Attracting and Retaining Employees

The Great Resignation: Will Your Company Misstep or Step it Up?

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Heads up, corporate America. You may have less employees coming back into the office, and it’s not because they’ve decided to stay remote. It’s because they’re moving on to work for a different company.

The Great Resignation

Rough, right? The COVID-19 pandemic was hard on many industries, but the hurt may not be over. Economists are hinting at a mass turnover event that could affect your company in the coming months. “The Great Resignation” was reportedly first predicted by Texas A&M professor Anthony Klotz in a Bloomberg Businessweek article, and since then, the era has taken shape.

“Unusually large quantities” of Americans are exiting their jobs post-pandemic – 4 million in April 2021 alone – for two main reasons.

One of these groups’ resignations are long overdue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 6 million fewer resignations in 2020 than in 2019 because many people stalled their resignation in favor of financial security during the pandemic. Now, the two-week notices are piling up after being stunted for a whole year.

The other group discovered during COVID-19 that there was much to be desired from their current company or position and are now moving on, some to a different career entirely.

Now what?

You and your HR peers may be asking yourselves, “Should we be proactive or accept that company turnover is part of life?” Let’s talk through some numbers before we decide.

Employee turnover is expensive

The average cost to hire a new employee is around $4,129, assuming you spend an average of 42 days attempting to fill a position, according to a study completed by the Society for Human Resource Management. But that amount can easily increase when the job market is as competitive as it is, which can cause delays in filling the position.

This cost estimate breaks down into the following:

  • Recruiters. Depending on your industry, like healthcare for instance, you may rely on recruiter firms in order to attract talent to your company. But recruiters have to make a living, too, and keeping one (or a whole firm) on the payroll for an extended period of time can be expensive.
  • Advertising. Getting the word out about an open position can bring on an array of costs, like paid social media posts, ads in the local newspaper, you name it.
  • Company time. If your company internally screens talent, then your HR team most likely has myriad tasks to complete when a position needs to be filled. Not to mention that team leaders and members will need to block off time in order to discuss candidates, leaving less time for active projects.
  • Overtime for existing employees. When you’re short staffed, the extra work has to be picked up by current employees who may already have a full plate. That may mean extra hours in the office until another team member is recruited. And if the open position requires special skills, that specialized work may struggle to get done or require that an employee completes extra internal training.

What you can do

Luckily, you may be able to curb mass turnover and onboarding costs in the coming months by investing in new and current employees in a variety of ways.

Clear communication

Transparency is also important to today’s employees, and with technology at our disposal, there’s no reason to not be able to communicate with employees effectively and in a timely manner. As leadership, taking the time to hone in on the perfect internal communication strategy can do wonders. No employee wants to be left in the dark, especially during a global crisis like COVID-19.

Flexible scheduling

According to, one of the top ways to retain talent is to encourage flexibility. While all industries differ in their work-life balances, the pandemic has proven there’s a lot more to life than the 9-5. Employees know this and may be sniffing around other companies solely because their PTO policy and work-life balance is better than yours.

Solicit and implement feedback

And communication has to be a two-way street. Create opportunities for employees to safely and candidly share how they are feeling about both their position and the company. Also find ways to show employees that you’re taking action to make your company a better place to work. Because if you don’t, somewhere else will.

Professional development

Show that you value your employees and their career trajectories by pushing them to pursue professional development opportunities, especially ones that may be outside of their wheelhouse. Whether it be an online course, a nearby conference or a mentorship session, professional development gives employees the chance to grow instead of staying in a rut. Not only that, but employees that feel unfulfilled by their position and have been itching to learn a new skill will now have a safe space to do so. Giving employees the opportunity to explore a new role is a great investment and company add.

Workplace benefits

One of the best ways to retain top talent and attract new employees is to bolster your benefits program and to make sure everyone knows about it. Compensation reaches a lot farther than just base salary. Are employees going to be taken care of if they or their family members falls ill, and they need to take time off? What about if they must face an unexpected legal matter?

Give your employees plenty of options to choose from when it comes to benefit enrollment. They need to know that you care about them whether they’re on the clock or on the phone with an attorney. You can make it even less stressful for them by offering voluntary benefits and primary benefits (like medical and dental) in one single enrollment period.

Offering a benefit like legal insurance can also be a great addition to your benefits package. For many, unexpected legal issues came out of the woodwork during the pandemic, including unemployment fraud cases, eviction, debt collection and more. With an ARAG legal plan, your employees have access to a network of attorneys, with attorney fees that are paid in full for most covered matters. And whether people are starting or departing from their job, legal issues are bound to come up.

Even if your company does experience inevitable turnover, you can recover quickly and stand out when recruiting talent by building the most attractive total rewards and culture in your industry. Not to mention that former employees may come back if you deploy a memorable offboarding experience. Consider offering an extension of benefits or a conversion plan to let them know that you support their next career path step.

At the end of the day

We believe in our legal insurance product and want you to offer it to your employees, but it’s important that we as corporate America work to implement multiple measures to make our employees’ lives better. This will help prevent a Great Resignation internally.

Our employees spend most of their week in our offices or working remotely. Why not thank them for their time the right way?

If you’re interested in learning more about ARAG legal insurance as an employer, contact us today.


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