Avoiding the Great Resignation

Avoiding the Great Resignation – 10 Tools that Improve Employee Retention

December 8, 2021

Manufacturers around the world are facing a new problem. After years of decreased staff on the shop floor, workers around the world have started leaving in droves. Months of record resignations in a row may have left you concerned.

Talking heads from across the political spectrum have more than reveled in the mud-slinging and finger pointing. They are quickly simplifying a complex issue by blaming everything from poor work ethic to free government handouts.

Regardless of the complexities, the truth is that most employees have come to expect more from their employers.

Of course, these are not new problems in a manufactory shop floor. Our blog posted about it in May. However, the issue in keeping talent across all business units seems to have made the matter worse. Like supply chain issues weren’t giving you enough headaches…

This begs the question: What else can you do to avoid the dangers of the Great Resignation?

Assessing the Resignation Causes

Of course, like with any problem, the first step should be to understand why it happened so that you can ensure it doesn’t happen again. The simplest answer is that people leave for better. But better what?

Here, it helps to understand the core reasons that a staff member may choose to leave your firm. Are they:

  • Frustrated by a lack of management?
  • Burning out because they are always working?
  • Angered by a lack of upward mobility?
  • Flustered by the tech required for remote work?
  • Upset because they no input in their day-to-day?

With a better understanding of the reasons that most staff are looking to change shores, you can begin the process of making them realize why your grass is greener.

From Resignation to Retention

Resolving this issue usually requires two tools: Management Culture and Technology

Let’s start off by discussing the role of the manager, or the management culture of your firm and how it can improve your staff retention rates. Then, we can talk about how the technology you use can help keep staff where you need them.

Management Culture

The old adage is: “People don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses”. So, what can you do to improve the cultural feel in your workplace?

In this regard, some of the steps you took to ensure employee productivity may be the culprit. Or perhaps your managers are also feeling the burnout and not adapting well to remotely managing their team. Here are a few examples of ways that managers can encourage retention:

  • Control Employee Burnout – Keep in mind that the state of the world has affected us all in many ways. This means that you should look to help your employees in ways that boost their morale and free up their personal time to achieve a more livable work-life balance.
  • Regular One-on-one Meetings – Especially for remote workers, make face calls. By relying less on automated tools to blast out an email to your staff, you increase the feeling from the staff that you care about them as a person. Personnel events that have emotional impact on the staff should always be one-on-one, not with emails or automation.
  • Transparent Management – A development with the new generation of workers is the desire to want to know what is going on. Staff are no longer happy being just another cog in the machine. They want to feel as a part of a team working with passion toward something bigger. Regularly informing your staff of issues can help decrease resignations.
  • Less Micromanaging – While implementing remote work led some firms to implement screen monitors and mouse trackers on staff workstations, this has just added to the stress and burnout of employees. A better option is to focus on results instead of busy-work. Rank workers based on their output, not their clicks-per-minute.
  • Connect Staff – With so many teams working remotely, you need to help your staff connect by other means. While the regular offsite team-building exercises should still be an option, management has to start taking a more active role in helping employees feel like a part of the team and involved in the growth of your company.

Technology

Technology will always disrupt business as usual. New inventions can either help a business thrive or accelerate its descent. The path it takes all comes down to how those inventions are implemented.

With technology actually being one of the issues that has left staff frustrated enough to leave a company, what tech you use can be a key motivator. For example, the spy-type software used to keep tabs on workers pushed staff away instead of moving them to produce more, which is your ultimate goal.

Here, the technology you use to help with managing and communicating with your employees is of vital importance. In other words, better tech leads to better retention. Things like:

  • Reporting – By implementing better reporting, you can get a better view of key performance indicators for staff productivity, which means you can track their results and do away with tracking their movements.
  • Interactions – Implement user-friendly tools to improve collaboration between your various teams and business units. Have a way for staff to communicate with one another on ongoing projects, or even just a watercooler-type chatroom. Also keep track of employee input on your various tools and processes and how they can be improved in a way that positively impacts your production. Talking to colleagues and feeling heard improves morale, which leads to less resignations.
  • Scheduling – Add tools to your toolbox that can help your better manage the working hour flexibility that comes with remote work. Flex-time and smart shifts can greatly increase employee work-life balance and retention rates.
  • Training – Keep track of what your staff know and what they want to learn. Increasing skills training and development has been a double bonus. With staff knowing more, they are more likely to want to stay and with staff being qualified in multiple areas, short-notice subs become much easier.
  • Promotions – Always look to promote qualified internal candidates before searching outside. Regular internal promotions are quickly seen by their peers, increasing their confidence that you have their best interests at heart.

Conclusion

While the reasons for a resignation can be varied, better management and better technology will improve your retention rates, which also attracts more talent to your manufactory.

Friendlier, flexible, and empowering management help create a better work environment, which leads to improved productivity and a deeper investment in your company.

These improvements can be helped along with better tech tools, like an ERP system that helps you keep track of your employee productivity, improved communications, skill tracking, timekeeping, and scheduling.

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