One of the hottest topics of conversation is the Great Resignation, which led over 38 million people to leave their jobs last year. The trend continues in 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million people left jobs in February. The reasons cited may vary, but employees are essentially unhappy with their current job situation and are unwilling to tolerate the status quo. Most people are not quitting the workforce and staying home. They are moving on to new jobs. While money may factor into the decision to leave a position, the deeper root of employees’ dissatisfaction is often more emotional. The shutdown during the pandemic gave people time to reflect on the quality of their lives. Happiness, work-life balance, and the desire to live a more meaningful life became priorities.
Today’s Rules of Engagement
Research conducted by Flexjobs indicates the 2,202 employees surveyed feel stuck in jobs they dislike—30 percent want to quit. The reasons vary.
1. Toxic company culture (62 percent)
2. Low salary (69 percent)
3. Poor management (56 percent)
4. Lack of work-life balance (49 percent)
5. Not allowing remote work (43 percent)
Workers Want to Get More Rest
A different survey involving Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list identified some of the perks companies offer to attract and retain employees. These include work-life balance specialists, parenting coaches, and handyman services. The survey also allowed employees to select “outlandish” perks they would like to add to the list of possible benefits. The range of possibilities included paid leave after a breakup and meditation sessions with a Buddhist monk. Surprisingly, 43 percent of respondents opted for none of the perks, yet 23 percent selected hangover leave, and 21 percent chose sleep hygiene analysis or a premium subscription to a sleep app. The results show that getting enough sleep and rest is essential to employees. Studies show that 35.2 percent don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. This lack of sleep makes it difficult to focus on long tasks and increases the rate of errors.
How Small Companies Can Attract Employees
Many large corporations can afford to offer talent hefty salaries and over-the-top perks. Small and family-operated businesses have limited hiring budgets. They may need to consider options other than money to increase employee satisfaction. Small companies are in an ideal position to create a welcoming culture where everyone feels like they are part of the team. In large companies, people often feel lost and believe their contributions are overlooked. Small retailers have fewer managers and corporate layers and can quickly address issues that promote an unpleasant work environment. There are several benefits employers can offer to address the reasons employees leave their jobs.
In many instances, a flexible work schedule is more important than receiving a raise. People with young children can save money on childcare expenses when work hours accommodate their family’s situation. Having more flexibility can also ensure that people get enough rest. In these stressful times, it is vital to maintain both physical and mental health. The lack of work-life balance is a primary reason people leave their current jobs.
The ability to develop professionally is a win-win for employees and the company. Encouraging employees to attend training courses, workshops, and seminars keeps them engaged and invested in the company’s future. Online courses can be affordable when they are offered by associations, wholesalers, and manufacturers. When budgets permit, some companies offer tuition reimbursement or cover the cost of certifications.
Sharing Transit Costs
People are struggling to pay the costs of commuting to work. Some companies assist employees with paying for monthly transit passes or gas for their cars. Businesses may not be financially able to pay 100 percent of the cost, but paying half may be doable. Since sustainability ranks high on doing “good for the planet,” carpooling and bike sharing can be practical solutions for commuting short distances. Another option is to have a monthly employee drawing, and the winner receives a gas card. This perk lifts morale and incorporates the fun factor into work.
Competitive Vacation Time
The private industry typically offers 10-14 days of vacation after the first year of employment. The number of days usually increases based on the length of service. Since rest is essential for an employee’s well-being, it is not in their best interest to forgo taking a vacation. Although “Joe” may be the go-to guy for many of the business operations, he will experience burnout and fatigue in time. Larger companies are offering additional vacation time as a perk to persuade people to join the organization. This benefit may be something smaller companies may also want to consider.