Avoid the “Great Resignation”: 5 Ways to Engage Women in Your Workforce

More than 2.5 million women left the U.S. workforce during the pandemic and nearly half (48 percent) of American workers are currently seeking new opportunities that offer better benefits, flexibility, or pay. Both the “She-cession” and the “Great Resignation” up-ended gender diversity, employee engagement, and retention goals, plunging people metrics into the red, throwing teams into chaos, and rolling back progress on hard won equality gains.

Between the job hopping trend and an increase in women exiting the workforce, there’s an opportunity for organizations to rethink the ways they engage and drive loyalty among their female employees. Based on data and insights from reacHIRE’s Aurora platform, we’ve gathered tips on how to avoid the “Great Resignation” and build a workplace where women thrive.

1. Democratize Support and Development For All Employees  

Many organizations invest in high-potential employees when it comes to learning, development, and engagement opportunities. However, offering all employees access to learning opportunities and resources such as mentoring and coaching can lead to significant benefits for your organization. In fact, research from LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if the company simply helped them learn and grow – which can help your team avoid the significant time, resources and costs associated with filling roles when employees leave your organization.

With a solution like reacHIRE’s Aurora platform, companies can offer both targeted, structured development opportunities to small cohorts of high-potential employees, as well as always-on, community-based support to all female employees, empowering all women across your organization to grow in their careers.

2. Build a Trusted Peer Community

Women are 2.5 times more likely to become high performers if they have a tight-knit network of supportive women at work. Offering women opportunities to learn with, and from, each other through peer-to-peer connection can improve their sense of belonging and community, ultimately increasing the chances that they will stay and thrive with your organization.

Research from O.C. Tanner shows that organizations are 12 times more likely to thrive when employees feel connected. Recent data from the participants on the Aurora platform found that 97 percent of participants felt more connected to their community of peers. Aurora helps companies foster belonging by connecting women within organizations to learn, share experiences, and gain real-life advice from other women who have navigated similar work situations.

3. Offer Opportunities for Continuous Learning

A recent survey from Prudential Financial found that of employees considering leaving their jobs in 2021, 72 percent are rethinking their skill sets. To keep women in your workforce engaged and motivated – and ensure their skills remain fresh as the world of work evolves – it’s critical to offer continuous learning and career development opportunities.

The curriculum in reacHIRE’s Aurora platform was created by learning experts to help women develop the necessary skills to thrive and stay with their organizations. On-demand resources including learning and leadership-building modules, assessments, Ask the Community, and the Real Leaders Real Stories video vault, provide women with opportunities to access advice or content to grow on their schedule.

4. Provide Expert Human Guidance

While peer connections and access to learning resources can go a way to drive engagement and help women grow with your organization, employees can also benefit from expert, human guidance. To support this, some companies set up 1:1 mentor relationships between individuals within the organization, while other companies might offer coaching resources to targeted employees.

With the Aurora platform, certified executive Guides with real-world experience are available for mentor/coaching support for women as they navigate their career journeys. Aurora Guides are vetted executives who provide women with virtual, expert-led training and support to help individuals stay on track with their development plans and organizations grow their next generation of leaders.

5. Encourage Workplace Flexibility 

The pandemic caused both workers and companies to rethink how, when and where we work, and blurred the lines between individuals’ work and personal lives. LinkedIn CEO, Ryan Roslansky, recently introduced the concept the “Great Reshuffle” to describe this time of workplace upheaval.

As companies gradually make the switch back to in-office or hybrid work following over 18 months of remote work, many women wonder how this will impact their careers. Data from CNBC and SurveyMonkey found that 39 percent of working women are concerned that opting for flexible work arrangements could harm their career goals – and this number jumps to 53 percent for women with children under the age of 18.

To engage and retain women – and other employees – during the pandemic and beyond, it’s important to offer and encourage flexible work arrangements, whether this means options to continue working remotely, a hybrid work environment, or adjusted hours to meet the needs of family and other personal obligations. By adopting the mindset that as long as work gets done, it doesn’t matter where or when it happens, you can show employees they’re trusted, which can ultimately help boost productivity across your team.

Support Women in Your Workforce

Data from McKinsey found that one in four women are considering leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers. reacHIRE’s Aurora platform can help your team better support women so they thrive and stay with your organization. Aurora takes a unique community-based approach to help companies build the careers of all women, as well as accelerate growth for high-potential talent. With Aurora, companies can foster a sense of belonging, provide continuous learning and skill-building, improve employee engagement, and increase loyalty.

Learn more about Aurora and how to bring career opportunities, learnings, and community to help support and encourage loyalty among women in your organization.