Your 6-step guide to boosting retention during The Great Resignation

If you work in HR or recruitment – or indeed, any industry – it’s very likely you have heard of the term “the Great Resignation”, a post-pandemic trend predicted to hit hard this year. Whilst the start of the Covid-19 pandemic left many people feeling uncertain about their job security, as time went on and a light appeared at the end of the tunnel, the shift towards remote work and flexible working patterns led many workers to reconsider their priorities and quit their jobs at stellar speed. “The Great Resignation” refers to this period, with the UK quit rate at its highest since 2009.

This trend is impacting businesses globally. How can companies work to retain their employees instead of experiencing the increasing fear of losing them? Here are 6 tips to help your business boost retention and avoid high employee turnover not just during this period, but long term too.

#1 Reward loyalty 

One of the top reasons employees around the world up and leave their jobs and seek something new is that they don’t feel appreciated. On the contrary, those who feel recognised and appreciated by their employers are much more likely to stay. A Deloitte report found that organisations with the most sophisticated recognition programs are 12 times more likely to have strong business outcomes.

As well as offering new hires glowing benefits, it’s so important to recognise your loyal employees. Firstly, you should ensure that you are paying these employees a basic salary that matches or surpasses the market average for their position and experience. If you don’t, you may find that they take up a much more attractive salary elsewhere. In addition to reviewing salaries and making sure they are competitive, consider offering other benefits such as bonuses, offering to pay down student loans, and work-from-home allowances.


#2 Provide opportunities for growth

Far too many companies today look to hire managerial and leadership roles from outside the business as opposed to offering their current employees the chance to grow within the company.

The backlash of this? Demotivated employees who, seeing no way to advance or improve, look for alternative opportunities to further their careers elsewhere. To avoid this common scenario, ask yourself, is your company providing your current employees with plenty of opportunities to grow within the business with ongoing training and development?

By looking to promote from within and devising an in-house engaging training program, or even utilising external resources such as online courses, workshops and books, you can create a powerful retention strategy that incentivises your employees to have a long-term vision at your company.


#3 Celebrate your employees

Think of a time when you received some really great feedback from your work. How did it make you feel? Great, right?! It’s amazing how much of an impact a few warm words from an employer or a client can have. For businesses, positive feedback is an incredible asset to have in your retention strategy toolbox. It helps employees to feel valued, appreciated, more confident and builds trust — which all lead to stronger retention.

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for positive feedback to fall by the wayside. Busy managers and business leaders working under stress are often guilty of only giving directive, constructive or negative feedback. While, of course, this type of feedback is often necessary to get work completed and projects signed-off, forgetting to applaud your employees at their highs and just pointing out what they are falling short on will inevitably lead to low employee morale. Create a workplace culture that celebrates the wins, however little. It’ll go a long way in making your employees feel appreciated. 


#4 Prioritise company culture

This next tip follows nicely from the above pointer around celebrating your employees. Creating a healthy and thriving workplace culture can be a major impactor on employee retention. A toxic workplace environment can ultimately lead to unhappy, demotivated employees, lower productivity and lower standards of work, dissatisfied clients and a higher staff turnover rate. 

Company culture isn’t just a one-time thing implemented in order to attract employees. It is a long-term process that takes time to build and underlies everything within the business. Much like a garden must be tended to and looked after in order to grow a beautiful landscape, business leaders must continuously drive and reinforce values to build a strong company culture. There are plenty of variables that build a strong company culture including company vision, communication, management style, work/life balance, and more.


#5 Take care of your employee’s wellbeing

Does your organisation take care of your employee’s mental health on the same level as physical health? Ensuring employee wellbeing has become more important than ever, with the pandemic driving business leaders to prioritise keeping their workforce safe and healthy. In fact, wellbeing was the top-ranked trend of importance in the 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends study, with 80 percent of leaders identifying it as important or very important to their organisation’s success.

But workplace wellbeing shouldn’t just be on the forefront of the employer’s mind with just ‘success’ and retention in mind. It should be prioritised simply because you care about your team. Today’s employees are increasingly on the lookout for companies that prioritise the wellbeing of their workforce. Research by immersive wellbeing software company, Limeade Institute, found that when employees feel they have organisational support and wellbeing resources, they’re more likely to make referrals to friends, less likely to leave the business, and more likely to be engaged. 


#6 Embrace flexibility

Around the world, day by day, restrictions are easing and things are slowly returning to ‘normal’. But in the wake of something as huge as a global pandemic, many things have changed, including how we work. From our physical locations to the technology we use and how we communicate — the past few years have shown that alternative working patterns to the traditional in-office 9 to 5 model can not only be successful but can actually bring better benefits to everyone involved, for both employers and employees. 

During the past two years, many employees have grown comfortable with having the option to work from home. From switching out the chaotic daily commute with a much more relaxed start to their working day, working smarter with the use of technology, freeing up space in the day for more productive working, switching to video meetings instead of travelling to and from physical meet-ups, improved mental well-being by having a better work-life balance — the list could go on. As a result of these benefits, employees have come to expect having the option of hybrid and flexible working patterns. Those businesses that don’t offer this, risk losing their best talent and turning away potential future candidates. 

Business leaders and managers across the UK and beyond are now beginning to navigate the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with employees in record numbers re-evaluating their current positions and searching for alternatives. There’s a lot of pressure to retain employees, but actioning a plan around the above points will put you in a good position to keep hold of your best talents and, of course, attract new ones.

Need a little bit of help strengthening your employee retention strategies? Reach out to the HdE TALENT team today.