Retaining employees during the Great Resignation

Retaining employees during the Great Resignation


Losing employees isn’t always a story with an unhappy ending. Maybe our people are retiring, staying home to take care of children or moving to a different area to begin a big adventure. No matter where they’re off to, it’s our job as leaders to wish them well and carry on as best we can. After all, every open position is a chance to meet a new hire.

But when open positions outnumber people looking for work, we can get a little nervous. Add in resignations at record numbers and you’ve got what America is calling the “Great Resignation.”

Here’s what we here in Australia can do to take care of our people and keep the Great Resignation at bay.

What is the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation is a big name for a big problem. It got its start in the U.S., where around 35 million workers have quit their jobs since the beginning of 2021, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. However, the Great Resignation is more than a “quitting trend.” The SMH also reported 10.4 million U.S. job openings in August — and only 7.4 million unemployed workers.

These conditions have created a unique landscape wherein job seekers can expect companies to be clamouring for their attention, not the other way round. Workers look for higher salaries, better benefits and ideal working conditions instead of having to settle for the first job offer that comes their way, which leaves businesses competing with one another for top applicants.

For leaders and managers in Australia, this serves as a timely warning. If the Great Resignation hits us in 2022, we’ll have to step up and take excellent care of our people to make sure we don’t end up scrambling for applications. In fact, if we start right now, we can get a leg up on the competition and find ways to keep our employees before quitting ever enters their minds.

We don't have to lose workers to the Great Resignation.We don’t have to lose workers to the Great Resignation.

Riding out the Great Resignation

To ride out the Great Resignation, we need to put employee retention efforts front and centre. Here are a few tips we can all utilise:

  • Be wary of burnout

Burnout can impact even the best workers. To keep employees happy in their positions, we can promote a healthier work-life balance. One way to do this is to be purposeful about encouraging breaks. Even when breaks are offered, some employees may be hesitant to take time off — so as leaders, it’s our job to make them feel comfortable enough to prioritise their own needs.

  • Encourage learning and growth

Workers don’t like to feel they’re replaceable or irrelevant to the team overall. Instead, we should treat them as valuable members of the company. To do this, we can try cross-training — which not only encourages learning and growth but also shows employees that we trust them enough to put them in increasingly important positions.

  • Prioritise communication

Communication is key to employee retention. It’s not just about catching issues before they become big enough to impact performance; it’s also about making personal connections and building bonds that strengthen the whole team. According to Harvard Business Review, “Smart managers realisze that by taking an interest in the whole employee, you ensure that they bring that same creativity and energy to their day jobs.”

  • Offer a wealth of training programs

Training programs help address the problems that may otherwise cause a worker to become part of the Great Resignation. Professional Development and Effectiveness Training and Communication and Interpersonal Skills Training programs teach employees to navigate their work lives with confidence. In addition, HR and Wellbeing Training helps leaders create safer, more comfortable work environments.

Get started today

The Great Resignation may not be too far off. Get started with advanced employee retention techniques today — contact us to learn more about our training programs.

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