An employer’s guide to ‘The Great Resignation’

Written by Kevin Murphy
31 January, 2022

The Great Resignation

Three-quarters of the workforce want to leave their jobs in 2022, also known as ‘The Great Resignation’. 

CV Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, surveyed a random selection of participants suggesting that a huge 76.4% of the UK professionals are seeking new employment in 2022.

The most common reasons that UK workers are considering resignation are: 

– better salary 

– wanting flexible working 

– wanting to make a career change and try something new 

– suffering from burnout or job-related stress in their current role

These reasons that employees are thinking about looking for new work can, in the main, be dealt with.  However, if a business owner does not consider the Great Resignation to be a serious matter there are additional concerns that they may need to think about.

Concerns for Business Owners on The Great Resignation

¾ of a workforce resigning can have huge implications for businesses, the cost of having to recruit, train and induct staff can be huge.  There are obvious concerns over work output and continuity, efficiency and customer service as well as the protection of confidential and client information.

When considering recruitment specifically we need to bear in mind that 50% of new hires leave within the first 12 months.  Taking that into account the average cost of recruiting, including the numerous hidden costs, is estimated to be between £7,275 and £22,515  , a huge sum in its own right.  Multiply this average cost by the number of new hires a business could expect to make during the Great Resignation and the figures are astronomical.  Businesses would be wise to consider the ways in which they can encourage employees not to look for greener pastures, retention is cheaper than recruitment.

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10 ways to Retain Employees

Benefits – Employee benefits have huge retention power, whether it be health care, enhanced sick pay or pension contributions they all help to ensure that employees feel valued and appreciated.  Of course, depending upon the employee benefits that you offer, there is the additional benefit that they could be tax deductible.


Annual Leave – work life balance is increasingly important for the UK workers, millennials and Gen Z  particularly.  Additional annual leave is a nice bonus for employees, whether that be an enhanced basic rate or annual leave that increases with long service.  Additional paid days off work are certainly an attractive offer and something that might make employees reconsider their resignation.


Birthday Days – By providing a paid day off to celebrate their birthday, employees are again more likely to feel appreciated and valued.  When implementing a birthday day scheme employers can decide if they wish the day to be taken on their birthday or if it can be taken to extend a birthday weekend.  It would of course be sensible to declare this as non-accruing, in other words it would not form a part of their annual leave entitlement.  


Pets at Work – Having a pet is for many a joy, but leaving them at home all day is a strain.  Whether you have to dash back home during lunch breaks to let them out for a wee, pay for doggy daycare, or a dog walker, it is all additional pressure and stress.  Some businesses have started to implement Pets at Work schemes, there are many things to consider when implementing such a policy, but there are also many benefits.     


Flexible Working – as we head into the third year of the pandemic most of us are used to having an enhanced degree of flexibility, albeit forced upon us through government and circumstance.  Adopting this flexibility as part of your culture and business model addresses the second-highest reason for resigning.  Working flexibly will look different for each business, and in some cases for each employee within the business.  It could be variable start times, working from home, or even further afield.  Technology has made communication and home working a lot easier and second nature for most of us.  


Pay – With the cost of living increasing it is unsurprising that salary and pay is the top reason for employees thinking about resigning.  Households and businesses alike are being squeezed but it is only right that everyone is paid competitively and paid the right amount for the work that they do.  It could be sensible to set up a wage review scheme, or even a job role review scheme to ensure that everyone is being properly paid according to the work that they actually do.


Training and career development – providing employees with career progression and training opportunities is a great way to demonstrate to them that they have value and are valued by a business.  That they are important to the business and that you are willing to invest in them.  Discuss with everyone what their goals are, what they wish to achieve, and develop a progression path or training plan for team members, certainly for those you consider key team members that you absolutely don’t want to resign.


Identify and prevent burn out – employee burnout could be seen as a pandemic in itself.  Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion because of excessive or prolonged stress.  Employees who feel burnout feel unvalued, underappreciated and a lack of passion for a job or company.  Identifying burnout can be an easy task with our Employee Burnout Checklist which also includes a variety of help hints and ideas to try and prevent and mitigate the effects of burnout. 


Nominal gifts – Who doesn’t like a present?  Whether it be lunch on the business, a bunch of flowers, or a bottle of their favourite drink.  That surprise for the team, the act that puts a smile on their faces and makes them feel like their manager has gone above and beyond for them can make a real and measurable difference to employees.  Businesses have the benefits of being able to make use of their nominal gift allowances of course providing that the gift falls within the rules – you can see more about nominal gifts here.   


Culture and Consultation – most importantly is culture, having the right culture in a business is imperative to maintain healthy team relationships.  Achieving the right culture is a difficult balance between a whole range of personalities, the business, and its brand.  


Table tennis in the canteen might be seen as a great cultural asset but the best culture is one of inclusivity, one where your team feel like they are part of a team and not simply ‘staff’.  A culture which takes into account their aims and ambitions as well as those of the business and the business owners is hard to achieve and maintain.  We suggest that you consult with your employees and provide a ‘safe place’ to allow them to raise any concerns, to make suggestions in relation to changes they may like to see and ask them what they want to achieve and how the business can help them.  By having a common set of goals and knowing that there are personal benefits and achievements all of your team are likely to be happier, enjoy work and are less likely to want to resign.


Employment Law Solutions can help beat The Great Resignation

What impact would it have on your business if ¾ of your team were to resign? If you would like any further information on how to implement these methods into your business, we’d love a chat. 

Call us on 01270 781 006

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