A Pandemic, Employee Turnover, Supply Shortages, and Increasing Costs – Where is the Hope for Business Owners?

In June 2021, The Predictive Index surveyed 1,906 employees from more than 15 different industries. The goal was to understand what exactly is contributing to the “Great Resignation,” and see whether managers impact employees’ decision to stay or leave. Not surprisingly, the “Great Resignation” originated in the service industry as numbers of employees were dealing with Covid-19 issues such as face-to-face interactions, health and safety concerns and closings. But even as other industries along with the service industry began to return to on-site operations they all started encountering retention issues. The research conducted by The Predictive Index discovered it is less to do with safety concerns as it does with management issues and employee engagement.

The study found that nearly one in two respondents have considered a career change in the past year. When asked why, the surprising answer was not that they feel unsafe returning to the on-site place of employment but more that it had to do with their managers. Of those respondents who said they had bad managers, 63% considered quitting in the next year and 70% also responded that their coworkers are considering leaving as well.

No one can deny that the past two years have been tough for anyone in management. A lot of decisions and actions regarding operations of any type of business has been challenging. Trying to keep safety protocols in place, constant staffing shortages due to Covid sickness and employee turnover is enough to drive any manager crazy. Even the best of managers have difficulty when it comes to keeping employees engaged, motivated and highly productive in the best environment but add the challenges of a pandemic, supply shortages, increasing costs and employee turnover to the mix and you have what could be felt as a hopeless situation.

When it comes to employee retention, there is hope. Some relatively simple actions on a business owners’ part can make all the difference in turning things around. Here are the following key ideas to consider:

  1. Consider having an assessment of the current hiring process. Does it include recruiting in the right venues for the type of employees needed? Does the position have a job description and has the key criteria for a good fit been thought out? Are behavioral interview questions used as well as functional questions? Are personality or behavioral assessments used? A well defined and organized hiring process is key to hiring the best employees.
  2. Create an effective onboarding program that ensures the new employee meets their team, understands the mission, values and policies of the business. A positive onboarding experience will build confidence, trust and positive impact with a new employee.
  3. Consider investing in training workshops for employees that show exceptional leadership qualities and potential. Topics such as Effective Communication, Coaching Excellent Customer Service, Emotional Intelligence, Trust, Conflict Management, Effective Supervisory Skills, and Time Management are all good solid foundations for an emerging leader to have.
  4. Finally, team building can increase employee engagement on the job. Employees that feel isolated or believe that no one has their back are much more likely to leave. An employee is highly likely to stay with a company where they feel that they have coworkers that they trust and work well together.

Businesses that invest in their employees development have a much higher chance of recruiting, hiring and retaining employees that stay for the long term and become a high performing team. This of course, in turn, results in a highly productive and profitable business for years to come.