Recruiting & Retention

The Great Resignation: Why Employee Experience Also Matters for Recruiting

Oct 07, 2021 - Cat DiStasio

At the height of the pandemic, the biggest conversation in talent acquisition revolved around high unemployment and discussions about getting all those laid-off workers rehired once the economy began to rebound. Not to be outdone, 2021 has issued new challenges to employers across industries, as record numbers of employees quit month after month. “The Great Resignation” has employers scrambling to hold on to employees.

In many cases, it might seem like too little too late. According to a report by personal finance site MagnifyMoney, about one in three workers think about quitting their job, while almost 60% are rethinking their career path entirely. The number one thing employers can do to combat employee retention comes as no surprise: improve the employee experience. An overwhelming majority (92%) of HR leaders agree employee experience is a top priority this year. While this does present an uphill battle for employers, especially if your employees are already thinking about maybe looking around for other opportunities, it’s not optional.

This fight also impacts more than simply your retention rates. Yes, managing your employee experience can improve retention and save you time and money responding to turnover. A better employee experience also makes it easier to recruit for open positions. According to Glassdoor research, a majority (75%) of active job seekers say they’re likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. And the quality of your employer reputation matters a lot, too. The same research found that 86% of women and 67% of men wouldn't join a company with a bad reputation.

What Employers Get Wrong About Employee Experience

The go-to tactics that worked in the pre-pandemic era no longer apply. Gone are the days when an employer could offer free snacks and video games in the breakroom and expect those perks to attract and retain top employees. Today, in part because of the rise of the hybrid workforce, employers need a new approach to delivering a stellar employee experience.

A key factor that contributes to employee experience is your organization’s culture—and undervaluing the importance of inclusion and belonging is one way employers can miss the mark. When employees feel a high sense of belonging at work, there’s a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days, Harvard Business Review found.

How Virtual Events Improve the Employee Experience

Virtual events help connect employees—to one another, to a central purpose, to your organization’s mission and values. Hosting a variety of different virtual events can help you build trust amongst your employees and foster the kind of culture that attracts and retains top performers.

Employers that host collaborative virtual events give employees opportunities to make valuable connections and utilize their signature strengths. Informational events offer learning experiences that help employees develop new skills and progress toward their career goals. Community-centered events allow employees to combine special interests and hobbies with their professional paths, for better work/life integration (which 87% of employees say they expect employers to support).

Investing in Employee Experience Improves Retention and Recruiting

Centering employee engagement and experience clearly boosts retention, alongside gains in performance. Recent Forrester research identified measuring employee experience as a huge opportunity for employers. During the pandemic, Forrester found that “fewer than one-third of companies conduct employee experience surveys at least quarterly, and only slightly more have a voice-of-the-employee program—both of which are foundational for employee experience initiatives.”

Across industries, our clients have found that improving the employee experience offers a host of other benefits as well. Logically, having happier employees means a boost for your employer brand, as they’re more likely to tell positive stories about your organization—to their friends and family, on social media, and on employer review websites. Organizations with a great employee experience also tend to have higher rates of candidate referrals—and in many cases, the quality of that referred talent exceeds other sources.

Reduce Turnover with Strategic Virtual Events

Hosting virtual events just might be the most effective way to improve your employee experience—regardless of where your team works, the positions they hold, and the industry you operate in. Investing in strategies to provide a better employee experience can result in lower turnover, higher performance, and better recruiting outcomes.

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