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February 18, 2022

From The Great Resignation To The Great Return: Bringing Back The Workforce

According to CNN, 47.4 million jobs were left voluntarily last year. The challenge America now faces is enticing these people to reenter the workforce. Still, the Great Resignation has primarily been driven by the effects of the pandemic, such as wanting fewer hours, more flexibility at work, and a general feeling of exhaustion. One of the […]

According to CNN, 47.4 million jobs were left voluntarily last year. The challenge America now faces is enticing these people to reenter the workforce. Still, the Great Resignation has primarily been driven by the effects of the pandemic, such as wanting fewer hours, more flexibility at work, and a general feeling of exhaustion. One of the downsides is that people are less connected to their employer, not just because of the amount of work they’re doing, but how they’ve been doing it for such a prolonged period. As a result, companies struggle to retain employees when other opportunities are abundant, and employees are susceptible to being “sold” on these new options. 

According to Guenther Eisinger, cofounder of Omnipresent, the answer is a remote work policy. “Teams not hiring remotely are discovering a drastic staffing disadvantage,” he says. “The pandemic and resulting digital transformation revolution have created new realities and possibilities in the way people work.” 

Consequently, Eisinger believes this is the time to be re-examining the current employment strategies within organizations and leveraging what this new work environment needs to look like for the future. The prioritized importance of ensuring a work-life balance means that companies have to be empathetic, first and foremost, to attract good talent. He adds, “Flexibility and personalizing the employee experience are also important for the changing needs of millennials and Gen Z in the workplace, and ensures employees have options to work in the way that works best for them.”

This view is consistent with Cornerstone’s chief talent officer, Kimberly Cassady. She concludes that exits have now gone beyond those who resigned due to dissatisfaction and reached those who would not have otherwise considered leaving based on the potential of the opportunity, morphing this period into the Great Recruitment. “Your teams are getting calls, so why not be more transparent with them? Highlight how much your organization has hired this year, emphasizing how market conditions have created a game of musical chairs,” she says. “Think of them as a new candidate considering your company and double down on your brand, mission, culture, and values.” 

Subsequently, Cassady suggests posing this simple question and having a discussion about their potential, “If you are being contacted and you find yourself interested in the opportunity, I want you to ask yourself, is there a reason why you can’t do that job here?” This primes the discussion to talk about their perception of opportunities, roadblocks, and challenges and empowers you as the leader to be proactive before a resignation letter comes in.

However, the biggest challenge is putting enormous pressure on employees who don’t want to leave their job. Since talent leaders can’t fill open roles fast enough, employees that want to stay have had to take on the employment of multiple people in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities. In addition to that, it’s a candidate’s market, and job seekers have many job options and often have multiple offers. As a result, companies have to make hiring decisions faster and offer better benefits to attract talent and stand out among other companies. Another challenge, according to Cassady, is that employees are missing key connections points in this remote environment. “We have found that some of the key factors in retaining your workforce are that people need to feel connected to the company’s mission, the company’s leaders, and a connection to the team they work with.” In addition, she adds, “Talent leaders must continue to create communities within their company to retain their employees.”

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.

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