How to Fight the Employee Exodus

Officially, the COVID-19 pandemic may have started two years ago, but its side effects are still wreaking havoc in the workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 38 million workers quit their jobs in 2021. With employee resignations rising to record numbers, employers are looking for ways to curb the exodus.

First, why do we have this unprecedented labor shortage? One explanation is that the downtime afforded by the pandemic has inspired many employees to reassess their work/ life balance and look for more fulfilling careers. A new survey conducted by employment consultant Gloat indicates that the situation could get worse.

The pandemic has also made workers reluctant to return to the workplace for a host of other reasons, including:

• Covid health risks
• Early retirements
• Care duties
• Built-up savings

Wages are also rising rapidly. According to the Labor Department wage and benefits paid by employers are growing at their fastest pace since 2001. A Gallup study notes that nearly half of employees are thinking about leaving their current jobs to get better pay or more growth opportunities. Zippia Research claims that after switching jobs an employee’s salary will on average increase 14.8 percent.

In addition to labor supply issues driving up wages, overall inflation is expected to remain high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index reports that the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 7.04 percent in the last 12 months.

Paying higher wages, though often a good solution, may not always be an available option. Nor is it necessarily the right option in many cases. Here are a few options to consider to retain and attract good employees.

No or Low-Cost Solutions
Let employees who work from home continue doing so. Workers have proven during the past two years that they can do their jobs remotely. Plus, many employers are discovering that employees are not ready to give up the flexibility of working from home.

An executive at job site platform Indeed recently pointed out that “the paradigm of work that existed before the pandemic does not exist anymore; it’s gone.” He added that directors are going to have to learn how to manage this new work arrangement. While some people work remotely full time, others might settle for working remotely only some of the time.