Playing Offense: How Managers Can Fight for Their Employees

If your company or department has experienced turnover in light of the Great Resignation, you’re not likely to see a reprieve any time soon. Recent studies show an estimated 40% of employees are thinking of quitting their jobs.

Maybe the isolation of COVID led to a lot of soul searching. Like many of the clients who have come through our doors requesting rebrands in the last two years, employees are reevaluating their lives, what’s important, who they want to be and what they let back into their previously hectic lives. A paycheck is no longer enough to put up with a bad job, and many are leaving our profession altogether.

What can we do as employers and managers?

Evolve to keep up with new workplace norms

The typical 8-5 workday never existed in the world of PR, but the rigid schedule of sitting at a desk Monday through Friday is becoming obsolete. After two years of remote work, calls for increased flexibility and the invention of words like “bleisure,” employees can easily find an environment that better meets the needs of their mental health and productivity.

Set ground rules so you feel comfortable with a less structured environment. Consider core hours, ease into a hybrid environment, clearly document your expectations for availability and build in regularly scheduled time for team meetings. It will take time to adjust, but you will likely see an increase in productivity in the long run.

Expand your benefits

What do you offer employees that they couldn’t get elsewhere? For larger corporations, you likely have access to extremely attractive health insurance and retirement benefits. But what can you offer beyond the norm? Increased PTO, remote work capabilities, expanded holidays, sabbaticals, wellness-related reimbursements and stipends are all low- or no-cost perks that show employees you care about their wellbeing.

Looking for ideas? Review other job descriptions for similar positions to see what you are up against. Or better yet – poll your employees to see what is important to them. An open-door policy shows you are willing to listen and implement new, creative ideas. 

Invest in employees

While conferences and travel costs can be expensive, professional development is an increasingly rare but effective way to show employees you are investing in their growth. By prioritizing opportunities to expand their knowledge, you send a strong signal that you not only value their expertise, but also see it as core to your department.

Amplify that knowledge by giving employees the opportunity to present what they’ve learned and identify ways these new ideas can be implemented in your work. Your investment in them creates a boomerang effect by investing back into your organization. 

Go to bat for your employees

If you’ve ever had a bad manager, you know the value of one who advocates for you. Be that manager for your employees. Push for raises to keep up with the cost of inflation, talk to employees about their long-term goals, and find opportunities for them to lead. While most companies can’t make these changes overnight, even incremental improvements are appreciated.

Nicole Morgan, APR, is CEO of Resolute PR, a Tulsa-based integrated firm that delivers bold and purposeful PR and marketing strategy. She serves on the Counselor’s Academy executive committee.

Copyright © 2021 by Strategies & Tactics. Reprinted with permission from the Public Relations Society of America (

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