How to stop the great resignation from taking your company

How To Stop the “Great Resignation” from Taking Your Company

With the last few years, faced with the many challenges of COVID-19, business owners like myself have struggled with keeping employees motivated and happy during such a difficult time.  Did you know that over 4 million people in the United States quit their job in April of 2021!  In fact, this was the biggest resignation spike in history.  In a more recent survey, it was found that over 30,000 global workers are considering leaving their current employer in 2022.

These numbers attest to the fact that “burnout” especially in the healthcare field is still a huge problem even in 2022. With new fears of the Omicron Variant, Business owners like myself are still struggling with keeping employees as well as our businesses in full operation.  Many employees are questioning their day-to-day experiences at work as well as their careers in general.  People are really struggling through the pandemic with work and life balance and considering moving to something new.

For these reasons, as business owners, it is so important over the next few months to look over our businesses and analyze how they have been affected over the past few years.  It’s vital that we come up with solutions that will not allow the “Great Resignation” to affect our businesses. It is also extremely critical to win over your employees in order to minimize turnover and prepare your company for a post pandemic future.

Don’t let the pandemic affect your business any longer!  Here are a few steps you can take to minimize turnover and create a successful post COVID culture for your business.


Ensure Employee Well-Being

First and foremost, it is extremely important to rule out any burnout and create a comfortable environment in the workplace for your employees.  What I have done within my own practice, is encourage time off and show everyone, including the leadership team, that they deserve time away.

Also, checking in with my team members on a weekly basis to simply see how they’re doing and if they need anything has helped me really understand and acknowledge my team.  Encouraging employee engagement, as well as celebration of birthdays and longevity within the company helps create an open and happy environment for your team.


Promote From Within.  Elevate Your People.

Life changing events like a global pandemic can encourage people to reevaluate what they want in life, their career as well as any personal goals. Though you may not be able to make everyone happy, it is important to recognize your employees who would like to move up within your company and elevate them and their roles.  If employees do not feel valued or know of any potential opportunities to move up within the company, they will most likely be open to looking elsewhere.  Supporting lateral moves within your practice will allow your staff to feel valued and have something to work towards.

Start by recognizing those within your practice who want more responsibility and offer incentives to work towards those goals.


Allow Work-From-Home Opportunities for Valued Employees

For many optometry practice owners like myself, the past two years have been a challenge trying to balance employee hours, sick staff, and patient schedules.  A recent survey found that over 40% of people would consider quitting their job if it did not allow flexibility or the opportunity to work remotely.

Though many practice owners are eager to have all employees return to work on a full-time basis, it is a mistake to not capitalize on the opportunity to allow employees to work from home. The time to offer assurance to your staff is now. Many employees will begin looking around for opportunities to work from home if you do not incorporate this into your business.

Of course, the biggest question is who within your company will be allowed to work remotely. It is important to identify those team members who might benefit from working from home and will be allowed to work efficiently as well. I recommend starting them off by working from home only a few days a week to see how it goes.  You can utilize software like HubSpot or Slack to ensure your employees are putting in the hours from home.


Last and Final Thoughts: Listen To Your Team.  Be Proactive and Understanding.

There might be many reasons employees may be considering leaving the workplace and some might be out of your control. That is why it is vital to always be in touch with the team members within your organization, while maintaining a positive, open-door environment.

Employee surveys are a great way to gauge your staff and see what you can do to improve the work environment.  I recommend sending surveys out quarterly to your team.  You can even make it fun by creating a competition between departments, for example, whichever department completes the survey first when’s a pizza party!

Make sure to celebrate your wins and acknowledge the obstacles on a daily basis.  If some of your employees decide to move on, make sure to ask what your company could have done to better support them or prevent them from leaving in the first place.

So with that, I wish the best of luck to all my fellow optometry professionals and business owners.  Stay vigilant and continue creating a winning workplace in 2022!

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