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Friday, November 3, 2023

Lean Quote: Retaining Talent

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Hiring and retaining talent in the tech industry is expensive and vital. Those people have real power over their bosses, especially because it is often fairly easy for them to find work elsewhere …  —  Hank Green

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on retention and employment are undeniable, with the rate of job quitting in the U.S. labor market hitting never-seen-before numbers over the last year.

In 2022, more than 50 million people had quit their jobs. The year 2022 had more than 2x the average of quitting workers compared to 2009.

While COVID-19 did spur the Great Resignation of 2021 upon the U.S. and global labor markets and brought about a record number of workers quitting their jobs voluntarily, this phenomenon has been on the rise for quite some time.

The trend started over a decade ago. According to Harvard Business Review, the Great Resignation is not a pandemic-driven, short-term turbulence, but rather the continuation of the trend of rising quit rates.

The Harvard Business Review provides six suggestions for retaining talent:

1. Incentivize loyalty

Pay and overall compensation is important, but also consider ideas such as one-time bonuses, helping pay down student loans, and providing work-from-home stipends (or return to the workplace stipends)

2. Provide opportunities to grow

Ask each employee what it takes for them to stay and whether their job utilizes good use of their skills; 68% of workers around the world are willing to retrain and learn new skills

3. Elevate your purpose

Make your organization’s purpose clear (vision, mission and goals) and how they can be supported

4. Prioritize culture and connection

Connect and build relationships; social connections have a significant positive impact on productivity

5. Invest in taking care of your employees and their families

Provide health resources (physical and mental) as needed

6. Embrace flexibility

Provide a flexible work environment ex. Location, work hours, paid time off, career options, ask about worker needs, and assess if a four year degree is truly needed (or other job requirements)

Retaining employees is a challenge for any company. Employees are constantly looking for better opportunities and tend to leave a company if they don’t feel valued. So, to retain employees, companies need to focus on the employee’s needs and keep them engaged. This can be done by providing them with challenging work, growth opportunities, and a fulfilling work-life balance.

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