Is your company facing double-digit openings? You're not alone. The Great Resignation continues to wreak havoc on U.S. companies and shows no signs of slowing down.
Drilling down to the causes, a fundamental reassessment of work and the quest for more fulfilling careers is fueling this unprecedented labor shortage in the U.S.
This is according to new research from Gloat, a workforce agility and talent marketplace platform. Their survey confirms that nearly half (48.1 percent) of employees are looking to leave their current jobs, highlighting the internal labor crisis that many employers are encountering.
Top two reasons for the mass exodus
Gloat's study revealed two big reasons for employees' exodus, which should come as no surprise: better pay and a desire for more growth opportunities.
And while offering every employee their desired salary is most likely not an option, leaders have plenty of power when it comes to creating growth opportunities that align with employees' personal and professional goals.
It's clear that traditional perks and benefits will no longer suffice in retaining your employees, especially with younger workers seeking purpose-driven work that aligns with their values, interests, skills, and aspirations.
To future-proof your retention strategy and ensure people feel fulfilled by the work they are doing, here are three ways to start the process.
1. Dismantle barriers to internal career opportunities and growth
Today's employees will not be content having the same job for 30 years. They not only want the ability to grow their careers, but they also want the opportunity to explore different career paths.
Career development is no longer just about moving up the career ladder to the next position; it's also about trying on different hats and learning new skills. Employees are interested in pursuing opportunities that align with their skills and interests and that empower them to create a career path on their own terms.
The question isn't whether your employees are looking for change, but where they'll choose to make that change happen. At the moment, most workers opt to look outside their organization when they want to pursue something new. The Gloat survey confirms that nearly two-thirds of respondents (65.1 percent) don't see their current place of employment as offering the options and opportunities they are seeking.
Employers need to replace traditional career ladders with lattices that enable their people to grow -- not just vertically, but across departments and functions.
2. Communicate your company's values to employees
More and more, employees want to work for a company that aligns with their values. Jobs are not looked at as merely a means to pay bills but instead are increasingly viewed as part of their identity. Job seekers are seeking a more authentic connection between corporate and personal values.
A real concern is that many of the newest members of the workforce think their employers leave a lot to be desired when it comes to aligning corporate values with their personal beliefs. Only one-third (34.1 percent) of 18- to 24-year-olds think they have the same values as their employer.
If you want to hold on to top talent in the current environment, you need to make sure your people believe in the work they're doing.
3. Step up on DEIB efforts
When it comes to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), actions speak louder than words. Employees want to see their organizations step up and make real strides toward ensuring that more women, persons of color, LBGTQ, and older employees receive opportunities and are promoted into positions of leadership.
Unfortunately, assumptions or unconscious bias can sway workplace decisions and keep underrepresented groups from the same career opportunities as those traditionally with more privilege. One way to mitigate this issue is to leverage technology and A.I. to take bias out of the equation, democratize opportunities, and ensure all employees have equal access to open positions within the organization.
"Employers have a choice: implement opportunities inside their organization that enable employees to take advantage of their potential, skills, interests, and aspirations, or risk their employees starting to look outside the organization for those opportunities," says Ben Reuveni, co-founder and CEO of Gloat. "Technology can help enterprises draw on talent from across the business, assure equitable access to open opportunities for all employees, and ultimately empower employees to create the work experience they crave."