Bloomberg is calling it the “Great Resignation.” At the end of March 2021, employees started to quit their jobs in droves. 4 million Americans left their jobs in April alone, and today, they show no sign of stopping. Why are so many people quitting right now? 

According to NPR, employees “are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility and more happiness.” As the pandemic hit a turning point in vaccination numbers, employees feel like it’s a good time to make a change. So, what can employers do to retain employees during such a massive shift in attitude?

Why the job market is so competitive right now

First, let’s take a deeper look at some of the data. There’s an unexpected pattern happening in the labor market where there’s both an increase in open jobs, and an increase in workers quitting their jobs. According to Quartz, the US economy is currently experiencing the highest rate of workers quitting their jobs in the past two decades—while a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed job openings jumped to 9.2 million in May from 8.3 million the previous month. Together, what this means is that there’s a lot of opportunity out there for employees who are unsatisfied with their current roles—and plenty of chances to quickly land somewhere new.

Why employees are quitting their jobs

In large part, employees are quitting because they’re not happy. In a recent article from Fast Company, Shahar Erez, CEO of freelance talent platform Stoke, explained: “The Great Resignation is propelled by three forces: the changing generation, the economic crisis, and the realization people have had that they can have a different social contract, spending more time with family when they work remote and skip the commute.”

In fact, according to a survey from Morning Consult, about 39% of employees would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. That number jumps to 49% for millennial and Gen Z respondents, suggesting that younger generations expect more flexibility from their jobs.

Many workers experienced an increase in flexibility during the pandemic that came as a welcome change. They learned they could work from home just as efficiently as they did in an office, without the costly and draining time spent commuting. With this arrangement, many workers were able to find a better work-life balance, increasing their overall satisfaction with their roles and companies. In order to boost staff satisfaction and retain employees, companies will need to explore new ways of working, new benefits programs, and more. Keep reading to learn what really works:

What really increases employee satisfaction

At a high level, there are a handful of things employers can pay attention to that contribute to employee retention once they’re in the door: good pay, good culture, and good benefits.

Review your employee compensation plans

While paying employees a good market rate is a fairly straightforward task, don’t forget about everything else that goes into an employee’s take-home pay. For example, Verge reports that Microsoft is giving all employees a $1,500 “pandemic bonus,” as a “recognition of the unique and challenging fiscal year that Microsoft just completed.”

Depending on your business model, consider a revenue-sharing program, regular or one-off bonuses, and clear routes for advancement and raises. When employees feel that they’re compensated fairly, they’re more likely to stick around.

Invest in your company culture

Next, building a strong company culture is something that’s a bit more complicated since every company is unique. Consider conducting an audit to get direct employee feedback on what’s working and not working for your workforce because it might not be what you think it is. For example, you might be surprised to find that a majority of your team is interested in returning to the office on a full-time or part-time basis—or you could get more insight into the ways employees want to be recognized and compensated for their hard work. Starting with the data on where your company culture stands can help you determine what practical steps you can take to make it even better.

Burnout is a big challenge that many companies are facing at the end of the pandemic. End the cycle by offering additional time off—something that Microsoft is also doing to ease pandemic stress. Additionally, explore ways to support employees who have children or are caretakers for elderly relatives, which adds additional stress on employees who are already burnt out. It could be as simple as instituting a flexible work policy, or offering a wider range of caretaker benefits. Additionally, make sure you build employee appreciation mechanisms into how your organization operates to ensure employees feel valued and cared for. At the end of the day, investing in keeping your employees happy can go a long way in boosting employee retention and overall job satisfaction.

Offer benefits that employees want

Beyond the basics like health insurance, employees want benefits that impact their day-to-day lives. Ready to revamp your benefits policy to boost employee retention? Here are a few research-backed employee benefits to get you started: 

Food Delivery

Your entire workforce needs to eat, making this a benefit that all your employees can enjoy. Whether working from the office or home, with DoorDash for Work, employees can order their meal anytime, from anywhere. 

One DoorDash study found that company perks should include food rewards. In a September 2020 survey, 85% of employees surveyed said regular food delivery would increase their job satisfaction and 9 out of 10 employees missed at least one food-related benefit while working from home. 

Delivery helps employees, especially when they have a lot going on. As more people are beginning to schedule in-person meetings while having to manage their workloads as well as home responsibilities, many are struggling to find time to prep food, do dishes, and other everyday tasks. There are a number of ways you can offer this benefit to your employees:

1. Treat employees to lunch at the office.

With Group Orders, your team can add their own individual dishes to the group's shopping cart and everyone can eat what they want together. Picking lunch from their favorite restaurant has never been easier. Once they receive a link, all employees need to do is select what they'd like to eat, and everything is easily expensed to your corporate account.

2. Treat your employees to a meal at home.

Expensed meals make it easy to order food while sticking to a budget. Whether they're working from the office or remotely, all you need to do is set a spending limit for employees to expense meals. You can pick eligible employees, set ordering hours, and meals are automatically expensed to the company account. As an employee from Portal Instruments put it: "DoorDash's new platform that allows employers and employees to pay a share of the cost is amazing. It has simplified my work considerably. Our account manager is amazing and responds instantly whenever there is an issue. The monthly invoices are very convenient. The choice of restaurants is extensive and can be catered to your company's likes and dislikes. I highly recommend them!" 

3. Add DashPass for Work to your HR benefits.

Implementing DashPass for Work as an employee benefit helps reduce stress by giving employees back more free time. In a 2021 survey of DashPass users, 76% said food delivery increased their happiness. 

4. Celebrate those important moments.

A 2020 DoorDash Survey found 82% of respondents said they’d feel more satisfied at work if their company offered free food delivery gift cards, making them a great option to treat your employees for a business win, work anniversary, celebration, and more.

All these benefits reduce the stressors caused by all the fast-paced and constant change that can be overwhelming for employees. Add having to prepare meals into the mix, and employees can easily become burnt out. A 2020 DoorDash Survey found that 49% of respondents said they’ve had at least one work failure, including missing a deadline, a call, or other work matter, due to a need to prep food for themselves or family.

Meditation

A lot of employees are finding work is just different now — from adjusting to offices that are still half empty to dealing with new setups where everyone’s responsibilities seem to be ever-changing. 

On top of offering food benefits, mental exercises like meditation can help reduce stress and prevent burnout.  Invite trained mental health professionals and hold both in-office and virtual decompression sessions. This not only increases employees' sense of wellbeing in the workplace, but practicing mindfulness helps focus and concentration, which ultimately boosts productivity and grows your business.

Workout Programs

To ensure maximum productivity, employees need to be healthy. Staying healthy is not just eating well, but also exercising. A recent Virtual Vocations report found that 78% of employees believe physical and mental wellness is essential to work success, yet many employees are unable to find time to prioritize workout programs.

Incorporating physical activity into daily life can significantly reduce stress. Exercising regularly during work hours in particular, can greatly improve concentration and increase creativity as well as out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re looking for tips on how your employees can stay healthy while working from home, check out our Stay Healthy While Working from Home Webinar, which has tips on improving energy, boosting your mood, and living a healthy lifestyle.

stay-healthy-working-from-home-webinar

PTO

A 2018 U.S. Travel Association study found that over 50% of employees have unused vacation days each year. Most workers feel like they need to keep working even when they're on vacation and company culture often discourages employees from truly leaving work behind when they're out. However, it's crucial for employees to take their vacation time to truly unplug to avoid burning out. This attractive retention tool can bolster engagement at work and create a sense of belonging, however it’s not the best for reducing long-term daily stress. 

Discounts + Rewards

Who doesn't love a good discount? A gift card is a great way for an employee to feel their work is valued.  Offering discounts and rewards to your employees is a great way to spark happiness which leads to greater overall job satisfaction. However, a study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Psychology Department found that the benefits of material spending are short-term and don’t impact productivity in the workplace or long-term happiness. In contrast with discounts and rewards, a 2020 DoorDash survey found 76% of employees say “eating and socializing with colleagues” is their most missed food-related benefit. Consider how you can treat employees to experiences instead.

Evolving the Employee Experience in 2021

How Employee Wellness Benefits Could Help You Stay Competitive and Attract Top Talent

Employee wellness programs are a great way for a workplace to promote physical, mental, and emotional health among employees and are a growing trend in 2021. These programs often offer a range of programs from health screenings to stress management in an effort to encourage healthy lifestyle choices. 

As you weigh what to include in your wellness program, explore offering benefits that take care of your employees in other ways. A recent article from SHRM, a human resources management publication, shares new benefits that are growing in popularity: increased employee mental health support, updated more flexible PTO policies, and access to remote health screening tools. As Luke Prettol, a benefits manager with ChampionX, explains: “Employees are caregivers. The time has come to be more explicit in support of this.” You can learn more from SHRM about how to choose benefits to attract and retain top talent in 2021’s heated job market. Otherwise, here is a roundup of factors to keep in mind when adding wellness benefits to your company:

Benefits

Employees who actively use their company's wellness programs experience improved physical and mental wellbeing. When people have a healthy lifestyle they have more energy, a positive mindset, and encourage others to do the same. By having healthier employees, workplaces improve morale as well as productivity.

In fact, a 2020 DoorDash survey found that 3 out of 4 employees said food rewards would also make them more productive. Increased productivity that comes from an organization's wellness program can positively impact your company's profit. Healthy employees not only affect your company's bottom line but also help save costs. Free food makes people happy, and happiness pays off. In fact,  The University of Warwick found that happy employees see a 12% increase in productivity. In an eight-hour workday, 12% translates to 58 minutes or roughly an hour of added productivity per employee daily.

Wellness benefits are an important aspect employees consider when they're looking for a new job.  As a matter of fact, a 2020 Upwave Survey found that 78% of respondents believe food benefits would have a positive impact on the overall culture at their companies. By implementing an attractive wellness program you can help your organization's talent acquisition and improve retention rates.

Components

An effective employee wellness program is the sum of its parts. Choose services that will be attractive to your employees and you know they'll use. Here are a few research-backed suggestions:

  • Nutrition: A 2020 Upwave Survey found that 63% of companies with a robust food program in place have seen a positive impact on company culture, showing the significant impact food benefits have. By providing healthy meals with DoorDash for Work products, you promote healthy eating and a greater sense of community.
  • Stress reduction: Burnout is more common than you think in modern workplaces. Employees are not taking full advantage of their PTO to recharge, fearing they could lose their job if they're not perceived to work hard. In fact, 69% of employees are experiencing burnout. Hosting corporate events such as yoga classes, meditation sessions or a lunch together can help reduce stress while bringing your employees together and building a greater sense of community.
  • Behavior modification programs: All change that employees want to implement into their lifestyle begins with mindset. By sponsoring weight-loss initiatives, holding fitness challenges, or offering services to help employees eat healthier, you increase the sense of community and make it easy for team members to change their habits.
  • Education programs: Everyone wants to improve their lifestyle. Hosting lunchtime workshops or webinars is a great way to address employee wellness. Workshops could be on nutrition, mental health, physical fitness, risk factors for certain diseases, and preventive measures for heart health, among others.
  • Health risk assessments: Employees aren't always aware they have a health issue. By asking employees to fill out questionnaires, it can be easier for them to get a clearer picture of potential health issues as well as find out the best approach to take from there.

Implementation

A 2020 DoorDash for Work survey found that in the last year, over 55% of HR professionals have revised or plan to revise their employee benefits. With so many changes over the past year, it’s more important than ever to adjust your benefits to meet the new work norm.

To effectively implement a successful employee wellness program, support of executive-level leadership is key. Once the program has company-wide backing, you need to get the word out. Let your employees know about the ways they can use the services and rewards you provide.

You also want to make it enjoyable for your employees to participate in your wellness program. Pairing a great communication strategy with a fun event is ideal to launch your new program. You could kick off your wellness program with a health fair where program vendors and community partners can talk about their services and you can supply healthy nourishment with Doordash for Work group orders

You can also use The Ultimate Employee Wellness Checklist to comprehensively review your company’s employee wellness program, and identify any opportunities for growth.

employee-wellness-checklist

How DoorDash for Work Can Increase Employee Retention

As Kerstin Aiello, Synopsys Director of North America Benefits put it, "The DoorDash for Work program is the one program where people have actually reached out and thanked us for it." 

With the new normal and employee retention being at an all-time low, it's crucial to pick employee benefits that your employees will love and help reduce the feeling of isolation we’ve all felt over the past year.

Ordering delivery from your favorite local restaurants is one way to help employees reconnect, while giving back to the community. Andrew Shinn, owner and head chef of Saucy Asian said, “In a time when any sense of normalcy should be counted as a blessing, DoorDash for Work brought us consistent orders that not only helped us stay afloat financially but also kept our team's morale intact, knowing that people are seeking out Saucy Asian. It's given some weight to the importance of what we do.”

Overall happiness and general job satisfaction are keys to retaining employees. When people feel valued and supported they are more productive and less likely to go looking for a new job. Picking the right benefits for your organization will not only motivate your employees, but will also help grow your business and increase ROI. 

DoorDash for Work can be a valuable tool in your employee wellness program. In a 2020 DoorDash survey 55% of respondents surveyed said they would be jealous if friends or family received food perks from their companies, indicating adding these benefits could help differentiate you in the current competitive job market.

Get Started today to find out about how DoorDash for Work can benefit your company or read How to Choose Five-Star Employee Benefits to learn how to put together compelling benefits packages. 

full-service-five-star-benefits

author-kristenvannest
Kristen Van Nest
Writer

Kristen Van Nest is an L.A.-based freelance writer with bylines in Forbes, HuffPost, VentureBeat. Her interview on "The Great Resignation" recently appeared on ABC's Good Morning Texas. She specializes in market trends and strategies businesses can use to grow. Her free time is spent ordering in dumplings and honeycomb ice cream and writing funny content to make people laugh.