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The Great Resignation: what you need to know as an employer

Have you heard a lot in the press recently about ‘The Great Resignation?’ Such a phrase could be particularly worrying to hear if you’re an employer. The so-called great resignation is a term that has emerged from the US to describe the unprecedented rise in employees quitting their jobs following the pandemic. A study shows that one third of UK workers are considering a career change so this is not a fad to take lightly.  Leisure and hospitality followed by healthcare and technology are the industries seeing the most staff resignations. There are many reasons why staff members are taking such drastic actions so our guide takes you through everything you need to know as an employer and how you can avoid a great resignation of your own.

Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

The pandemic has had countless effects on our lives with one of the most obvious being our jobs. As things return to more or less normal, a major factor for unrest in the workplace is employees’ reluctance to go back to the office. Although they may have been sceptical at first, many workers have found that they prefer working from home as it provides them with more flexibility and a work/life balance. Many employees also love the aspect that they no longer have to waste time and money on long commutes and can spend more time with family, which is especially important for working parents. If you find that your employees are considering leaving due to having to go back to the office, consider what you can do to be more flexible to their needs. For example, this could be incorporating hybrid working into their schedule or adjusting work hours. Bear in mind that in Scotland if an employee has been working for you for more than 26 weeks, they do have the right to request flexible working so it’s a good idea to think about what you can offer them.

Better Compensation

It comes as no surprise that the main reason for workers leaving their job is for a role that is better paid. This is particularly relevant in such times of economic and financial uncertainty so it is not uncommon for employees to look for something better paid than what they already have. Make sure that you are complying with the minimum wage requirements in Scotland and pay the living wage where you can. Equally, employees want to feel valued for the work and effort they put in so don’t just throw wage increases at them to stop them from leaving. This feels like a transaction rather than something personal so instead recognise their achievements and progress and offer the appropriate pay rise if you can.   

Growth and Development

The pandemic has also pushed people to revaluate what they want out of their career and professional life. As such, many employees have left roles to pursue something that is more of a passion or dream of theirs. In order to support your employees who are feeling this way, allow them the opportunity to progress and learn new things. You could offer training and development which will not only benefit them but also your business as a whole. This will again make them feel more valued as you are taking time to invest in them and show that you believe in them.

Other Factors to Consider

These are just some of the factors contributing towards the great resignation within the UK workforce. So, what other action can you take as an employer to help? Health and safety is a major area to think about. As we return to offices and places of work, members of staff can feel nervous about the health and safety procedures that are in place. Make sure that you have a COVID-19 policy and keep employees informed about changes to regulations so that those concerned can feel comfortable in their place of work.  A good way to understand why employees may be resigning is to conduct ‘exit interviews’ when someone leaves. This can help you understand their reasons for leaving and you can use this feedback to improve for your employees and be a better employer. Finally, make sure to keep communicating with your remaining employees! Listen to their suggestions and support their well-being, you don’t want to lose valuable employees over something that could be easily fixed. Talking some of these simple steps could greatly improve your employee retention rates leading to greater workplace morale and revenue.

If you would like more advice on employment law as an employee or an employer, don’t hesitate to contact the MM Legal team today.