Can your business benefit from 'The Great Resignation'?

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We've all read the alarming headlines, but is there a way to benefit from what's being called 'The Great Resignation'?

It’s clear that the pandemic has given employees more options. Many have rethought their priorities. Some have realised the job they were in when Covid-19 hit is no longer the right choice for them. There was even an all-time high number of resignations in the UK in June - September 2021. And it’s thought that almost a quarter of UK employees currently have plans to leave the role they’re in. 

Not surprisingly, this has all been dubbed as ‘The Great Resignation’. And whether or not this has taken hold in the UK to the degree it has in the US, we know the pandemic has taken its toll here too. With a job market this volatile, the situation is uncertain for organisations wanting to keep hold of their top talent. But let’s think how as an employer you could actually use this workplace churn to your advantage.

If you’d like to be the kind of employer that good staff flock to - instead of keep leaving - you need to make sure you’re in the best position possible. So let’s look at three of the most pressing issues to get sorted to help you benefit from 'The Great Resignation.'

1. Rethink staff engagement

As we’ve mentioned, going through the pandemic has caused work to slip down the list of life priorities for some people. It’s common to hear of staff who are now re-evaluating their priorities. They're re-examining how fulfilling their careers are. And they're also considering how their employers have treated them.

But while staff attitudes might have changed, unfortunately many managers think just the same. At HR GO we hear candidates complain their bosses still assume that work is their absolute priority even after the national crisis we’ve all lived through.

That’s why it’s crucial to hone in on employee engagement. In a nutshell, this is how involved in, and enthusiastic employees are about their work. It’s a fundamental factor in determining whether staff are with you for the long-term, or soon eyeing up the exit.

The pandemic has led to employee engagement taking a hit. According to recent research by Gallup in the US, the number of staff feeling actively engaged has dropped for the first time in over 10 years. Its latest survey shows that only around a third of employees are feeling actively engaged in their work.

More specifically, Gallup measures this in terms of whether employees feel that:

  • Someone at work cares about them
  • Someone encourages their development
  • They have an opportunity to do what they do best
  • There are clear expectations for their role
  • They have the materials and equipment they need to do their job right
  • Their opinions count at work

It’s clear that each one of these is a significant factor. Employers must spend time on getting these right to prevent staff starting to think about making a move elsewhere. And with remote or hybrid working, this can be especially challenging for employers. We recommend reading our tips on keeping your remote teams engaged.

2. Double-check your benefits are still relevant

Of course, the right salary is an important factor in keeping employees happy and motivated. But workplace benefits and packages have crept up the list, too. And many employees have changed their views on what they want from these in the last two years.

That’s why it’s crucial to ensure your offering is fit for the age. This is especially true now many staff are hybrid and flexible or remote working.

At HR GO we’ve noticed a real trend towards a focus on physical and emotional wellbeing. So consider whether any of what you offer has grown stale, and read our advice on keeping your work benefits relevant to a post-pandemic workforce.

3. Realise that hybrid is everything

Employees are now used to working from home, but many also value some time in a physical workplace.

In fact a poll by YouGov with Microsoft found over half of workers would think about leaving their job if they had to come into an office full time again.

The same research asked HR managers what they feared would happen if their organisation didn’t have a hybrid working model. Among other things, 38% worried they wouldn’t be able to retain new talent. And 23% feared that they wouldn’t be able to keep pace with their competitors.

The UK workforce has overwhelmingly taken to hybrid working and it’s clear this is becoming a non-negotiable in terms of retaining and recruiting staff.

All in all, it’s sensible to treat ‘The Great Resignation’ as a wake-up call to have a careful look at what you’re offering employees. That includes your current team who you don’t want to lose, as well as other potential staff who may be eyeing a career move. And don't forget, we're here to help. Talk to one of our consultants about your particular workforce challenges for expert advice and assistance.

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