The Great Resignation And Why Employers Must Change Their Focus

The Great Resignation is a term that was coined in 2021 [1] relating to a sudden and (to up to 85% of businesses) surprising decision by a great majority of employees that they were no longer having their needs at work met and voting with their feet.


A rapid employee turnover is a concern for any business, but when staff quit in the numbers that occurred in 2021, it brings into stark focus how critically important it is to understand the motivations of employees, recognise the validity of their feelings and decisions and to take urgent and long-lasting measures to address dissatisfactions in order to restore a positive culture with open and honest conversations, promoting productivity and job satisfaction.


Research [2] shows that employees in the post-COVID era no longer believe that financial recompense alone is sufficient to keep them away from their families, friends and interests for the number of hours required to get the job done. Instead, they need to feel a sense of true belonging at work, and a large part of this is feeling that the organisation cares about them and is as keen for them to succeed as they are. This means removing glass ceilings, rewarding employees in the way in which they wish to be rewarded and supporting them in achieving their career and personal goals.


Companies wishing to improve their staff retention statistics would be wise to consider what they can offer in order to improve the company culture, fostering a sense of belonging and supporting staff in developing their careers. A key takeaway from the research conducted thus far is that employees who feel valued are more likely to stay, be productive and encourage and support others into the business.


Enabling and supporting employee development programmes is a key step to improving recruitment and retention statistics as well as overall business profitability and productivity, so getting this right is vital. Staff development programmes should include a mixture of formal and on-the-job training, addressing staff needs in the short to medium term, in addition to taking into account individual desires such as a future change of role, and allowing staff to pursue longer-term training where this is of value to the business and not at the expense of their current workload.


Where an employee is dedicated, loyal and dependable, rejecting requests for training that will benefit their career in the long term will make that employee feel under-appreciated and could lead to an early exit which will certainly be worse for business than allowing them to pursue their career aspirations within your organisation.

Internal promotion is a valuable approach that should be exploited where possible as this not only benefits the business in terms of reduced down-time, advertising and interviewing costs and an increased training burden, but acts as positive motivation for employees to excel in their existing roles in the anticipation that better positions will become available to them in the future.


Supporting staff by offering interim positions, temporary advancements and increased responsibilities where they indicate that these are welcome will also help to develop staff to be ready to take on a wider range of tasks and activities that again will benefit your business whilst enabling staff to develop their experience and to feel good about their contributions.


Failure to invest in programmes that support career growth will not only make it more challenging to attract new employees, but will also affect retention statistics and profitability. Cento Recruitment are a market leader in supporting the building services industry with talent management strategies. From resourcing to training and retention, our experts can support your business to find the right blend of HR strategies to fuel business success.



To find out how Cento Recruitment can help you, please call us today on 01509 615290.