Triggered by the pandemic, two years of continuous turmoil across industries has led to an acute labor shortage. It isn’t good news. But there’s hope. Let’s explore the keys to improving profitability


In September 2021, Harvard Business Review published a thought-provoking article titled "Who is driving the great resignation?" considering a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The report analyzed more than nine million employee records from more than 4,000 companies and found that in July 2021 alone, four million Americans quit their jobs. Resignations peaked in April 2021, and since then, abnormally high resignations have been turning in continually, as per news reports. In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of Americans quitting their jobs in February was nearly 100,000 higher than in January and just shy of the 4.5 million who quit their jobs in November 2021.
Employee retention has always been a concern, but not as much as now. Earlier, most people wanted a stable income, regardless of the stress associated with their jobs. Then, the capitalist economy could have been the driving forcepeople wanted to own houses and cars and take vacations.
What's causing the change now? After the global pandemic forced many people to stay at home for extended periods, they realized that life could be lived without excessive pressure from deadlines, always being on the move, and working long hours. This realization kicked in, and many people became reluctant to return to work even when work conditions improved and the economy normalized.
The great resignation has triggered a flurry of activity in the business world, as employers and recruitment firms try to figure out what makes employees leave. There have been a lot of speculative arguments, but no conclusive answer has emerged. However, what can be said with certainty is that managing talent is a challenge. If your company doesn't have a system that gives you insight into your employees' minds and what problems they're grappling with, you'll lose employees at an alarming rate. That's bad news because no organization would want to waste effort, time and money training new employees frequently. That's a losing streak for any businessboth in terms of finances and talent.
But there is hope if organizations work on employee engagement to retain them for a longer period. Inspired and engaged employees are more likely to be motivated and remain committed to their employer, which leads to achieving more business goals and helping to drive the organization forward.

Employee Engagement And Retention – The Most Important Aspects

Employees are the key to moving forward. Engage them, and you'll unleash innovation, create change and foster teamwork. It is not enough to merely collaborate in today's diverse and hybrid workplace. To be effective, one must do it with an open mind and a strong sense of purpose. Open and honest communication allows for connection with co-workers and strengthens workplace culture. It sets your organization up for success. Most companies don't realize that the posters in their lobby may not reflect everyday behavior. Whether fostering diversity or innovation, organizations need to take a comprehensive approach to find new ways to leapfrog the competition.
Blaming an employee's bad attitude or work ethic for employee disengagement is like blaming a donkey for eating hay. Sure, it's easy to point the finger at the donkey. But employers need to take accountability and recognize that workplace culture and environment have a huge impact on employee engagement. Engaged employees are motivated by leadership, culture, compensation and benefits, and recognition.
Employers with engaged employees reduce hiring costs, reduce turnoverwhich is better for businessand create a more high-performing workforce. Organizations that seriously care about employee engagement are more profitable by a factor of 21 per cent, according to a recent report by TechJury. The Workplace Research Foundation found that engaged employees are 38 per cent more likely to have above-average productivity. In addition, Management Consulting Company Gallup found that highly engaged teams show 21 per cent greater profitability.

Involving Employees In Business Growth

Many things can get in the way of business growth. Employee disengagement is one of the most important. Organizational turmoil, distrust of management, job market unease, and a lack of cohesion among workers and teams are all culprits. Higher pay and better benefits improve workers' satisfaction and overall contentment, but they don't drive engagement. Even the best-intentioned managers can't make their workers feel engaged if they don't understand what drives engagement. The cause of disengagement is often a malaise that comes from multiple sources and requires more than just a raise or promotion to fix. Leaders must act deliberately and thoughtfully. Sometimes, even if you address issues right away, the damage can be severe, costing you time, money, and reputation.
Too many enterprises lose sight of the fact that their success depends not only on results but also on their employees' welfare. When an enterprise fails to consider this, it risks failure itself.
In recent years, companies have realized that when employees are engaged and feel a sense of ownership in their work, they perform better and produce more favorable results. This is why entire departments have been created to ensure employee involvement and participation. Human Resources, for example, has evolved from a transactional entity focused solely on the administration to a transformational role with training and development teams that help employees gain skills. In addition, the Employee Relations Department ensures that staff rights are protected and upheld; Safety and Risk Management helps protect workers' well-being at work.

Employee Engagement To Attain Goals

The following are some tips that will help you avoid common pitfalls so that your employee engagement increases exponentially and helps you retain them.
Effective scheduling- Employee engagement will drop dramatically when you run into overstaffing problems or mismanaging schedules resulting in annoyed employees. Scheduling is a key step to ensuring employee satisfaction. Do it well, and your employees will be happy with their hours, your operating costs will stay low, and you'll avoid harming your business. However, one scheduling mistake can snowball into expensive, time-consuming problems. It can cause employee engagement to plummet and operating costs to soar. And your reputation will take a beating. To avoid disaster, you must monitor your employees' schedules.
Upgrading your scheduling system is worth your time and money. Don't make a snap decision, though. Look for a solution that has everything you need, including a free trial and no contracts. Excellent customer service is important, and so is a low monthly payment plan. Simple setup and fast cloud storage are essential, too. If you want employees to access the software on their phones, make sure it has an excellent app built-in. Eliminating the guessing game in scheduling and keeping track of employees' time is as easy as pie with Altametrics Scheduling and Time Clock. While Zip Schedules from the Hubworks Suite, an online employee shift scheduling software, helps you put together clear and manageable schedules for your team.
Encourage flexibility- Don't be a slave driver at work. One of the keys to increasing employee engagement in the workplace is giving flexibility to your employees. It gives your employees the freedom to adjust their work schedules or location to better suit their needs. Unfortunately, many employers think workers will slack off without close supervision and not get anything done. But what they don't realize is that giving their employees more freedom results in happier, more productive people who are more engaged with their jobs.
Give your employees the freedom to choose their shifts by letting them pick and choose among open shifts. Giving employees more control over their schedules means you don't have to work so hard managing a constantly changing schedule; you can also rest easy knowing your staff members will be happy with their workloads. Again, a scheduling solution plays an important role here. The right scheduling app will allow you to offer open shifts only to suitable employees and keep you from having to check in with every employee individually, reducing stress both ways.
Two-way feedback- Feedback can be a two-way street. Employers often give employees feedback on their working styles, office environment, and others. But it's time to turn the tables and ask your employees for input on a certain business proposal or a new design concept. By asking their opinion, you make them feel like their voice matters and that it plays an important part in a company's growth.
Assist in achieving goals- Every employee has a to-do list. Sometimes, it's hard to stay focused. Employees get mixed up when they can't tell what role they have in the company. It's important to clarify goals and responsibilities to increase employee engagement. Sometimes, employees get worn out by work because they aren't inspired or don't feel like they're good enough. Good managers help their team set goals and troubleshoot when problems arise.
Cultivate collaborative environment- It's not whether you're a team player or a lone wolf; collaboration is necessary for success. Projects develop better with collaboration. It improves employee engagement by encouraging teamwork, reducing company costs and improving efficiency. And it fosters a sense of team bonding within your organization leading to better corporate culture.

Data-Driven Insights Help In Better Workforce Management

In 2013, the Wall Street Journal published an article called "The Algorithm That Tells the Boss Who Might Quit", which focused on how analytics were helping companies determine the employees who may resign. In a tightening labor market, companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG and Box Inc. analyzed a vast array of data points to determine who is likely to leave a post. It mentions a Human Resources software company, Ultimate Software Group Inc., which assigns clients' employeeseven its workersindividual "retention predictor" numbers akin to a credit score. It identifies the likelihood that a worker will leave.
Ten years ago, a workforce management solution with predictive reports was an innovation employers, managers, and leaders were probably waiting for. Nowadays, employers can find various options to manage their human capital needs.
Companies often hire employees who aren't appropriate for a particular role due to poor insight into management and a lack of data. But with the help of data and custom reports generated by workforce management solutions, managers can analyze the reasons for high turnover and rectify it, retaining worthy employees.
These workforce management solutions help simplify complex HR processes and provide powerful insights into the workforce. They send instant notifications of employee schedule changes, which helps keep your scheduling compliant with local labor law. And previous sales data enables you to schedule for a set future without surprises. Additionally, it prevents unnecessary overtime and lets you know your employee costs ahead of time. You can rest easy knowing that you can legally track and monitor your employee hours, while also reducing inefficiencies by scheduling ahead of time. For instance, Altametrics creates demand-driven schedules using artificial intelligence to develop efficient, compliant rosters that keep everyone satisfied.

AI-Powered Data To Improve Employee Engagement And Retention

As the generations change in the workforce, so do the tools and solutions used to engage and retain employees. If Generation X or the baby boomers believe in hard work and loyalty toward their employers, Gen Y (the millennials) harness technological developments coming their way. According to Dell's research, Generation Z is excited about technology's potential to revolutionize future organizational systems and processes. They look forward to how digital technology might prospectively change the way employees work and employers engage with them.
When equipped with advanced technological tools, the new-age workforce tends to show high engagement and involvement in their jobs. It isn't a surprise--because modern digital tools have simplified and organized measuring employee engagement. A Forbes report reveals that organizations invest in innovative and customized machine learning and Artificial Intelligence-driven software to engage their newly minted workforce, evaluate their engagement level, and increase employee satisfaction.
These technologies can solve problems just like humans do without the stress of a deadline. They look into past mistakes, suggest ways to avoid them in the future, and help to streamline communication processes for managers. According to predictions from Statista, they will allow companies to maximize their employee productivity by more than 30 per cent within the next 15 years.

The Future Of Work Will Change Employee Retention

Today's world is changing, and people are getting smarter. Adapting to the changes will help you stay ahead of the curve. Engaged employees are motivated and work towards goals to help your business succeed. AI-powered tools monitor employees' performance on a real-time basis and highlight improvement areas. Using techniques like sentiment analysis and natural language processing of text conversations, discern the feelings and moods of employees at work. They can even preempt performance based on behavior patterns, facial gestures, and body language and provide insights to managers on work allocation. Perhaps, that is why Google is recording all employee interactions on AI software to analyze the data to assess their satisfaction levels. IBM uses artificial intelligence and automation to take on such talent issues as knowing our skills, preventing employee turnover, reacting quickly to hot spots in the workforce, matching employees and external candidates with career opportunities and creating an irresistible platform for employees to learn on the go.