It’s the Great Escape for employees. No tunnelling, no going over the wall, most often just a simple email giving notice of intention to leave.

The Great Resignation has become a dominant issue for businesses as the job market tries to find a firm footing again post-pandemic. It’s been more than a year since professor of business administration Anthony Klotz at Texas A&M University first used the term to describe a trend toward a mass workforce exodus.

But the Great Resignation, or the ‘Big Quit’, is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the US academic has suggested it’s likely to last for at least a few more years.

In the UK, it looks like his prediction is proving spot-on. Research earlier this year by accounting giant PwC found that almost a fifth of workers said they “expected to leave their current role over the next 12 months in search of better pay and job fulfilment”.

The biggest driving factor, not surprisingly, is Covid and how that affected not only day-to-day practices but also people’s opinion of – and often dissatisfaction with – their work/life balance. While the uncertainty of the pandemic initially meant employees were more likely to hang on to the security of their jobs, now they’ve had time to reflect, re-evaluate and feel more in a position to make a change.

And it’s not just about boosting earning power – with a fresh perspective on their careers and future aspirations, people are increasingly seeking more flexible roles, starting their own businesses, or scaling back on their working hours. Others are moving on because a return to being office-based doesn’t fit with new routines built around remote or hybrid working.

That’s not good news for businesses who are facing the disruption and costs associated with having to go through the hiring process to fill all those vacated positions.

So, how can businesses navigate the Great Resignation? The answer lies in heading off discontent before it translates to departure. Employees will vote with their feet if their expectations on company culture, flexibility and career progression aren’t being met.

Communicate with your staff – listen to any concerns they have over work/life balance, encourage them to voice anything that might be unsettling them and find out what their goals are and how you can support and empower them.

Look at flexible working – if it’s possible, try to offer remote working or at least look at a hybrid model which hopefully offers the best of both worlds. Staff still feel personally connected but they have the choice of flexibility too when it’s needed.

Making sure your onboarding is effective – feeling confident and like a valued part of a team from the outset might well be important down the line. Poor onboarding could mean staff may never have that sense of attachment which inspires loyalty.

Consider the perks – if your business has a great working culture and offers tangible benefits beyond what someone could expect by moving elsewhere, like flexible working or additional emoluments such as: health cover, life cover, increased pension contributions, or valuable learning and development opportunities why would they leave?

Hire the right people – finding the right person for the job is ultimately going to increase your chances of retaining staff. If you’re open throughout the interview stages about expectations, progression and work/life balance this will reduce employee churn!

Get in touch with Vidu today to improve and add transparency to your hiring processes.

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