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The Great Resignation & how to respond

The Great Resignation & how to respond

At the back end of last year, a UK study found that 69% of UK workers were ready to move jobs in what’s been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ – and what’s more, only 16% were worried about trying to find a new one.

With just 11% of workers moving jobs in a typical year, 2022 is shaping up to be a choppy one. But what’s brought all this on?

The study found that one in five of the UK’s workforce feel they don’t belong in their place of work, rising to as many as one in four amongst workers under 34 years of age. This sense of belonging – or rather lack of – has meant that many workers feel under pressure to hide parts of their lives in order to fit in at work, like their sexuality, home commitments, background or health, leading to more than a quarter of people under 34 feeling like an imposter.

Tie into this a couple of challenging and tumultuous years in the midst of a pandemic, for many people it didn’t make sense to find a new job while pressures outside of work were so high. But, now that restrictions are lifted and life is becoming somewhat close to pre-pandemic, many workers are deciding that now is the time to move on.

So how will this affect you and what can you do about it?

The first priority in your business should be to assess your current employee satisfaction. It’s estimated that it could cost employers as much as £25k for each worker moving on, which means not only might you lose some key, talented employees, you could also be in for an expensive year.

You can’t stop people moving on to bigger and better things and progressing their own careers – it’s normal and should be encouraged! – but you can absolutely put time into making sure that the staff you have are happy while they’re there.

First off, check the basics – are your salaries in line with the sector? Are you offering meaningful development and training opportunities? Do your workers have fair opportunities for flexible working to keep home and work going alongside one another? Look around at other businesses like yours – what do they offer their employees and can you make your offer more attractive?

Asides remuneration though, sense of belonging is absolutely essential. The study found that nearly one third of workers didn’t feel like they could confide in management and a range of topics felt off-limits in the workplace, such as children, miscarriage and mental health. And for some people, particularly those who identify as bisexual, gay or lesbian, it can be even more challenging to feel a sense of belonging at work.

Work and home lives have never been simple to balance but with home-working now the norm, it can be trickier to draw that line. No longer are workers leaving the office at 5pm and shutting off their work brains for the night, and visits from children in meetings are no longer uncommon. For many, home and work are becoming less and less distinct so it’s important to them that their employers are sensitive to this – leaving home behind when heading to work for the day just can’t happen in the same way anymore.

There are lots of different ways of going about it, from training for management on the experiences of different groups of people to more traditional team building exercises, but you need to make sure that you’re fostering an environment where your workers can feel comfortable being their full selves at work – especially if that work is happening at home. And remember that communication with your team is absolutely key – even letting your workers know that this is the environment and culture you’re striving for will do wonders in itself!

What about the opportunities 'The Great Resignation' brings then?

With an extremely high number of people looking for new work, it would be wrong not to take advantage of this for your own business. But how can you make sure you’re attracting the new talent?

The study found that a good salary, pension, training and perks just aren’t enough anymore – 60% of UK workers said that they wouldn’t accept a job offer from a company if their values didn’t match their own, particularly younger workers. This means it’s never been more important to show your potential employees what your company culture and values are.

Make sure you’re shouting about what your business cares about, what you value, what your ambitions are – the clearer you can be, the more likely it is you’ll get good candidates who care about what you do applying for your vacancies.

And don’t forget, Reed Screening are here to help you get your next hires through the door. Regardless of your industry or size, get in touch to discuss your pre-employment screening needs or take a look at our range of on-demand screening packages to get started today.