This year’s “Great Resignation” has led employers to reevaluate their recruitment and retention strategies and come up with new, timely ways to reduce turnover in their organizations.

COVID has accelerated the concept of flexibility as many employees worried about being able to take care of their children while working from home. Studies have shown that 72% of employees don’t have childcare and 67% of full-time working parents have been stressed about figuring out childcare during the pandemic. 2021 has encouraged businesses to find ways to support working parents and caregivers not only in the short-term, but also finding long-term solutions that increase engagement and retention.

Companies have also changed the way they recruit by promoting more flexible schedules for employees. The pandemic along with the challenging talent market have opened up the flexibility to recruit talent through emphasizing the remote work possibility. This past year has shown how employees can work from home and still grow their careers with the right support and resources. Managers are exploring new policies to continue building the remote work environment either within certain departments or positions, or broadly across the organization. Providing personalized flexibility has been crucial for managers to help employees accomplish their needs and goals. They’ve learned that approaching individuals through meaningful communication has provided the greatest impact in learning what type of flexibility has the most success.

While remote work certainly has its positives, the shift to the virtual world has also put a large toll on employees and their mental health. Studies have shown 42% of employees had their mental health decline since the pandemic began, and 44% of employees who are now working from home say their mental health has declined. Companies have worked hard to find ways of encouraging and appreciating their employees and have been leveraging well-being programs to help. Understanding what behavioral health services are available to your employees through physical, social, mental, and financial options will be beneficial to set your company apart in the new year.

Another strategy that many employers are using to reduce turnover is to conduct “stay interviews” at strategic times throughout the year to proactively check on employee engagement. This has provided a great opportunity for companies to set themselves apart from others. Through these interviews, they’ve learned what employees need in order to improve their wellness and engagement while working virtually or starting to return to the office. Employers have also created new ways to continue supporting individuals’ career plans and progressions within their company while working remotely. Interviews and regular check-in meetings can help organizations better understand their employees’ wants and needs as we go into the new year.

While there are strong hopes for less pandemic-related challenges next year, it’s essential to stay engaged with your employees and their well-being now to retain talent. To learn more about how your organization can increase retention now and into the future, contact a Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) advisor.

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