06 October 2021

How to protect against staff loss during ‘the great resignation’. New research offers guidance.

Written By Vestd

How to protect against staff loss during ‘the great resignation’. New research offers guidance.

The Great Resignation continues to pick up pace on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, incredible numbers of people have decided to ditch the dayjob with a record four million Americans quitting their jobs in April alone.

Here in the UK, forty percent of companies are reporting skills shortages for their vacant roles, a situation that is predicted to continue for at least the next two years.

The crisis, dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ is increasingly alarming for companies looking to expand and thrive through pandemic recovery.

The perfect storm, and what to do about it

Earlier this year, Vestd interviewed 2000 British employees to find out how the pandemic had changed their attitudes to work.

It’s abundantly clear that covid has, for better or worse, disrupted nearly everybody’s lives. For some, such as retail or healthcare workers, burnout has been a major factor in driving numbers of resignations. But for others, such as office or high-tech workers, factors such as furlough have given them space to reconsider their careers or to set up their own companies.


The research strongly points towards the factors and benefits that UK employees are actively seeking during their job hunting. 

So what are the top three things to be aware of if you are looking to boost your retention rates?

1. Gratitude

The study showed that the number one factor that motivates most Brits is to simply be thanked and appreciated. Being acknowledged for good work was selected by over a third of respondents demonstrating the power of simple (but meaningful) gestures.

Recognising good work is a quick win for employers trying to empower and stimulate their teams. So if you are a bit shy on the gratitude front, today’s a good day to break that habit. However, if your staff haven’t been feeling the love, it’s hard to turn that around overnight. You can try to make more of a conscious effort to be empathetic and grateful going forwards but a more immediate solution might be needed to persuade those on the fence to stay.

2. Flexibility

When comparing one identical job to another, 66% of British workers would now choose the job that offers the most flexible working options. Office workers have now tasted the benefits of working from home (or from the beach or from the coffee shop…) and for many, there’s no valid reason for being forced back into the 9-5. 

If your company can offer flexible working but is opting not to, or you are trying to force everybody back to pre-covid patterns, you might find that your employees are amongst those scouring job boards during working hours.

3. Share schemes

The research also showed that one in three would choose a company that operates a company share scheme over one that didn’t. 

Share schemes kickstart a psychological reaction known as the ‘ownership effect’ in which participants feel more responsibility, loyalty and tenacity for the thing they have been given. 

In terms of loyalty, we discovered that 95% of business owners agree that their schemes have improved their retention rates. A huge figure!

The stats aside, what sharing equity does to a team is transformative. Employees with a stake in the business are likely to perform better and support each other as they have a vested interest.

Accept the inevitable

It looks likely that all companies and industries are going to feel some impact from The Great Resignation, whether that’s through employees leaving or supply lines choking up from undersupply. 

You can’t fully insulate yourself from the wider movement going on, but you can reassess your suite of benefits at the earliest to ensure that you are not missing a trick.

Getting on the front foot now could minimise the damage that your company might suffer. Good luck!

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