Data released from the Labor Department shows that over 4 million people, or roughly 2.9 percent of the population in the U.S. quit their jobs in August. According to a Gallup Organization survey, 48% of workers are actively job searching or watching for job opportunities.

The “Great Resignation” is issue No. 1 for nearly every employer right now.

In a global survey, Willis Towers Watson found that 9 in 10 employers said enhancing the employee experience will be an important priority at their organizations over the next three years, compared with just 52 percent that indicated it was important prior to the pandemic.

What’s the magic ingredient to get employees to stick around?  Career transparency. Career development and transparency gives employees a clear sense of how they can grow in their jobs and how the company will support their efforts to reach their goals.

1. Have a “stay” conversation with your employees

Stay conversations are one-on-one conversations designed to learn more about your employee, including their passions and career goals, what they value in life, and what they need to be more successful in their role. Effective stay conversations are two-way exchanges that get to the heart of the individual’s needs, motivations and engagement drivers.

“Stay” conversations not only reveal risk factors for turnover but also show employees that you truly care. Through stay conversations, leaders and managers learn more about what motivates employees and how to make their work experience better.

Stay conversations are not one-and-done discussions: They should be one of many coaching conversations managers regularly have with employees.

One great idea is to begin with a personalized invitation to start the conversation.

Want to know what motivates you and your employees? 

Ask us for a sample Engagement Report and learn how it can help you identify what makes you and your employees “tick” for targeted development conversations.

The engagement report can help you to reconnect with employees as they deal with disengagement or navigate a transition back into the workplace or optimize roles based on the current needs of the organization.

2. Develop a “Growth Plan”

A desire for employee training and development opportunities is one of the top reasons workers move to a new company or start their job search. The benefits of investing in their development are numerous especially as a tool to attract top talent in a market where competition for talent remains fierce.

Ensure that every employee has a Strengths-Focused Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Use an IDP worksheet to help guide your employees through the process of developing a plan that they have ownership of and give them opportunity to think about what’s most important to them and where their strengths are best suited for career success.

This helps you identify specific ways to keep employees motivated and engaged and it helps them write down a specific plan with timeframes and SMART goals to energize them.

People do better when they do what they do best, so it can be very important to help the employee take a personality assessment such as CliftonStrengthsTM or DISCTM to identify their strengths and weaknesses and ensure they are aligned with the direction they desire to go. As a manager, your job is to help coach them through the process.


3. Check in and Celebrate Wins

Having a plan isn’t worth much if you don’t track your progress against it regularly. Regularly connect with your employees about their career progression. When an employee does make progress towards their goals, don’t let the occasion pass unnoticed.

A few of our favorite books for increasing engagement and rewarding employees include:

1501 Ways to Reward Employees

1001 Ways to Engage Employees

5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

4. Reduce Stress

According to research conducted by Society for Human Resources Managers (SHRM), over the last 18 months, 52 percent of employees reported high-to-moderate anxiety and 66 percent reported work distractions. Almost half of U.S. workers surveyed reported feeling mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the workday.

The pandemic has given employees time to reflect on their work and how it impacts their personal lives. Many employees are reconsidering their relationship to their career and work.

This isn’t just a pay issue. It’s a burnout, stress and quality of life issue and employees are now placing a higher value on their health and wellbeing.

Find out what’s most important to your employees and then make an honest effort to get them what they need most.

 An informal employee survey could be a powerful way to find out what your employees need NOW.  Make it safe for people to be transparent about the level of stress they’re under.

For some employees, they want increased paid time off and childcare or elder care benefits, as well as flexible work schedules. For some it’s additional mental health and wellness benefits and more-intentional career development opportunities.

As a manager, help reduce stress for your employees by making sure they know what’s expected of them, they have what they need to get their work done, help them manage their workload, and collaborate effectively with them so they can see a clear path to a brighter future.

Here’s a great article about work stress.

Want to know how stressed out you or your employees are?  Ask us about our Stress Quotient Assessment and how it can help you identify areas to focus on to reduce workplace stress.


Talent Edge Group helps fast-growing companies select, develop & equip their leaders & teams so they can thrive now and in the future.

We look forward to talking with you soon! 

Talent Edge Group is a global talent development firm that helps companies improve employee engagement and leadership effectiveness by empowering leaders with self-awareness and training them on essential management skills.

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