Research Predicts Post-Pandemic Staff Turnover of up to 40%.

By Chris Tandridge

If you’re an avid reader of Forbes, you may already be aware of the research findings that predict a significant spike in staff turnover as organisations emerge from the pandemic (from the article “Why Millions Of Employees Plan To Switch Jobs Post-Pandemic”). This should be of significant concern for all of us. Not only would the cost to business be colossal and significantly impact the bottom line, but it would also substantially slow many businesses down. That in turn would impact on the service levels to customers, as well as significantly erode revenues.

Our discussions with clients across the region have provided us with further strong evidence of a potential increase in staff turnover rates in a wide range of organisations. By way of example, one very large Australian organisation (that must remain nameless) undertook a Voice of the Workforce survey. The feedback from the survey indicated that 40.17% of their workforce intend to change jobs as the job market opens up further.

More than 40% of people who responded to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, a global survey of over 30,000 people in 31 countries, said they were considering leaving their employer this year.

This data cannot – and should not – be ignored. It is strongly indicative of major and significant disruption to businesses everywhere across all sectors. Those of us who remember and worked through the glory days of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) will recall all too clearly what that time was like and the massive disruptions that occurred. In those days, after significantly reduced head count numbers, far fewer people had to deliver the same output as a much larger team. That often led to burnout, and as soon as they were able, they sought another job. If you lose 40% of your people, a substantial number in anyone’s language, that really does take us back to those days. It was very tough on everyone, so let’s avoid going through that again.

Will your current employee retention strategies work?

So, what employee retention strategies do you have in place that you think may help with retaining good talent? This post-pandemic environment is a very different one to what we have all been used to. Standard employee retention strategies may well struggle in the post-pandemic world. This is not a normal employment situation. This will not be a normal staff turnover situation; 40% is not a normal number for staff turnover, but rather, that number represents a stampede.

Similarly, the cost of your staff retention strategies will be a vital component for consideration as staff turnover costs come under pressure, and increasingly under the microscope. In all likelihood, the ability to just throw money at the problem will not be an option. You will absolutely need new strategies to retain staff in this new environment, where your employees are looking for entirely new and very different things than just cash.

This time, we are being forewarned about what to expect, including a timeline. As you watch the economic news each day, it will clearly indicate when the trend is gaining momentum. Hence, we can plan on how best to prepare and minimise these impacts with robust new employee retentions strategies. There is a strong sense of urgency. If we don’t start to respond to these trends now, to get ahead of the curve, we should get ready for major and significant business disruptions. And we can respond, because we can clearly identify the drivers behind these retention challenges.

Now more than ever, employees know what they want

There are clear key messages from this data about what your people are looking for in their employer of choice:

  • If there is no internal career potential, then they will seek an alternative employer where that is achievable;
  • The ability to work remotely, at least part of the time, is now a non-negotiable; and
  • Personal growth and the capacity to develop their skills and abilities is a must.

I think we all realise at this juncture that HR managers will be under intense pressure and scrutiny to invent new employee retention strategies. Similarly, department heads will also feel the pressure as their resources dwindle and their capacity to deliver falls short. Senior Executives will expect the problems to be solved quickly, easily and affordably. They will not want excuses or explanations; they will demand solutions. And in that we can help you.

HR leaders heavily influenced the creation of the ideal solution

Because we at Validity work closely with business leaders and HR leaders, we have an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the challenges that organisations face. It is this level of business insight that supports the development of solutions pertinent to an ever-changing marketplace.

As a result of working closely with those HR leaders internationally, we commenced the development of a solution, which when viewed in the current context, is ideally placed as the new and highly applicable solution for employee retention in a post pandemic world.

We are very excited to launch our new solution that, whilst years in development, is perfectly designed for this new reality.

Designed by HR people for HR people

We really find value in listening to our clients and responding to their needs. These HR leaders were clearly ahead of the curve when they first requested us to develop this solution. And the resulting solution is well ahead of the curve today as the only solution of its type in the world. The applicability of ExpressPOP™ to today’s situation is extraordinary, and having now gained hundreds of thousands of data points, is perfectly validated for this new post pandemic world.

So just what did the HR managers ask for?

  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • An assessment that cuts to the chase and lets you make fully informed decisions
  • A process that is Shorter, Sweeter, Faster and Broader
  • An assessment that everyone can easily use and apply
  • They nominated the roles that they wanted included
  • It must support coaching and mentoring across all roles
  • It must also support a workforce and management teams working remotely

One assessment, 6 roles; how good is that?

This straightforward and cutting-edge assessment now allows you to evaluate each individual against 6 – yes, 6 – roles. And it’s ideal for both internal personnel and external candidates.

The assessment reports can be used for:

  • Talent Management
  • Career Management
  • Talent stock-take across departments
  • Suitability mapping for new hires across the organisation
  • Alignment of new grads across the business
  • PLUS applicability across all industry sectors and all geographies

Send a strong and positive message to your employees

For those employees that you wish to retain, this in an important and highly cost-effective solution that can be applied by both HR professionals and business leaders alike. By having your staff participate in an ExpressPOP™, you are effectively and affordably sending them a clear and motivating message, ie:

  • “We are an organisation that values you as part of the team.”
  • “As your employer, we are supporting you as you determine the best career course of action for you to take.”
  • “We are looking to help you identify a change of career within this same company, or we can help you to legitimise that your current role with us is your best career option.”

It’s not always about promoting

Obviously, whilst many may seek promotion, not everyone can be promoted. And just as clearly, not everyone is suited to promotion. Sometimes the career path people choose does not lead to the career growth and objectives that they originally anticipated. In fact, they have sometimes been on a journey down the wrong career highway. Therefore, it may be time to call for a re-evaluation, checking the career GPS, and maybe even considering a change of role. Not on a whim, but rather on the sound foundations as set out in the results of an ExpressPOP™.

That could mean a change, such as moving from a Services role to a Sales role, or even vice versa. It might mean changing from a Customer Facing role to an Administrative role. From Finance to Wealth Management. From Supervisor to Administrator. When assessed against 6 different roles, the options open up considerably and clearly.

A number of organisations clearly know that they need to change post Covid-19. That may mean moving internal people accurately into new roles would save you considerable time and money in search and onboarding costs. After all, these are people you know, and who know the company, its values and its plans for the future. The alternatives are expensive, as well as the delays. It is not uncommon for organisations to report that new employees can take up to 6 months before they are operating at full effectiveness. Effectively moving an internal resource can therefore be highly advantageous to both the individual and the organisation.

It’s time to take off the blinkers

Until now the challenge has been – How do we accurately measure and identify who is suited to other roles within our organisation? Once we might have relied on interviews alone, but that is clearly a high-risk strategy. One that is recognised as high risk due to bias, either conscious or unconscious, of the selection process that we use. Plus, we may have a set of company blinkers on. We somehow only ever see someone in the terms of reference of our personal interactions with them. There could well be aspects of them that we don’t recognise, as we have not had that exposure to those aspects of them. In short, we can often be short-sighted in our perceptions of their potential.

We need to gain a wider and deeper view. That challenge has now been solved with ExpressPOP™, and that means that talent can remain within the organisation and be redeployed to roles to which they are best suited. Or it can reinforce in the individual’s mind that their original role selection was the right one, and that this is an organisation that has invested in them and supports them in their career. A company with strong employee values is one that employees choose to stay with. ExpressPOP™ is the tool designed for today.

Staff turnover is normal; this is about preventing a stampede

Implementing a strategy to maximise employee retention during a time of intense change will be successful to a degree, but potentially not 100% effective. After all, there will be those who leave because of their manager, not the company per se, and that is a different subject and hence, a different article. There will be others who seek a change that we can’t support or deliver on. And so you will deal with those staff changes as they occur.

In the old recruitment model, you would look for personnel and use selection protocols specific to one role only. In that model, the view of each individual would be limited to a single career path. For example, a sales representative will be expected to move only into a sales manager role; a services person would be limited to a career in a services team. But today, there is a better way.

Now you can assess each individual against 6 different roles

When you evaluate an external candidate using our ExpressPOP™, you can assess them against 6 different roles. This will allow you to evaluate them for future potential and growth within and across your company. That means that you can build a career plan with them based upon sound scientific data. You can work in conjunction with these candidates in terms of career planning, as well as in conjunction with a skills development plan.

The potential for your organisation is enormous. For example, from the very beginning you might know that this is someone ideal for developing into a leadership role. How incredibly useful would it be to know in advance what roles across your organisation the candidate may be suited for (in conjunction with the right development plan)? And importantly, know which roles they are not suited for at the beginning of their journey within your organisation.

How much time, effort and emotion could that save everyone? How many wrong promotions into the wrong role could be avoided? How much time and money could be saved by completing just one simple assessment as part of the selection process?

The cost and people benefits are too important to ignore

We are giving you access to a remarkable tool that has already demonstrated its capacity to support you in your efforts. The cost and people benefits of using our ExpressPOP™ are very easy to establish:

  • One very affordable assessment for 6 different roles.
  • Vital information on which to base a whole range of selection and career decisions.
  • Decisions about your current personnel and the potential to reduce the impacts of 40% of them leaving the company.
  • Decisions about whether those personnel will fit into your “new” post-pandemic organisation.
  • Supporting your selection decisions of all your external candidates. As you review their short-term and long-term impacts to the whole organisation, and not just one department or one role.

Forewarned is forearmed

So, there we are. Our world has changed substantially during the pandemic, and we can expect this to continue post-pandemic. As a result of a number of research studies from a broad variety of reliable sources, we have adequate forewarning of what’s to come. How we prepare for all this needs to start right now. We can’t delay and try putting this off until later. This is very big, this is very important, and this can potentially be very expensive if you get it wrong.

I trust that this has at least given you some insights and given you cause to think about what you will be facing in the coming months and years, and that it has helped you to consider and review your plans for your organisation.

And finally, if you would like more information on our ExpressPOP™, please reach out so that we can share more details and a sample for your own evaluation. Alternatively, you can join our clients and purchase online.

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