How can you retain staff when met with ‘the Great Resignation’?

The great resignation, also known as the ‘Big Quit’ is a recent economic trend where workers left their jobs en masse as a direct result of the pandemic. Harvard Business Review reported 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 alone, confirming the shift in mindset and aspirations that is set to continue into 2022. Employers worldwide have been met with waves of resignations from a workforce looking for change, but can businesses meet the needs of employees while still achieving their companies’ goals?

What’s changed?

Both attitudes and behaviours have adapted during the pandemic to make employees re-evaluate what they are looking for from a workplace and more willing to question and change their lives. Some experts suggest that the shift has come from people wanting to move on and try something new, however, there are signs that other workplaces issues are starting to gather repercussions. Online platform, Business Leader shared that “41% of the UK workforce confirmed bad workplace culture has impacted their productivity and 42% have previously left a job due to negative workplace culture” and Bloomberg that “people from Asia to Europe have been walking away from jobs as they re-evaluate their work-life balance amid high levels of burnout”. These economic changes have also shown women were disproportionately responsible for more of the work in the home and as a result Networking community, Allbright has reported one in four women have left their roles to start their own business while 61% are planning a career change post-Covid-19.

How can you retain when met with this tidal wave of resignations?

In short, the pandemic has many re-evaluate what they are and aren’t willing to do. Forbes has identified “a lack of understanding about why employees are leaving as a key barrier among executives and also noted that transactional approaches to retention—like paying “thank you” bonuses—don’t seem to work. Paying a bonus, while it certainly won’t hurt, also doesn’t treat the core problem, which is that a lot of employees are burned out and want to leave their companies”.

To meet these challenges head-on we suggest:

  • Stay Flexible. Microsoft analysis found that 41% of employees are considering leaving their current job and a majority of 73% want flexible work options to stay. Remote working and hybrid models have been eye-opening for many businesses, while many resisted pre-pandemic it has proved to be possible in most industries with great success.
  • Prioritise health and wellbeing. A workplace culture that includes a supportive environment is more likely to retain staff as it allows for a more balanced work-life approach.
  • Strengthen your connections. More workers are choosing to prioritise culture over salary, so developing your strategy here will help this. Have you got a clear recognition scheme in your workplace? Celebrating workplace milestones and setting up both manager and peer-led recognition will help provide more support and connections within teams.
  • Show areas for progression. While several reasons are contributing to the Great Resignation, helping empower employees with their career development shows that the best employers don’t just offer jobs- they offer careers.

If you’re looking for graduates from the top UK universities, register today for access to our database of the top international students and graduates ready for a global role.

By Jen Garmston Published: Feb 10,2022

Please confirm If you want to unregister

Yes No


You have been unregistered from gradlink