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Where did all the good employees go? While it probably doesn’t make you feel any better, you are not alone if you are having difficulty finding and retaining employees. Millions of Americans left their jobs during “the Great Resignation” in 2021.
According to a recent article in The Advocate, “Leaders of nearly half of small businesses in Louisiana say they cannot fill jobs, and 24% of roughly 3,800 firms say the problem is significant.”
Business owners can learn important lessons from the reasons that workers say they left their jobs and now are hesitant to return to the workplace.
Why did workers leave the workplace during the pandemic?
- Many employees who were laid off during the COVID shutdown found other opportunities, started their own businesses or used the time off to further their education to enhance future job opportunities.
- Many parents, mostly women, left the workforce to provide childcare, care for family members, and to help their children with virtual school during the shutdown.
- Many workers near retirement age decided to go ahead and quit in order to pursue other interests.
But the pandemic isn’t the reason why people aren’t returning to the workforce now that businesses are actively trying to fill positions.
What reasons do workers give for voluntarily quitting jobs?
- Low pay and lack of benefits – Walmart and Amazon, two of the world’s largest employers, are paying new employees between $12 and $18 per hour with benefits (paid time off, health insurance, etc.). Businesses that are paying less than that and that don’t provide some type of benefits are going to find it almost impossible to fill vacancies.
- No opportunity for advancement – people want an opportunity for income growth; if they don’t see a possibility to learn new skills and take on additional responsibilities, leading to higher wages, they look to other employers who can provide that.
- Not being treated with respect – yes, you pay people to do a job, but you also have to treat them fairly, share job-relevant information, listen to their concerns and suggestions, give constructive feedback, delegate meaningful work, and practice common courtesy and politeness. Failure to do these simple things means that your workplace will experience high employee turnover. Toxic workplaces where employees are bullied and/or harassed will also have trouble hiring and retaining workers.
- Lack of flexibility – during the pandemic many workers demonstrated that they could perform their job duties remotely, and now they are resistant to returning to the main job site on a full-time basis. Whenever possible, business owners should consider offering a hybrid work schedule by allowing employees to work remotely a few days a week. Likewise, greater flexibility in work hours appeals to many people.
An HR professional can help business owners navigate workplace challenges.
From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.
For more information about our accounting and human resource services, contact Next Level Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 330-8347.