Why “Leftover Enthusiasts” are the key to ending the Great Resignation

Americans are quitting their jobs at a staggering rate, making it an exciting time to look for a new job as recruiters do all they can to woo new workers.

But as companies push recruiting efforts into high gear, management researchers say they neglect the real stars of the workforce: the enthusiasts.

These are employees who are currently happy in their jobs and want to stay with the company, despite changes to their roles during the pandemic or under added stress during times of high turnover.

People who stay enthusiastic are more engaged, productive and help businesses make more money, according to research published in the Journal of Managerial Issues. They also represent over a third of the workforce.

The more organizations focus on hiring new workers rather than recognizing and promoting the people who stay, the more revenue they will see down the road, Georgetown management professor and professor of management told CNBC. author of the study, “unless the organization does something about it.”

Businesses too focused on recruiting during the Great Resignation

When companies face labor shortages, they are more likely to relax their hiring standards, Holtom says. At the same time, offering monetary perks like flashy hiring bonuses, retirement benefits, help with tuition fees, and even higher wages can quickly attract workers.

Once workers are at the door, however, if they are not motivated by the company’s purpose or see a future for themselves in a company, they are unlikely to stay. .

Workers may be attracted to temporary benefits like a hiring bonus, for example, but “if that’s the only thing that gets people into an organization, it’s unlikely to be a lasting factor in keeping them. “, says Holtom. These factors are also easily matched for competitors, so workers could be drawn to similar advantages elsewhere if the tight labor market continues.

Some of these behaviors could prolong the Great Resignation for months, if not years, to come.

Instead, Holtom says the key to turning the tide of revenue is to “build an organization based on people who match the vision of work and culture, which increases the likelihood that they will stay. enthusiastic “.

Retaining enthusiastic visitors improves culture for everyone

Researchers say that people who remain enthusiastic have a strong sense of inclusion at work or a connection to the social fabric of the organization. The work of retaining and even creating enthusiastic employees requires improving the corporate culture in three ways: measuring employee suitability, fostering relationships with colleagues, and delivering intangible benefits that cannot be found elsewhere.

A big mistake many companies make is measuring how well a worker fits into the job when they’re new, but not so much over time. Managers can better assess whether employees continue to see themselves as a future in the organization, especially during such a dynamic time as the pandemic and the Great Resignation. If workers don’t see a future for themselves, employers can help workers shape their jobs and chart a career path through training opportunities, paths to promotion, mentorship, and sponsorship.

Second, companies can ensure that they promote relationships through formal means, such as clear communication between managers and their reports, and informal peer networks, such as employee resource groups.

Finally, as companies try to fill vacancies quickly with flashy perks and bonuses, Holtom says it’s the intangible benefits of a job and work environment that really make difficult the departure of employees.

It means building a business that gives workers a clear rationale, opportunities for growth, fair wages and flexibility. “The extent to which your employer provides you with the flexibility to achieve your other life goals or interests, which has a value that the competition cannot easily match,” says Holtom.

Of course, improvements to a company’s culture benefit everyone: people who stay reluctantly can get more involved in their work, and even people who are considering leaving can start to see themselves as a way in. the organization. And a happier workforce can be a powerful way to attract candidates, more than temporary benefits, says Holtom.

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