Over the last year and a half, the term “The Great Resignation” has become somewhat of a buzz phrase. As you likely know, it is not merely anecdotal. Coined by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University, when we talk about the “Great Resignation” or “Big Quit”, we are referring to the large volume of people quitting jobs for reasons associated with the pandemic.
2021 saw people quit their jobs at historic rates. Sanjay Raja, chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank, said analysis of official data suggests people in Britain are resigning at the highest rate since 2009. Meanwhile, US government official data showed that a record 4.5 million people resigned in November 2021 alone.
Beyond the common factor that is the global pandemic, it’s difficult to pinpoint exact reasons for employees quitting their jobs. Some reasons identified are:
- Aversion to returning to offices after remote working
- How the unprecedented experience of the pandemic led many to experience shifts in their identity and purpose, and thus re-evaluate their professional choices.
Data from employee benefits expert Sodexo Engage suggests the resignation trend is only set to continue through 2022, as one in three (32%) UK workers plan on handing in their resignations in the next 12 months.
So how can your business dodge this trend? We’ve put together 4 key strategies to help you retain employees and encourage your business to thrive despite the ongoing ‘Great Resignation’.
- Prioritise employee wellbeing
One of, if not the most important thing you can do for your employees is to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing. This means having a structure in place to support employees’ mental health, as well as curating a company culture and corporate values that endorse mental wellbeing as a priority.
One way to do this is by implementing manager check-ins with their team members, it needn’t be a sit-down meeting, but just a regular touching base to ensure employees are coping with their current workloads. Creating an open environment that makes individuals feel safe enough to be honest when they are under stress is crucial. It’s also important to facilitate access to mental health professionals.
It is so important that all employees are familiar with the topic of mental health, understand the signs of mental health issues, and know how to recognise them in themselves and others. A healthy environment helps to boost positivity, reduce sick days and ultimately retain employees.
Trainer Bubble offers a range of resources to support businesses in establishing wellbeing practices. Explore just a couple below:
This brings us to the importance of leadership. Effective leadership shapes the culture and plays a big role in the level of inspiration and motivation felt by employees. Managers have a responsibility to those who work for them to lead, motivate, manage conflict, and ultimately ensure a productive and healthy environment.
Leadership, even on the team level contributes massively to how valued employees feel by their employer. Many people cite poor leadership as a major reason for their decision to move on to new jobs.
How can you ensure that leadership in your business is positive? Ensuring that all line managers and leaders in your business are well-trained in all of the practices that being a leader requires is key. This includes, but is not limited to: communication, conflict management and coaching. When teams have a leader who values them, but can also successfully guide and manage them, employee satisfaction is improved.
Trainer Bubble offers a wide range of resources to train and equip managers with all of the tools they need to be successful in their job roles and help maintain the best employees in their teams.
Training your employees in new things may feel risky, as you’re equipping them with more skills that they could take elsewhere. However, it’s actually the opposite. Upskilling your workforce improves employee retention.
By providing your employees with development opportunities, you are showing them that you value their careers and futures. Employees are also able to see the path to career advancement in front of them, which further boosts morale (and in turn productivity) and will help you maintain the best staff.
Whilst upskilling or reskilling is an investment, you are investing in the employees you already have, rather than finding and training new staff. Not to mention, as you reskill your employees, you create a more well-rounded workforce, and increase your team’s effectiveness.
Trainer Bubble offers a vast array of accredited and affordable resources that provide training in everything from Personal Development, Human resources, Health & Safety, Communication and Business Skills – to name just a few areas we of our expertise.
- Facilitate the changing environment
This ties in closely to upskilling, but the environments we live and work in are constantly changing. While technology creates valuable opportunities for businesses, it also creates skills gaps – hence the necessity to keep training staff in the most up to date practices.
This has been happening for decades, as technology advances exponentially, we are all constantly working to adapt. Whilst things were already changing and advancing at a fast rate before 2020, the pandemic not only sped up the process but changed its trajectory in a handful of ways.
One of the most prominent trends in business as a result of the pandemic was the growth of remote and hybrid working. As we move away from the height of COVID-19, these practices are not going anywhere, and many businesses are making hybrid working environments a part of their permanent structure.
We all have different views and experiences when it comes to remote working, and as we have explored in multiple articles before, there are many pros and cons for both. So, as an employer, how can you manage these changing environments and retain employees who may have varied opinions?
One thing you can do is listen to your employees and how they feel about remote-working. Be willing to adapt (where possible) your practices to suit those who are working in them. Employees are being heard for the first time on a massive scale, and after the ‘pandemic epiphanies’ that many experienced, professionals want their employers to be flexible with their needs and schedules more than ever before. For that reason, being flexible encourages employee retention.
It’s important to remember that the earlier strategies, health & wellbeing practices, leadership training and upskilling must all be adapted to hybrid environments too. Adopting online education tools, like the ones we offer at Trainer Bubble is key to ensuring hybrid environments function productively.
Ultimately, all of these strategies tie into a few core ideas, most of all: valuing the entire employee, not just what they can offer your company. This means offering them opportunities, addressing their needs, and listening to their feedback. Seeking to elevate their experience through growth opportunities and incorporating their wants and needs into your business structures helps foster a healthy and productive environment, that ensures satisfied employees who feel safe and open to be honest with their employer. Professionals don’t want to work somewhere they don’t feel valued and are much more likely to stay somewhere they do.