3 ways to keep staff during “the Great Resignation”

A third of UK workers are considering a career change in 2022, with the sectors most likely to be affected including Legal, IT & Telecoms and Sales, Media & Marketing. Indeed, many analysts have called 2022 a “job seekers market”, with many sectors offering more vacancies than they seem able to fill. The age groups most affected appear to be 18-24 and those age 65+. Many of the former moved back in with parents since the 2020 pandemic, whilst many of the latter took early retirement (with too many unprepared, financially). 

The reasons cited by workers for leaving employment include a lack of pay rises or bonuses, limited flexibility (e.g. home working options) and feeling disrespected. In 2022, therefore, how can business owners ensure they keep their best staff? What kinds of qualities can employees look for in a good employer? Below, we suggest 3 benefits to keep in mind..


Put in a solid employee package

It might sound obvious, but offering a fair salary and decent employee benefits will be strong positive drivers in helping to retain staff. Unfortunately, many business owners do not keep an eye on market rates in their area/industry – leaving them vulnerable to poaching. Be careful not to assume that employees just care about pay, however. You can make a contract much more compelling with tax-efficient ideas such as the following:

  • Matching employee pension contributions (rather than just offering 3%).
  • Offering “death in service” benefits, as a type of life cover.
  • Providing long-term sick pay.
  • Making “salary sacrifice” schemes such as the ‘Cycle to Work scheme’ available.


Foster a healthy work environment

Few things are as likely to alienate employees as a toxic workplace. Perhaps discrimination is tolerated to some degree, making people feel unvalued and unwelcome. Maybe there is just a general atmosphere of unfriendliness, gossip or lack of trust between team members. Managers can also be overbearing, or disinterested.

Owners and directors play a key role in setting the tone and culture of the work environment. Part of this means prioritising staff training and team building exercises (e.g. fun days out). It also involves regular check-ins with employees to see how they are doing, encouraging team communication and opportunities to share fears/grievances. 

Finally, showing appreciation – with your words and even with gifts – can go a long way to help people feel appreciated and that their work is recognised.


Identify progression opportunities

Not everyone in a job wants to progress up the career ladder. Perhaps they are quite happy in their role, where they are. However, many people do want the opportunity to earn better pay and take on new, interesting responsibilities. If their job feels like a “dead end”, however, then they may start to look outside your organisation to meet these needs.

Small business owners may find this a particular challenge since, by nature, there are fewer job opportunities in the company compared to a larger one. However, if the business is growing and adding more people to the team, then you can paint a vision of where the company could be in, say, 5 years’ time – and the role that your employee could progress into, if they work hard.

Vision and momentum are really important. If people in your team feel like the organisation is not really “going anywhere”, then they might see limited future opportunities to develop their skills and earning potential. You can help address this by providing regular “strategy” meetings throughout the year about where you want the business to go. From there, make sure you follow through and deliver. If not, your team will likely start to see your “strategies” as not grounded in reality or real promises.



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This content is for information and inspiration purposes only. It should not be taken as financial or investment advice. To receive personalised, regulated financial advice regarding your affairs please consult us here at WMM (financial planning in Oxfordshire).