7 Ways to Increase Employee Retention: Flexibility

Working Remotely

The Great Resignation: a term most leaders are probably tired of hearing but can’t ignore. So, instead, let’s talk about The Great Retention! We know tackling retention can be a daunting task, which is why we’re here to help you break it down and take it one step at a time. 

The Great Resignation

Retention is becoming increasingly important as The Great Resignation shows no signs of slowing down. 

“While U.S. workers are quitting in droves, employers are reporting record-high job openings—10.4 million in September—creating a scenario in which strained industries are competing for talent and driving up compensation.” –SHRM

This means that not only are your leadership and HR teams feeling the impacts of these numbers, but your recruiting team is, and your employees likely are too. More competition in your industry means more pressure on your recruiting team, which probably means increased time in filling positions. 

The effects don’t just stop there, though. Increased time in filling positions means more work on your people who are staying. This can lead to burnout and create a vicious cycle of resignations. 

This is why it’s so important to take this seriously and try to get ahead of it. And if you’re still with us, that’s exactly what you’re doing!

The Great Retention 

While there’s no foolproof plan for keeping employees in any scenario, we’d like to share some strategies we’ve had success with at Nextep. We’re breaking it down into a series that will cover seven topics. The first way we used HR to drive employee retention: flexibility. 

Remote Work

You might be used to hearing about remote work and the importance of offering flexible work options, but your employees are not. They crave flexibility, and they’re willing to leave to get it. 

62% of working parents would quit their current job if they were unable to continue working remotely, according to a study conducted by Flexjobs.

There are many benefits to a flexible work policy with remote work options. Work-flex policies increase employee happiness, improve work/life balance, and provide business continuity when employees can’t make it to the office. 

This doesn’t even have to be a 100% work-from-home scenario. Work with your leadership team and talk to your employees to come up with a policy that fits your business needs and takes care of your employees simultaneously. 

Flexible Schedule

True flexibility comes from a culture of understanding and trust. You understand that your employees have lives and families outside of your office, and you trust them to get their work done even if it’s not in a traditional office or schedule. 

Some simple examples of flexibility include: 

  • Flexible work hours: Maybe your employee wants to work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of your traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Remote work: This doesn’t just mean work from home. For some, it might mean working from the car dealership while your car gets repaired or working at the airport while you’re delayed getting home. Life happens, and you can support your employees through flexibility. 
  • Half days: Some companies may choose to let their employees work half days on Fridays if they reach their hours earlier in the week. Maybe you even allow nine-hour days so employees can get every other Friday off completely. 

Flexibility also comes from leading through the gray areas. For example, maybe your employee needs to take a two-hour lunch break to go to the DMV or take their dog to the vet. This isn’t an everyday occurrence or one you can line out in a handbook. But, with understanding and trust, you can allow your employees to take care of some personal tasks during a time they’d typically be working. 

What’s Next

Before you put all of these ideas in place, we recommend surveying your employees, gathering feedback, and seeing what similar companies to yours are doing. 

We’ve also put together some helpful tips on how to manage a remote workforce. Be sure to take a look if you’re already managing remote employees or plan to! 

Managing Remote Workforce 

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