Learning Experiences

The Great Resignation: How can you stop all your best people leaving?

Organisations are ever evolving ecosystems, full of life. Yet, as with any life, if you starve it of a food source, it will die. The people within an organisation are one of its most fundamental assets, but what is it your people need? What do they feed on?

Understanding this has never been more pertinent given that businesses everywhere are still managing the fallout from The Great Resignation. With job vacancies at an all-time-high, it’s no surprise that employee retention is at the top of the list of concerns for organisations. It’s time for employers to truly understand what their people need in order to keep them close long-term.

Identify your attrition benchmark

Our experience in this area to date has enabled us to focus on three key ‘food sources’ for your people, but first, let’s dispel a myth: You will never have 0% attrition! Attrition is healthy within your business, so the first thing you need to do is identify your attrition benchmark.

Schulz and Grimes (2002) said an attrition rate under 5% is not a concern, however, a consistent rate in excess of 20% is cause for concern. For your ecosystem, you need to decide what is a ‘healthy’ attrition rate, where that attrition sits. For example, if you have only 2% attrition rate in your marketing department, but 25% in finance you need to consider what impact is the attrition rate having on culture, knowledge and the skills base of your organisation? For example, a higher attrition rate, will mean people are spending more time in training, than adding productive value into the business.

Understanding the three key ‘food sources’

So, what can you do to hang on to your best talent and keep your employee attrition rate down? It’s all about feeding your people the things they need to be engaged and fulfilled workers. The three key ‘food sources’ to focus on are:

1. Trust. Empower. Repeat. 

Trust and empowerment are a match made in heaven. You can’t give or receive one without the other. Let’s remind ourselves of the key components of trust:

– Motives – understanding people’s why and not just assuming you know the reason they turn up to work every day.

– Competence – nobody likes it when knowledge or skills fade. Understand what makes your people shine and what development they need.

– Common purpose – ultimately, what are we all striving for? This is different to motives; motives are personal and common purpose is shared and is focused on the collective good.

2. Communication and trust

Openness and transparency are vital tools in an employer’s toolbox. Developing a culture that allows open and honest conversations helps to build trust not only between the employer and the employee but between colleagues. As many organisations are operating the hybrid working model, you should consider enabling channels to invite colleagues to bond with one another to create a positive working environment.

3. Work-life balance

Having a balance between work and home keeps people happy and enables them to feel more control of their lives. These lines are often blurred but as an employer it’s your duty to introduce policies that facilitate and encourage a healthy work-life balance. Creating a healthy balanced environment will benefit your business with increased employee retention and happier, less stressed workforce with boosted morale.

There’s no getting away from it, employee retention is a challenge for all organisations right now, irrespective of industry. The savvy businesses out there will take the steps necessary to improve their operations and hold on to their talented and valued employees. But an effective employee retention strategy cannot just be a flash in the pan. It takes commitment and consistency from those leading it to really work, and to ensure that your most valued people stick around.

If you’re looking for tailored learning experiences that will engage and nurture your workforce to boost morale, employee productivity and company loyalty then please get in touch.

Lee Russell
Client Solutions Director