Over lunch today, we were discussing our client's concerns about employee retention and the impact that COVID19 has had on their company's culture. He is worried that his employees do not feel tied to the company, they have lost their sense of belonging, and that many are thinking of leaving.
Anne had been reading on this very topic and she replied, "I believe that employee retention should be the number one priority for all companies. The prevailing wisdom used to be that customers should be priority one; today that has shifted. We serve customers through our employees and when our employees are not happy, they don't take good care of the customers. Conversely, when the employees are happy, the customers are happy.
"Your employees reflect your company culture. A strong company culture where employees feel they are safe, have a sense of belonging, feel respected and appreciated, have autonomy with clear guidelines and leadership they trust contributes to employee retention and by extension, customer retention.
"With the Baby Boomers reaching retirement age and fewer potential employees to draw from, there is sure to be a shortage of workers in virtually every skill area and every sector; to replace the retiring Boomers and to fill newly created jobs. Companies that are not successful in retaining their employees will struggle to find new people to serve their customers.
"Employee turnover will affect the bottom line in several ways; the cost of replacing an employee is at least 20% of their annual compensation and that doesn't include the lost knowledge. (You can calculate your own cost of replacing employees, here.)
"The cost of replacing a customer varies by industry but we all know that customer churn can be even more costly.
"The shift to working from home during COVID19 has shown that rather than decline, often productivity and work satisfaction increased; and many workers are saying they have no desire or intention to return to working in an office.
"According to a study reported by the World Economic Forum, 65% of workers surveyed preferred to work from home and 58% said they would look for another (work from home) job rather than return to the office.
"Right now, more employees are already looking for new jobs right now compared to 2019 and 2020! according to a study published by Achievers, in February 2021, 52% of employees in Canada and the US said they intended to look for a new job in 2021. This is a significant increase in likely turnover, compared to the same survey in 2019 and 2020 when 35% of employees said they intended to look for a new job.
"These facts add up to an enormous risk for employers, especially those who mandate that workers come to the office to work.
What do you think dear readers? We would love to know what you see in your working future!
Are you looking for a new job?
Will you go back to working from an office or will you stay at home? Are you willing to compromise with a hybrid model where you work from the office "some of the time" and from home for the rest of the time?
We will talk more about this next week.