New Year, New Job?

New Year, New Job?

By Mark Probert
The start of a new year is the time when many people will be reflecting on the past year, re-aligning themselves with their goals and reassessing what they want in the year to come. Couple that with the fact that people are quitting their jobs at a record pace in what’s been dubbed the Great Resignation and there’s a high chance that some of your employees are thinking of leaving.

At a time when everyone is reassessing what they want, it makes sense to reinforce why your employees should stay with you. 

Remind Your People of Your Organisational Purpose

One employee retention study by People Insight found that the number one reason employees stay with organisations relates to company purpose, but according to McKinsey only 42% think their organisation’s purpose drives impact. Employees are looking for meaning and fulfilment from their work. They stay loyal to companies that stand for something. If they buy-in to your purpose they’ll stay loyal, and if they don’t it makes sense for them to move on to somewhere they can connect with.

If you already have a strong company purpose, now’s the time to remind your employees what it is and make sure they understand how it translates into their everyday job. Have sessions for each team in your organisation that helps them understand how the purpose fits in with what they do on a daily basis. And get them to create a version of the deeper narrative that’s relevant for their team.

If you don’t have a strong company purpose, now is the time to create one. A company purpose that unites and motivates needs deep reflection on what you and your people believe in and stand for. 

But Don’t Guess, Ask Your Employees What They Actually Think

The best way to create a purpose that your people genuinely believe in is to involve them in its creation. And if your people may be thinking of leaving, there’s no better time to listen to how they feel.

Listening has a big impact on employee engagement and retention. According to Qualtrics, engagement rises to 61% for those whose company has a feedback program, compared to 45% for those without. And, analysis by Engagement Multiplier found that businesses where employees scored purpose 75+ (out of 100) experience retention that is 4x higher than businesses where the score is less than 50.

How you choose to ‘listen’ is up to you, but I would suggest you use a survey to find out how your people are feeling and strengthen your company’s purpose so you can collate the information in a structured way. Make sure the survey is anonymous, so employees are able to express their honest concerns and desires without fear of upsetting you. Then make sure you take necessary measures to address their concerns and their ideas to prove that you are listening.

The start of the new year, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, has got people everywhere re-evaluating their lives and goals, and many will be assessing how their job fits in. Employers need to be ready to fulfil their employees’ need for a strong sense of purpose and a desire to be listened to, or be prepared to lose them.

If you listen to how your employees are feeling and show them that they are integral to your organisational goals, they will feel energised, loyal and proud to stand by an organisation that is aligned with their personal values. And, getting it right doesn’t just do brilliant things for employee retention, but also to company performance. Do you have any advice on how to improve employee retention? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

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