- More than 80% of HR executives responding to a recent survey said they were concerned about talent leaving their organizations, up from 68% in July 2021. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas surveyed 150 U.S. HR execs in January and February.
- In response, employers have increased flexible work, with 73% offering hybrid and remote work options to retain workers. But engagement is a potential concern for off-site workers, according to firm Senior Vice President Andrew Challenger, with some employers struggling to balance overscheduling concerns with being too hands-off in their management of these workers.
- "Ultimately, managers are responsible for the engagement and output of their teams. If workers feel ignored, if emails go unanswered, or ideas overlooked, talent will look elsewhere for validation," Challenger said in a statement.
The firm's survey results generally align with previous findings about flexible work and its role in retention. Recent data from business review website GoodFirms found that 70% of surveyed HR managers said flexibility was behind resignations at their organizations. More than half of workers in a January PwC survey said they wanted to work from home at least three days per week.
Presence of flexible options alone does not guarantee resignations will be less likely, however. A 2021 TinyPulse survey of employees found that respondents said hybrid work was nearly twice as emotionally exhausting as remote work.
Additionally, surveillance technologies deployed to monitor employees while remote may negatively impact job satisfaction, increase stress and otherwise hurt retention, according to a 2021 report produced by the University of St. Andrews and published by the European Commission's Joint Research Council.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas provided a list of engagement strategies for employers. HR departments may decide to survey employees to determine their ideal communication styles, while teams and leadership may celebrate achievements and help co-workers work toward individual goals.
Other sources have highlighted similar approaches; in an op-ed for HR Dive, one stakeholder suggested that even something as simple as a personal note recognizing an employee's accomplishments could build stronger engagement with remote or hybrid workers. Employers also may be able to develop programs that support the needs of certain employees, such as working parents.