Data indicates an Employee Turnover Tsunami is coming in 2021 and 2022.

How to Survive the Oncoming Employee “Turnover Tsunami”: Five Best Practices for HR Managers and Employers

There appears to be another storm brewing on the horizon — the turnover tsunami anticipated by HR experts, backed by data from polls.

50% of employees plan to look for a new job once the pandemic ends, according to SHRM.  While not all of these people will ultimately make a switch, many will actively look for change.

Those who remain will remain open to heading for the exit — which means that the pandemic may give way to widespread disengagement. According to Gallup, compared to their motivated colleagues, disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism rates, are 18% less productive, and are 15% less profitable.


Retention of employees in the face of the anticipated Turnover Tsunami
Retention of employees in the face of the anticipated Turnover Tsunami — indicated by polls showing a 50 percent intention to leave current employer.


Five Best Practices

There is no way to stop the turnover tsunami — in fact, some experts say that it is already happening. But organizations can take steps now to make themselves more desirable to existing hires and new talent. While there is no one-size-fits-all template for becoming a “workplace of choice,” there are some fundamental best practices. Some of these we’ve covered in more in-depth features, linked below.


Making Remote Workers Happy

Do everything possible to make remote workers successful and happy. This includes those who are going to remain in their home office five days a week, as well as those who will be allocating some of their time in the corporate office and some of their time at home (a.k.a. hybrid workers). “Successful” means equipping them with the technologies and tools they need to be productive, efficient and organized. And “happy” means paying attention to their wellbeing and protecting them from micromanagers.

 Engaging remote workers and keeping them optimistic and happy is critical.
One reason for the “intention to leave” is dissatisfaction. “This isn’t what I signed up for” is a common sentiment. Engaging remote workers and keeping them optimistic and happy is critical.
Retention and Exit Surveys

Make retention surveys and exit interviews a top priority — and if this means spending more money on staff, tools or both, then make it happen. Organizations that assume what their workforce is feeling are often shocked to discover that their beliefs are rooted in wishful thinking instead of reliable data.

Reward and Recognize Employees

This doesn’t necessarily mean doling out bonuses and other financial benefits like gift cards. In some cases, simply giving an employee or team a “shout out” during a meeting (in-person or virtual) can be enough. Research commissioned by the Achievers Workforce Institute found that 3 in 4 employees want more recognition for their work.

Praise and reinforcement are critical to retain employees in the face of the anticipated Turnover Tsunami.
Praise and reinforcement are critical to retaining employees in the face of the anticipated Turnover Tsunami.
Mobility Opportunities, Training, and Mentorship

Provide mentorship, training, and mobility opportunities. The first two items are straightforward, and most organizations would be wise to dial them up (especially mentorships). The third item is tougher to implement because managers often have an incentive to hoard talent. This should be viewed as a risk and addressed accordingly. Mobility is going to happen one way or another. Organizations that do not facilitate it internally will face it externally.

Employee-Centric Culture

Focus on practical and meaningful ways to build an employee-centric culture. Compensation is always going to matter, but it has never been the number one thing that most employees focus on when it comes to joining an organization or staying in one. Organizations that establish and evolve a culture that is characterized by transparency, inclusion, respect, support, and empathy are much better positioned to recruit and retain vs. those that might offer higher salaries, but only pay lip service to these values and principles.

Bottom Line: Plan Now for the Tsunami

The bottom line? Organizations must rapidly and intelligently take steps now to keep and attract the talent they need to succeed — and in the long-term to survive. Because while the end of COVID-19 may be in sight, the turnover tsunami is just getting started.

To learn more about strengthening your organization’s HR and workforce management strategies, processes and policies — so that you thrive vs. struggle on the post-pandemic landscape — contact PIVOTAL today:

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