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The Great Resignation and employee retention

Looking at job listings in a newspaper

The squeeze in the labour market means that employee retention has become a critical issue in many organisations.

Driven by factors including an ageing population, lower immigration rates and workers re-evaluating their priorities in the wake of the pandemic, the UK has seen low levels of unemployment and record numbers of people switching jobs.

And the 'Great Resignation' is set to continue in 2022, with research by independent job board CV-Library showing that as many as three quarters (76.4%) of UK professionals intend to look for a new job this year.

The top five reasons given for moving on in 2022 were:

  1. Want/need a career change (42.1%)
  2. Higher salary (41.3%)
  3. The uncertainty of the pandemic delayed an inevitable decision (40.7%)
  4. More flexible working opportunities (38.9%)
  5. Burnout (33.2%)

CV-Library also found that among the 2,000 professionals surveyed, over half (57.6%) plan to reskill or retrain this year, motivated to become more employable or to pursue a more meaningful career or better long-term job security.

Asked what employers should focus on to ensure they don't lose their best staff in 2022, the respondents' top priorities were a good salary (57.3%), training and upskilling (41.9%), remote working opportunities (35.3%) and an effective team/great colleagues to work with (25.2%).

A separate study by employee engagement specialist Inpulse reveals a significant drop in engagement levels among employees who plan to switch jobs within 12 months compared with those who intend to stay in their current roles.

Data from 22,000 respondents in UK organisations showed that more than one in eight employees (13%) expect to leave their current job in the coming year and their average engagement rate stands at 36%, versus an average engagement rate of 90% for those who remain committed to their jobs for the foreseeable future.

There is a stark contrast between the emotions experienced by these two groups.

"Those who are thinking about leaving their organisation are dominated by negative emotions -- the top three being feelings of disconnection, irritation and anxiety," explained Matt Stephens, founder and CEO of Inpulse.

"Those who plan on staying, however, are dominated by positive emotions -- feeling valued, committed and motivated.

"In order to understand these emotions and how they will impact future levels of engagement and retention, organisations have got to ask 'Why?'; 'Why are employees feeling this way?' And 'How can we tap into the positive emotions and dial them up to create a workplace culture that compels employees to stay?'"

Influencing change can be as simple as listening and communicating more effectively with your employees to help ensure you recognise and respond to potential issues before they become problematic, Stephens said.

"Ensuring leaders listen to employee concerns is also a simple way of developing a culture of trust; building or rebuilding employee connection and confidence in their workplace."

Posted by Fidelius on January 4th 2022

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