How to Stem the Tide of the 2021 Turnover Tsunami

Meghan Peterson | September 7, 2021

52% of workers plan to look for new jobs in 2021, make sure your employees aren't among them.

It’s not just your imagination; there really are more employees changing jobs lately. According to Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2021 Engagement and Retention Report, 52% of workers plan to look for new jobs in 2021.

As the pandemic wanes, workers who have been considering changing positions may finally feel the security to do so after more than a year of lying low. Plus, those who’ve enjoyed increased flexibility as a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic are, in many cases, now faced with a return to the “old” ways: long commutes, mandatory office hours, increased childcare expenses, and so on.

Couple these circumstances with increased burnout and a competitive hiring market, and you’re looking at a recipe for major migrations. Turnover is expensive and tends to cause more turnover. A wave of staffing losses is sure to interrupt operations. To minimize this trend’s impact on your business, make sure you’re taking these crucial steps—and soon—before you fall behind.

#1: Ramp Up Your Employee Recognition Programs

If there’s one simple, low-cost way to make a difference in your employees’ happiness, it’s by recognizing—and thanking them for—the hard work they do every day.

According to Gallup, only 33% of workers in the United States say they’ve received praise in the last week. There’s no excuse for allowing your employees to feel invisible. Take some time to encourage and amplify recognition at all levels of your organization.

This can be as simple as creating a specialized forum on your intranet or collaboration platform where employees can congratulate each other for a job well done. But don’t stop there—open monthly surveys for employees to nominate others for recognition, then have your executive team announce them each month. And consider offering leadership coaching to help managers integrate recognition into their everyday interactions with their teams.

Source: “Turnover Tsunami: What factors are motivating employees to search for new job opportunities?”

#2: Provide Support to Employees in All Walks of Life

Another low-cost opportunity to increase employee satisfaction is by supporting the communities within your team. Give colleagues with shared experiences—whether it’s ethnic background or race, parenthood or mental health journeys—employee resource groups (known as ERGs) in which to gather and discuss these commonalities. 

When employees feel a greater sense of belonging at work and feel connected with their colleagues, it can help them feel more secure and welcome in your organization. Additionally, the educational programming ERGs can encourage greater inclusion and diversity across the board.

Make sure your leadership team is actively engaged, too. Executive sponsors can ensure each group gets the visibility they need and help group members feel connected to the company at large.

Source: “Turnover Tsunami: What can organizations do to prevent high turnover in 2021 and beyond?”

#3: Stay Flexible—and Generous

Now is a critical time to reexamine your benefits and perks. The world has changed, employees know it, and they’re ready and willing to look elsewhere if you’re not prepared to meet them in the “new normal.”

Most top-of-mind? Flexibility. In whatever ways you can, ensure your employees feel empowered to manage their own schedules, working environments, and socialization. Strictly set hours, in-office chains, and mandatory Zoom cameras are out; more fluid office hours, the ability to work from home at least occasionally, and many modes of communication are in. Keep up with these trends as much as possible, or you’ll lose talent to those who do.

Additionally, it’s a good time to look over your healthcare benefits, wellness programs, and related perks. Today’s workers want to know you care about their holistic wellbeing; this is the most straightforward way you can show them.

#4: Improve Your Referral Incentives

Some turnover is inevitable—so don’t be surprised when it happens. Instead, be prepared to fill the gaps quickly. Employee referrals are a beautiful and simple way to help accelerate hiring and fill your pipeline with qualified, culture-fitting candidates across functions.

Referred candidates tend to hire and onboard faster, stay longer, and cost less to find. By welcoming your employees’ friends and family to open roles, you foster a sense of belonging and loyalty amongst your team. 

If you don’t already, consider introducing referral incentives—paid bonuses to employees who make successful referrals for open roles. If you already offer them, consider increasing them, and certainly find ways to promote them via internal competitions and communications. 

Source: “Turnover Tsunami: What advice do you give to companies already in the midst of the turnover tsunami?”

#5: Level-up Your Hiring Processes

Finally, you can ease some of the pain from turnover by ensuring you’re well-equipped to make hires quickly and effectively. Today, that means screening and interviewing from anywhere with as few delays as possible.

Consider adding one-way video interviews as a fast and honest way of screening qualified applicants. This step can empower potential employees to represent themselves fully, on their own schedule, and save your recruiters time setting up dozens of phone screenings.

Additionally, live video interviews are a part of the new normal, according to many hiring experts. Conducting at least part of your interview process this way can drastically reduce scheduling conflicts, travel expenses, and inconsistencies between interview experiences. 

All of this means faster, more effective hiring cycles to minimize business interruption and offer a better hiring experience to your candidates—game-changers in today’s landscape.

Source: “Turnover Tsunami: How can technology help companies overcome high post-pandemic turnover?”

Keep Your Employees Happy from Day 1 — Starting with Your Recruitment Strategy

If you find yourself in the middle of a mass exodus, implementing these strategies might keep the rest of your team from jumping ship. However, they won’t fill your vacancies—for that, you’ll need to rethink your recruitment strategy. 

Top professionals don’t stay on the market for long, so once you find your candidate, get them to interview ASAP. Platforms like interiewstream help you cut down on hiring time and cost, freeing up time for you to revamp your retention strategies. Make your employees feel valued from the first moment you connect, starting with a modern and efficient hiring process. Book a demo today to see how interviewstream can help you improve your hiring practices.

About The Author

Meghan Peterson is the VP of Revenue at interviewstream. She combines her experience in sales, recruiting, and tech to support customers of all sizes in her role. If you’d like to pick her brain about her advice here or simply start a conversation, feel free to give Meg a shout at


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