Employers today find themselves in a rather unusual labor market. Not only is it difficult to fill open positions, employees are reportedly ‘leaving their jobs in droves,’ according to a recent CNBC article. In August alone, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs – either leaving the workforce entirely or in search of better pay and job security.
If the thought of a mass exodus of employees from your business makes you shudder, here are a few ideas for making your workplace a warm and inviting place.
Strengthen your company’s mission and community impact. As one Inc. article states, the pandemic has caused employees to take a step back and reevaluate the kind of companies they work for; they’re looking for organizations that are people-first and truly want to help the world around them. As one expert puts it, “Individuals want to work where they feel a sense of inclusion and inspiration in what the business is seeking to do.”
Encourage gestures of kindness and support. In an interview with human resources executives, Harvard Business Review found that companies with a strong culture of solidarity gave employees a sense of belonging. One simple way to treat employees well is to give managers the discretion and resources to offer small acts of care as the need arises. These gestures might include gift cards for food-delivery apps, handwritten notes of appreciation or concern, or acknowledging events like birthdays or anniversaries.
Offer paid time off for volunteering. Also known as VTO (volunteer time off), this policy allows employees to volunteer their time to help others without having to dip into their PTO. Company sponsorship of volunteer programs is also recognized as a recruitment strategy, as younger generations indicate that volunteer programs are important.
Don’t forget Fido. One University of Southern California study found that pets in the workplace, “make employees happier, lower stress levels, and create a comfortable, flexible environment. Pets can create camaraderie within the workplace and trigger interactions that may not have happened without them.”
It’s clear that the pandemic has driven many employees to become more introspective about the work they’re doing and how they spend their time. Making the workplace more meaningful and inviting is one way to create an environment that employees won’t want to leave.