The One (Free) Benefit That May Get Employees to Stay

The One (Free) Benefit That May Get Employees to Stay

By Tricia O'Connor

A lot has been made this year about how to survive the turnover tsunami, but there is one important (and free!) employee benefit that is often overlooked.

A new survey indicates career transparency is the most meaningful way companies can retain employees. It’s more impactful than promoting a positive culture and cheaper than offering short-term solutions.

Here’s why career transparency could become the newest employee benefit to help you survive the pandemic and beyond.

What is the Turnover Tsunami?

Sometimes referred to as the Great Resignation, the turnover tsunami is essentially a mass exodus of workers leaving unfulfilling jobs. For four consecutive months in 2021, millions of Americans quit their jobs. You can blame the pandemic, but it appears poor people management is the real reason behind the swell of employee attrition.

Many employees are fed up with inflexible working arrangements. Frontline workers say they’re not paid enough to put their health at risk. White-collar employees are frustrated with the “Will-they-or-won’t-they reopen my office?” question. And everyone is experiencing burnout, although the reasons why employees feel overloaded is still being debated and researched.

A survey of more than 2,000 employees at medium to large U.S. businesses seems to point the finger at employees feeling stuck:

  • 43% say their career paths have stalled or slowed
  • 47% say they are currently looking or considering searching for a new job with better growth potential
  • 17% say they are actively looking for a better opportunity immediately

If you’re keeping track, that’s more than half of respondents who say they want to change jobs.

A Benefit With Big Results

Imagine you want to hike a mountain for the first time. We’re not talking K2 here, but maybe something strenuous you can still do in a day, like Mount Katahdin. You may not be able to on your own with no experience. But you connect with a guide who takes the time to learn about you, your strengths, your challenges, what motivates you, how you process disappointment, and what success means to you. Then, that guide develops a training plan for you and checks in periodically to see how you’re doing. Together, you re-evaluate this plan as you progress in your training and celebrate the victories as they come.

This is career transparency. This benefit basically means showing employees where their jobs can take them and developing plans to help them get there.

There are many reasons why career transparency is such a big benefit for employees and employers, but one of the main reasons is that it motivates employees on their own terms and for their own reasons. With solid career transparency, employees quickly learn they are not confined to one path of pre-determined vertical success. Rather, they get a say in what success looks and feels like to them and feel ownership over their individualized growth plans.

In turn, employers receive a loyal, happy, and devoted employee who excels at their defined niche. This benefit also cuts down on the possibility of surprise resignations. It’s a nearly no-cost benefit with big results. And employers will need to embrace it to survive beyond the pandemic. Now that we have a workforce that can largely work from anywhere, they won’t stay in a stagnating role for long.

Generation Z Wants This ONE Benefit

In our recent article, Four Trends From SHRM With Staying Power, one particular group of employees – Gen Z – seems more primed than others to stand up to mediocre working environments and seek better employee benefits. 

People born after 1997 are hailed as Generation Z. Generation Z was predicted to comprise 24% of the workforce by 2020. And by 2025, Gen Z—the most racially and ethnically diverse generation—will account for nearly 30 percent of workers. They are tech-savvy, flexible, imaginative, independent, and driven. They are also not willing to settle. They are the first population to grow up with smartphones, texting, apps, and social media. They absorb heaps of information every day because it’s been readily available at their fingertips. The result is an entire population that learns fast, naturally multitasks, and feels comfortable with technology.

They want to be rewarded for it, too. But perks like signing bonuses, childcare help, and vaccination incentives don’t mean much to this group. What Gen Z really wants as an employee benefit is free for employers, but it does take cultural buy-in from leadership and a strategic effort to implement and continue throughout the course of an employee’s career.

Needs of the New Workforce

Make no mistake about it, talent acquisition and people management has changed forever. There is no going back from the pandemic, only finding new ways to move organizations forward. Providing employees clear career transparency seems like a benefit everyone can benefit from.

Transparency can begin with the pre-employment screening process, too. Many employers are redefining their background check and drug testing policies to compete for the best talent. If you have any questions about EBI’s pre-employment screening solutions, please contact our team of experts. 

About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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