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The Great Resignation: Here’s What You Can Do to Decrease Turnover

by The Leadership Development Group

In the past year, record numbers of Americans have left their jobs—4.3 million people resigned in January 2022 alone—prompting what economists have dubbed The Great Resignation. Covid left workers re-evaluating their priorities, leading a lot of Americans to seek a healthier work-life balance than their current position, find a job with higher pay or better benefits, and in some cases, switch careers entirely. Industries that experienced extreme demand during the pandemic have been hit hardest by The Great Resignation, with a 3.6% increase in healthcare resignations from the previous year. The wave of resignations shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, so finding ways to decrease turnover is imperative for leadership.

Improve Retention By Looking Within at Current Talent

The first step to improve employee retention is to know your data to make informed decisions. Start with understanding your turnover rate (the number of resignations per year divided by your total number of employees) Then, identify why employees are leaving to understand underlying root causes. Are team members consistently reporting feeling overworked or underappreciated? Did you recently downsize? Do employees find their role unfulfilling? Sit down with current employees and listen to their concerns so that you can address them as you form your retention plans. 

Another way to enhance retention is to build the talent within your organization. One newly open position could potentially be a great fit for an employee already intimately familiar with your business operations and goals. “Every organization is like its own city—full of talent, potential, skills, passions, and capabilities—many of which remain untapped,” notes Senior Vice President of Client Solutions, Tara Satlow, P.h.D., “There are likely creatives within your IT team that could excel at marketing or people-oriented managers that could bring a fresh perspective to your HR team. Talent management and OD professionals should be thinking about how to build and empower existing talent to better leverage their strengths as an engagement strategy.” 

According to one Harvard Business Review survey, 68% of employees are willing to learn new skills. Looking inwards towards already present talent and properly utilizing it can help improve employee engagement and morale, increasing satisfaction and retention. TLD Group Vice President of Client Solutions, Rosemary Bloser emphasizes why you should look within: “Oftentimes in our work with clients we find that employees do not want to leave their organization, they just want to leave their role. This creates important opportunities for retention.”

Design a Retention Plan That Incorporates Leadership Development

Once you have a solid grasp on reasons employees may be leaving, start crafting an informed retention plan based around combatting the issues leading to turnover and looking at internal talent for potential role changes. For female-dominated spaces, you may want to consider offering expanded childcare options or increased flexibility to support working mothers. Rosemary Bloser, VP of Client Solutions, points out the growing number of mothers leaving jobs during the Great Resignation: "Many of the individuals leaving the workforce during this period are female in part due to the heavy stresses of the pandemic and the impact on schools and childcare." It’s important to evaluate your team’s values outside of the workplace when looking for ways to improve job satisfaction. 

When planning strategies to increase retention, investing in leadership development may be the perfect way to help your business thrive. Investing in leadership development can help combat burnout by empowering your team to better utilize their talents. Research shows that employees with a high level of confidence in their company’s leadership are five times more likely to remain at their current place of employment. "Recently a health system client of ours suffered a nearly 30% turnover rate amongst their nursing staff,” shares Tara Satlow, P.h.D, “They used this as an opportunity to look at how to rejigger the way that care was delivered throughout their organization and ultimately decided to elevate the role of nurse to a more leadership-heavy position—simultaneously empowering allied health professionals to take on more." Leadership development provides solutions to high turnover while preparing your organization to better solve potential issues in the future.

Adhere to Succession Planning

While combating turnover is imperative for maintaining a strong business, it’s safe to expect annual turnover as a natural part of your organization. After all, some resignations are the result of unavoidable lifestyle changes, such as employees relocating to a new city or retiring. Building a succession plan will help make these transitions smoother. On all levels, promoting internally when a team member leaves the organization and having a set plan in place gives employees more confidence both in themselves and in leadership. A succession plan is crucial for creating a stable environment—both for employees and management—something that becomes imperative with the high turnover rate of the Great Resignation. 

When developing a succession plan, looking at and enhancing your understanding of internal talent is absolutely critical. "When working with clients on succession management processes, we often go through a process to identify the experiences, strengths, and learning opportunities of existing talent, as well as where this talent wants to grow and develop," shares TLD Group President and CEO, Tracy Duberman, P.h.D. Investing in leadership development helps you become better at identifying talent within your organization, helping you build a business that is prepared at every turn.

Final Thoughts

The Great Resignation has created an issue of intense turnover in the healthcare industry. Preparing your business by creating retention and succession plans is absolutely crucial to remain stable amid the growing changes of the post-pandemic workplace. 

Our team can help with the design and implementation of retention and succession plans to build up the talent already present within your organization. Get in touch with us and our expert team will help you build retention and succession plans tailored to your business.

Topics: Leadership Development, Leadership, Virtual Teaming, Leadership Resources, Team Development