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Great Resignation

Don’t Lose the Fight For Talent: HR’s Secret Weapon

by Caroline Boyland April 28, 2022

Let’s talk Great Resignation. We know, we know, everyone is talking about the Great Resignation. For months it’s headlined news articles, blog posts, and social campaigns, we can’t seem to escape it. But that’s just it, we can’t escape it. Despite being a nationwide hot-topic for over a year now, no one has seemed to find the “antidote” if you will, for the Great Resignation. It feels like we’ve been talking about it forever because we have…employees keep resigning, and if we don’t start to rethink our approach to talent retention we’re going to continue talking about it for years to come.

HR teams, we don’t need to tell you that there are 2 components when it comes to the Great Resignation: attraction and retention. Based on our recent research study from 600+ employees and 100+ HR leaders across the country, both can be improved through a fresh perspective on benefits.

How do benefits influence people to click “Apply Now”?

Benefits can be the most powerful tool to attract talent over your competition. Think about it this way, while salary typically varies role to role, more often than not, benefits stay pretty consistent across an organization. This makes the concept of employee benefits a more public discussion, often shared on Career pages, social media, and review sites like Glassdoor—which are typically the first 3 places a prospective hire checks when considering joining a company. If your benefits are keeping your current employees physically, mentally, and financially well-rounded, they’re more likely to promote new roles on LinkedIn, recommend jobs to friends or old coworkers, and inadvertently create a word of mouth recruitment campaign.

We recently surveyed hundreds of employees spanning various industries and roles nationwide to better understand how employees at organizations of all sizes, shapes, and industries think about benefits. When asked about switching jobs, employees ranked benefits as the second most influential factor when evaluating whether to stay at a job or leave for a new opportunity. The official ranking of the top 4 factors from most influential to least is as follows:

  1. Compensation
  2. Benefits
  3. Culture
  4. Remote/Hybrid Workplace

Compensation is typically a given, but this should serve as an indication for HR teams on where to put your focus when promoting open roles. For more of our Great Resignation research, download the full report for free, here.

If retention is your focus: think benefits, not perks

When it comes to retaining employees in today’s climate, we need to think less about the fun perks we provide, and more about meeting employee wellness goals. Perks are great, but they’re just that…perks. Read: ping-pong table in the office, work happy hours, free cold brew, etc. Pre-pandemic, these perks were incredible for talent attraction, but today, employees need a shift in focus to wellness.

Benefits should be addressing all aspects of employee wellness: physical, mental, and financial. These are the factors that are going to prevent burnout, and create healthy, capable, happy employees. Perks vs. Benefits is a fine line, but when deciding where an offering falls, think: does this offering empower and support my employee's physical health, mental health, or financial health? If the answer is no (ie. ping-pong table), it's probably a perk.

Our research found that 90% of employees—yes you read that right, 90%— said benefits matter when deciding whether or not to stay at a job. So what it really comes down to: if you want to retain employees, think benefits, because that’s what your employees are thinking.

The bottom line? People just want to be healthy and happy

The Great Resignation is fueled by employees who feel like they’re not being taken care of physically, mentally, and/or financially by their current company. The pandemic has heightened the need for more support in all of these areas. COVID-19 of course drove a desire and need for increased confidence in healthcare benefits, but the lockdown also fueled the mental health crisis, and subsequent high inflation rates are hitting America's bank acccount from all angles.

Focus on your benefits strategy and on offering benefits that can satisfy these core necessities and you’ll start to win the fight for talent attraction and retention.

Access our full research report on The Great Resignation, here.

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