The Great Resignation & How To Combat It

Staff turnover is a growing issue for businesses, and the ‘Great Resignation’ post COVID is a concern. What do you need to think about to keep your staff? 

The expected wave of resignations once the COVID situation is a little clearer is predictable, people will search for roles with a bigger or better opportunity, whatever that may mean to them. That could be progression, higher salaries or just a readjustment and realignment to an individual’s own health & wellbeing following a period in lockdown. 

66% of 3,500 business leaders surveyed say they are currently experiencing talent issues. 

According to the stats, 1 in every 5 workers is considering, or have already decided, to move jobs. Competitors are always ready to seize the opportunity to poach staff, why would you not take the opportunity to strengthen your own business while at the same time weakening a competitor by taking some of their best people? So, what can you think about to mitigate this risk? 

  • Pay more – now this isn’t always possible, and budgets can be tight, but consider the cost of losing someone and the added cost of finding, training, and getting a new member of staff up to speed and to their level of competence. You may end up making a counteroffer, so why wait? According to freely available statistics, it can cost up to 213% of an annual salary to replace a senior manager and 80% of candidates that accept a counteroffer leave shortly after anyway because they are disillusioned it took a resignation to get paid their own perceived worth. Consider it in advance  
  • Flexibility – allowing certain employees the flexibility to work from anywhere can really help keep them engaged. If your staff were WFH during the lockdowns, do you really need them in the office now? You may even be able to cut costs with smaller premises. Around 65% of candidates would accept a pay cut to work entirely from home, the work / life balance is a precious commodity that you can use to your advantage 
  • Use data – What data do you have that you can interrogate now to understand not only how many might leave, but why they are leaving. Build a retention plan around the data you have, and if you don’t have any, talk to us about how we can help you to gather this insight quickly and effectively  
  • Health & wellbeing – COVID has been tough for a lot of people, and even if you haven’t been affected directly, there’s a good chance some of your employees may have been. Work on providing a safe, high morale environment that combats burnout and supports your staff when they need it most. Recognise and acknowledge the personal sacrifices made during the pandemic, as well as the steps you can take to make progress towards climate change objectives, this could really make your staff feel truly valued as well as saving the planet 
  • Resources – Give your people the opportunity to stay motivated, productive, engaged and most of all happy at work. This could be training, mentorship, ongoing feedback, and encouragement. Nothing makes people stay like feeling their career is moving forward and career advancement opportunities are available. Also think about the ways in which your teams collaborate and how this can build a supportive culture that nurtures your talent from within 
  • Incentivise loyalty – One off payments to help with student loans, holidays, or anything else. Show your high performing talent how important they are to you by paying them something extra 
  • Culture & connection – Do you have a connection with your people? And by that, we mean a genuine connection? If you don’t, then invest time in developing one. If you think you already do, great, spend some time to solidify that connection. Research indicates that social connection has a significant impact on productivity and can lead to a boost of 64% 

Some staff will of course have left anyway, their plans may have just been put on hold when the pandemic first hit. Some will have thought about the handling of the crisis and the way they were looked after. 

When an employee is departing an organisation the years of commitment, engagement, trust, and loyalty can easily be broken in just a matter of hours if resignation, or even redundancy, is handled badly. This may not matter to some organisations because they may simply feel the relationship is no more, it’s gone.  

However, boomerang employees are on the rise, and if the Great Resignation is to be believed, we might see a lot more of them in the coming months. According to a study by Kronos which surveyed more than 1,800 HR professionals, 76% say they are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees today than in the past and nearly 40% of employees said they would consider going back to a company where they previously worked. 

In the past five years, 85% of HR professionals say they have received job applications from former employees, and 40% say their organisation hired about half of those former employees who applied. 

Summary: 

Keep the high performing staff you have today, engaged enough to stay tomorrow. Look at your data now to formulate a strategy to keep as many employees as you can, and these strategies don’t all need to have costs attached to them. If you don’t have that data, speak to us to help you gather it quickly and effectively. And if you’re losing people, either through resignation or redundancy, also speak to us about how you can make that as positive as it can possibly be. 

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