Why 2022 is the Year of the Employee and How to Embrace It

Numbers 2022

One in four workers quit their job in 2021, and there is still no end in sight for the “The Great Resignation” in 2022. Employees having the upper hand in the job market is looking to be a trend for the foreseeable future, so how can you actually embrace this new trend as an employer? Read on to find out.

Consider unique benefits. This is the year to set yourselves apart from your competition to seek out the best talent. Consider revamping your benefits package and including unique benefits such as a 4-day work week, an emphasis on employee professional growth, onsite health services, or digital benefits. Learn what your current employee’s value the most in their jobs, whether that’s pay, benefits, or a combination of the two, and determine how your company can upgrade and improve what is needed to ensure you’re retaining as many employees as possible without breaking the bank.

Combat worker burnout. One of the major reasons employees are quitting in droves is due to feeling burnt out and overworked at their jobs. According to Limeade.com, the most common causes of burnout are due to being overworked/stressed out at work, minimal feedback on work performance or feeling underappreciated, and lack of support from managers. Take an honest look at your company’s staff and culture to determine potential causes of burnout and take immediate steps to rectify these issues before they become severe ( e.g. Are employees expected to respond to emails while off the clock? Is there one manager everyone seems to grumble about?). Be sure to maintain an open line of communication with your staff so they feel comfortable telling you where they feel unsupported or overworked without fear of retribution.

Focus on mental wellbeing. Employees want their employers to care about them as people, and lucky for employers, there are many ways to show your staff that they are more than just a timesheet. One way is to create PTO that is labeled as “personal time” or “mental health day” – show your employees you understand that taking time off isn’t only because they’re sick or they’re on vacation, sometimes employees need a day off just because, and you can promote the taking of time off by creating a separate PTO line for these days in particular. Another way is to simply discuss mental health in the workplace. Acknowledge that the pandemic has been life-altering and any way your employees have reacted to it is ok and normal. When employees trust you won't call them "crazy" for having a panic attack or fire them when they're struggling with depression, they'll be more willing to seek treatment. To this end, follow up on your encouragement of mental health transparency by also offering free mental health screening tools (available here) or consider adding in mental-health based Employee Assistance Program for staff to take advantage of to better their mental health. 

Overall, don’t look at 2022 as a year employers just need to get through until the market is in their corner again, take this time to consider what it is you are offering your employees and how you can improve your benefits and workplace culture to not only retain great employees, but draw in more skilled workers as well.