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How Can Employers Avoid The Great Resignation And Retain Their Best Employees?


In 2021 approximately 48 million employees declared “enough is enough'' at their workplaces and submitted their two weeks’ notice in search of better opportunities, a move that has been called the Great Resignation. The trend has continued into 2022, with an additional 4.3 million people leaving their jobs in January. A February 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that workers cited low pay, no opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work as top reasons for leaving. 

Additionally, as of February 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 40,000 of those who left were workers in the sectors of “real estate, rental and leasing.” Clearly, it has never been more important for CRE employers to hold on to top talent. That being said, how can they avoid experiencing their own mass resignations? By taking a close look at their internal practices and working hard to determine what employees really want. 

Here are four tips that CRE firms can use to help retain their best employees.

Have Scheduled Check-Ins 

The National Association of Realtors found that during exit interviews, employees who left jobs indicated that they were unclear about how they could have performed better at work and therefore, didn’t feel like they could meet expectations. To help set employees up for success, CRE employers can set up a regular time to discuss job performance and provide constructive feedback. When employers check in on a consistent basis, they show a dedication to employees’ progress and a willingness to communicate.

NAR suggests using a performance appraisal to assess how well employees are meeting their expectations and which areas can be improved upon. These appraisals can be provided in the form of a rating system or in a narrative that employers can write up, and based on criteria such as knowledge of industry concepts or their ability to meet objectives. 

Create An Environment That Values Flexibility

For many employees during the pandemic, having a flexible work environment that allowed them to work from home all or at least part of the time and control their schedule was a key reason for their decision to stay at their company. A Future Forum survey indicated that 95% of employees preferred a work environment that allowed them to create their own schedules, while 78% wanted to choose where they would work. 

But it’s not just about working from home and setting flexible hours. Harvard Business Review suggested that flexibility at work can also extend to allowing employees to tailor their roles and career trajectory at the company. Although employers can make hiring decisions based on skills and experience, having the ability to rework the job description to fit their capabilities and giving them the freedom to create their own groups for projects would help employees feel like active participants in their job.

“If people help build their dream home, they’ll want to live in it,” HBR said.

Encouraging Learning Opportunities

CRE employees are better equipped to be successful in their roles if they have the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field. Deloitte said that in some cases, this training may involve teaching newer employees how to succeed in leadership positions or providing mentorship opportunities for employees to teach one another new skills. Companies can also look into paying for online or in-person courses that could encourage professional development

Pay What They Deserve (And More)

When employees feel like their companies are looking out for their needs, they are more incentivized to stay for the long haul. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicated that in addition to offering a generous benefits package, employees can go above and beyond by paying “better-than-average salaries” as well as giving them a retention bonus. By offering financial perks that are higher than what competitors would offer, employers are more likely to stop their top employees from looking for opportunities at companies that could check all their boxes.

Exodus HR Group suggested that employees who choose to invest in their employees financially can also provide bonuses based on performance. Having an additional financial incentive would reward top talent for their contributions as well as encourage other employees to continue working hard. 

For more recruiting help, check out SelectLeaders — helping more than 3,000 of CRE's top employers source top talent through job listings, recruitment services and more.