1. Definition of the Great Attrition phenomenon
The Great Attrition is a current phenomenon whereby large numbers of employees are leaving companies, and companies are struggling to retain the best talent. This phenomenon has been maximised in the post-COVID economic environment, the nature of the workplace has changed, and it has been demonstrated that it is possible to work from anywhere in many cases, and this has led to a shift in employees’ priorities as well. To meet the challenge of the Great Attrition, companies need to adapt, adjust, and be highly attractive in a global environment if they are to retain the best people and not suffer the significant economic and social impact of unprecedented turnover.
2. Causes of the Great Attrition
The main reason companies struggle to stop the Great Attrition is simple: they just don’t get it According to a Deloitte report, “Global Human Capital Trends”, although companies are aware of the consequences of talent drain, they are still not finding ways to prevent it. The general consensus is that the main reason for talent drain is the perception of not feeling valued. In a report by McKinsey, 54% of employees leave because they do not feel valued by their company, 52% of managers would leave for the same reason, and 51% because they do not feel a sense of belonging to the organisation.
As we all know, the pandemic has changed the way we work. A hybrid working model is now possible and is highly valued and appreciated, and this requires adjustments in culture, leadership, management and understanding of the new competitive talent environment. Employees have experienced greater freedom and independence in their work, for example, being able to work from home allows them to save time and money on commuting, spend more time with their families and certainly to improve their work-life balance.
A major concern for employers is that the Great Attrition is not limited to certain industries. Horizontal Solutions Group has said that “brain drain cuts across any type or size of company … and is a consequence of the conscious decisions made about the organisation, the strategies implemented and the organisational culture”.
Indeed, in a survey conducted by McKinsey, 40% of employees interviewed said that are at least “somewhat likely” to leave their current job in the next 3-6 months. As options for employees increase, such as the increased ability to work from home, the Great Attrition may continue to grow, and companies could see more employees leaving their jobs.
3. Tips to avoid the Great Attrition in your company
However, the picture is not entirely bleak. If employers make the right changes and strive to retain their employees and meet some of their demands, the Great Attrition could become the Great Attraction. The pandemic has changed what people want and expect from their work and their employers, and this will continue to change as new approaches to hybrid work are implemented.
Companies need to ensure that their employees have the skills to work better in a new and changing environment. This may involve upskilling or reskilling programmes. According to an article in El Nuevo Siglo, “to ensure the retention and motivation of all employees, organisations must ensure their continuous development and empowerment”. An article in Info Capital Humano supports this by suggesting that “training and feedback are key to making a company more attractive in the eyes of its employees”.
By offering professional development opportunities, employers can make their employees feel more valued and therefore create incentives for workers to stay. If employees feel that they acquire and develop new skills, it can also mean that they feel more recognised for their work and are more inclined to stay in their current position.
Companies should implement practices that not only encourage their current employees to stay, but also attract new talent. It is important that companies provide not only a job for their employees, but also a place where people can learn, grow and enjoy their work. In addition to implementing development programmes, another factor of great importance to employees is their personal wellbeing. The development of wellbeing policies can help support employees in their work, making them happier in the workplace and therefore happier in their job and less likely to leave. The implementation of such policies can also have external benefits. If potential candidates see that a company really cares and invests in its employees, it will be much easier for companies to attract the best talent.
In conclusion, the lesson to be learned here is to listen to employees’ requests and needs and align them with the company’s goals. Whether it is offering training opportunities or taking the opportunity to align your company’s benefits with employees’ priorities, the best and easiest way to reduce the talent drain, and turn the Great Attrition to the Great Attraction, is to value your employees.