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Keeping Employees Guessing on Workday Expectations Could be at the Root of Your Recruitment, Retention Problems

It’s been nearly two years since we first learned of the Great Resignation, and employees still have quitting—one way or another—on the brain. Research from Wisetail/Onepoll released in July 2022 suggests that another wave is impending. Drafted resignation letters, according to the research, have been filed away for the right day by more than half of the American workforce.

Flexibility and work/life balance continue to rank high for employees who are making these career decisions, and the competition for top talent has been made fiercer by companies that are now 100-percent remote or hybrid. For those that have left things unsaid or neglected these workday expectations, employee confidence is most likely diminished. The result is predictable.

An often overlooked yet imperative recruitment and retention strategy is defining your company’s relationship with work. Like any relationship, work is a mutual commitment that demands clear expectations for what employees, teams, supervisors and others can expect around the workday. How does your company handle remote work? How much flexibility do employees have to balance their schedule between work and life? How can you improve the in-office experience for employees as they split their workweek between the office and home?

From conversations to guidance, policies, benefits and more, defining these workday expectations may take different shapes. This guide will walk you through tools to get the ball rolling.

Get a Pulse Check on Employee Preferences

First question: Are you meeting your teams’ needs? The best way to find out is to ask them directly. Workplace preferences are unique to each workplace and team, and approaches to setting expectations should be based on what you learn from them. Department and companywide surveys are excellent tools to gauge trends and common pain points. Focus groups and stay interviews can deepen your understanding of unique employee perspectives. Together, these “listening” tools will glean insights to help you solve problems.

Use this employee survey template to assist with gauging the needs and preferences of your employees. If you need support with a more custom, company-wide survey, let our team know—we’re here to help.

What Metro Atlanta’s Workforce Expects About Remote Work

Since April 2020, the Atlanta Regional Commission has conducted a study of metro Atlanta workforce’s remote work experience through Georgia Commute Options’ Remote Work Survey. In our most recent surveys, we’ve gained a lot of insight into what employees and leaders expect about the workday now and in the future.

More than 60 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would prefer to work remotely at least three days or more weekly. Additionally, the greatest workday barrier is the commute according to survey respondents. 40 percent of employees report they would quit if required to be in the office five days per week. Sounds like a quick win to us. Let’s troubleshoot your organization’s commuting concerns. Contact us.

Give Teams More Choice on Workplace Flexibility

Taking what you learn from your employees, next look at existing guidance and policies. Here are a few questions to think through:

  • Does your company have formal policies in place to support remote or hybrid work?
  • Are these policies supported at every level in your company?
  • How committed are your organization’s supervisors to the formal telework policy?

Navigating these questions can be complex, but you don’t have to do that alone. Our team can help you address gaps and enhance company policies that create straightforward, mutually beneficial expectations that balance employee preferences with company goals. When considering what factors matter most to organizations, our consultation will help sustain your organization’s culture, maximize employee productivity and implement scheduling options for supporting and training new staff.

If you are interested in improving work for your employees, reach out to us to discuss conducting and analyzing workplace-wide surveys, focus groups, workplace agreements, telework guidelines and more:

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