Everywhere, people are talking about the Great Resignation. At least one in four Americans quit their jobs in 2021, and it doesn’t look like this trend will be ending anytime soon. Of course, many of these people are not leaving the workforce altogether, they’re just seeking work that better meets their needs. According to LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky, the number of LinkedIn members who announced a change of employment in their profile increased by 54 percent last year.
What does this mean? Simply put, employers who want to retain their talent and continue to attract the best need to put more effort than ever into becoming (or remaining) an employer of choice. This would be challenging at any time, but the undertaking is magnified in these uncertain times, when so many employers are making decisions around when and how employees will be returning to the workplace.
Why Are Employees Leaving?
Clearly many factors are driving this mass migration out of and between jobs, but experts agree one of those factors is work-life stress. While juggling work and family responsibilities has always been a challenge for employees, the fallout from COVID-19 has taken this struggle to new heights. Although most schools have officially reopened, in many parts of the country children continue to be sent home with little or no notice, sometimes for weeks at a time, when cases arise. Child care programs are re-opening only slowly, and many after-school programs and activities remain shuttered. Elder care options are similarly compromised.
Another factor driving this change is apparently just dissatisfaction with the (pre-pandemic) status quo. COVID-19 created a seismic shift in the way many people work, and quite a few don’t seem to be ready to trade in their sweatpants and slippers for a commute to the office and life there as they remember it.
What’s An Employer To Do?
While the factors that are driving employees to leave are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, employers can do many things to ease the situation. Targeted, customized programs can make a huge difference for employees, whether they are continuing to work from home full-time, are returning to the office, or are entering the new world of hybrid work.
A good concierge service can work with companies to put together just such customized programs, from home-based services, such as help finding dependent care, errand running, and pet-sitting, to on-site conveniences and perks—from dry cleaning to dental care to massage.
“Every company is different, with different demographics, different cultures, different traditions,” explains Cathy Leibow, industry expert and Business Development Director for Leverage Concierge. “Programs and services that are customized to meet specific employee needs can make a huge difference not only in terms of retention, but in terms of the employees’ ability to focus on their work in the face of all the additional stressors they’re facing right now.”
Programs customized to fit company locations can go a long way to addressing issues of employee equity, as well. An option to have one’s gas tank refilled in the company parking lot is ideal for suburban locations, but not particularly useful in a high-rise office building, where something like a meal delivery service might be more welcomed. Leverage Concierge even has an international component, to help ensure that global companies are meeting the needs of employees around the world.
But Doesn’t All This Take Time and Money?
One of the ironies of introducing numerous new programs and services to alleviate employee stress is it may add a significant amount of stress for the people in charge of finding and rolling out these programs. Leverage Concierge addresses this issue by taking on much of the work involved in locating local vendors, and helping to plan where and when on-site events will occur. They can even help companies get the most value for their buck.
“We know what vendors are available in different parts of the country, and can negotiate the best rates—or let you know when another approach might be more cost-effective,” Leibow explains.
Tipping the Balance
While perks, alone, are not enough to attract and retain employees if a company is dealing with more fundamental issues, such as overwork, poor management, or below-average compensation, they might just tip the balance in situations where the culture is already strong.
One employee who used perks provided by Leverage Concierge had this to say:
“Thanks to this company sponsored benefit, I was able to continue my focus on my job. I am so very thankful for all that Leverage has done. They consistently made themselves available when I needed. I am beyond grateful for their expertise, their patience, and for being consistent in following up and following through. Leverage has saved me sooooo much time, which allowed me to maintain my sanity.
There’s no way I could’ve handled moving during the pandemic at the same time as doing my job without going crazy. Thank you to Leverage and to my employer for this awesome service.”
Another employee described the wide variety of ways they have used the service:
“The concierge staff have been immensely helpful to me over the years and saved me weeks-worth of hours. They have helped me from everything from planning a vacation to Paris, to arranging my son’s college music audition travel, to finding window washers and now pet training. My favorite benefit!”
Yet another employee summed it up in a single sentence:
“I absolutely love the service – several times it has really helped me make my life more manageable, given all the work demands increasing since the pandemic began.”
It may be years before we fully understand the many ways COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work. But one thing is already clear: the status quo is no longer enough. Employees are demanding more, and they are voting with their feet. Fortunately, there are many ways companies can provide the little extras that make all the difference, supporting employees and, in the process, standing up to the
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