Human Resources

ICS Learn logo

5 Ways to Retain Employees During the Great Resignation

With the pandemic changing the way we live and work, a record number of employees from virtually every industry have taken a step back to consider what’s most important to them when it comes to their role in the future of work, with many choosing to leave their jobs as the pandemic comes to an end.

This phenomenon has come to be known as the ‘Great Resignation’. 

While the best talent in your organisation isn’t looking to resign from the workforce itself, they are re-evaluating what’s most important to them as we navigate through these turbulent times.

In other words, employees are seeking opportunities that bring more meaning to their lives, and this includes finding work that’s more challenging and rewarding in a workplace culture that’s healthy, flexible, and adaptable.

So, how can HR and business leaders help retain employees for the long haul post-pandemic?

Team High Five

The Way Forward

To help combat the ripple effects of the pandemic, organisations need to work with their HR teams to reassess the best way forward in retaining their employees.

Some of the best ways to do this include:

1. Listening & Connecting

These days it’s more important than ever for employees to not only feel that they have a voice at work but to feel that they’re actually being heard in their organisation.

This way employees know they’re being taken seriously when giving feedback about what’s working and what’s not within their teams or departments, and employers have the chance to create a plan of action based on employee input. 

This empowers leaders to share their plans and act on them all the while creating a sense of trust and transparency from the top down.

While the idea of listening and connecting with employees seems simple, it’s actually quite a complex notion. Employee needs change with the economy as do business needs - and there isn’t just one type of organisation or employee, there are many.

So listen, connect, and encourage employees to speak up during meetings (while promoting a safe space, of course), ask for their feedback and ideas, set up an employee engagement survey, and enquire about how you can be more helpful.

These are key and fundamental points to retaining your most talented employees. 

Office Team Smiling

2. Showing Appreciation

Along with feeling heard, employees want to feel appreciated for their hard work and day-to-day workplace contributions, otherwise, organisations are at high risk of losing their employees.

In fact, 79% of employees quit their jobs if they’re feeling underappreciated - a number that talent management teams simply cannot ignore.

Now, as we come near to what we hope is the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders need to show an even higher level of appreciation for their employees. A few simple yet effective ways to do this include:

  • Celebrating notable achievements, both big and small
  • Starting an employee recognition program
  • Hiring internally for up-and-coming roles
  • Expressing gratitude through team lunches and/or social gatherings
  • Giving employees extra paid time off where applicable

When people feel appreciated, they not only tend to stay with their organisations longer, but they also go above and beyond to help achieve set goals and objectives.

It’s a win-win! 

Team Meeting

3. Focusing on Workplace Culture

As we all know, the pandemic had most organisations scrambling to figure out the next best steps for manageable work.

To this end, remote working became the new normal for many while other organisations implemented hybrid working to deal with new rules and restrictions.

While for some working from home brought a better work-life balance, the down side was that many employees felt overwhelmed with the changes, out of touch with their managers and teams, and burnt out as a result of the undue stress.

That is to say that no one saw the pandemic coming, and the dramatic - and sudden - changes meant business leaders had to focus on simply getting their employees through each day rather than focusing on a workplace culture where they could thrive.

However, now that hybrid working seems to be how many organisations will function moving forward, it’s important for HR teams to focus on their employees reconnecting - even if that means virtually - and enhancing the employee experience from every angle.

Trust us, revitalising your workplace culture may be the best thing you do for your employees - and your business - this year. 

Woman Writing

4. Remaining Flexible

In alignment with a focus on workplace culture, organisations should continue to embrace flexible working as part of their long term employee retention strategy.

Now that people have had a taste for a fully remote or hybrid working environment, they like it, and organisations need to be prepared to continue to offer these working options for employees for the foreseeable future.

If they fail to do this, it’s likely they’ll begin to lose their best talent to organisations that offer these flexible perks post-pandemic, making it difficult for HR leaders to recruit, hire, and retain the right employees in the future.

Put simply, flexibility is the future - and we must adapt to keep employees happy and healthy.

Hand Shake

5. Offering Opportunities for Growth

These days organisations are unlikely to get very far with their top talent if they don’t provide employees with significant growth opportunities.

That being said, it’s essential for companies to make it clear how they’re a place for employees - of any kind - to start, explore, and excel in their career paths.

When organisations make it so that employees feel appreciated and valued while also seeing the potential for growth and more meaningful work, there’s little incentive for them to look elsewhere for work because they'll - hopefully - have everything they could want and need within your organisation.

They won’t want to entertain opportunities with other employers as they’ll be entirely engaged and inspired to put their best foot forward in your organisation.

We hope that upon reviewing these five ways to retain employees, you can help your organisation and human resources teams with the challenge of filling jobs with the right candidates and holding onto them for the long term!

Learn how to better retain your organisation’s top talent with a 100% online professional CIPD HR qualification. Start today and get your free CIPD course guide.