.

Many are rethinking what work means to them, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. In normal times, people quitting jobs in large numbers signals a healthy economy with many job opportunities. Unfortunately, these are not normal times.

The pandemic and now the Ukrainian war are leading to a very bad possibly world-wide recession, and there are many people out of jobs, yet many employers are complaining of acute labour shortages.

Over the last year or two, work had gotten too stressful, marked by scant staffing and constant battles with customers (both internal and external) because everybody was stressed out by the happenings. Some people were affected by Covid and some lost loved ones to the virus. This has made it easy to rethink work.

Many are now looking for work with better hours, as family and friends have become more important than almost anything else. People now want to spend more time with family.

Many people have been emboldened by these times in various ways. Many people had to survive on less money than they are used to and have found that even though they want to earn more money, if they must take a pay cut in order to get into a new industry, they can and still manage financially. Many people are training and re-training. There was a lot of time for this during the pandemic.

There are also very many types of “new” jobs emerging in the world for example in AI, coding and the likes that many people, young and old are investing time , energy, hopes and dreams in. Also many people are going into the creative entrepreneurial space.

Many are saying the pandemic gave them time to think of what they really want to do. Nobody wants to be forced into what may make them miserable. It is being said that we have changed, work has changed and the way we think about time and space has changed, which has ultimately made people think about where and when they want to work. Workers now crave the flexibility given to them in the pandemic — which had previously been seemingly unattainable. Work is no longer just about paying the bills. Work must accommodate life.

Read also: Insights: Transitioning from your 9-5 job to owning SME

What must organisations do to stem this trend? They must first start by treating everyone equally. As bad as it might sound, not everybody is equal. Some produce more, some less results. A good performance management system must be in place and regularly implemented. Mediocrity must not be tolerated, and outstanding performance and contributions must be recognised.

In line with the need for flexibility, organisations should look at what thy can do. Continue to allow some people to work remotely, create some fun around being in the office. Things should not be doom and gloom. Workplaces can and should be fun.

Internal communication must be enhanced so that everybody is well informed and therefore there is no space for the grapevine to thrive. Office gossip goes a long way to disrupt and destabilise.

Organisations should train their managers on how to properly manage so they do not get on their teammates’ last nerve by for example, micromanaging them. Apparently, a survey has shown that a large percentage of employees would rather do unpleasant activities – like opt for more work than have a micro-managing manager.

Ensure organisational goals are properly and realistically set and the right tools and systems are put in place. This ensures people are given a clear direction and motivated by good strategy and a good road map to implementation.

Finally, the organisations had better start taking an interest in what interests their employees, like the family. Plan fun activities that can include the family on site and off site.

These may seem like simplistic solutions; however, it is important to understand why people are leaving and make plans to stem the haemorrhaging. There are some you cannot do anything about, like people emigrating to Canada and Australia. Put things in place to stop what you can.

Have a great weekend.