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Tackling the Great Resignation in 2022

Sodexo Engage has identified four key areas HR professionals need to address to keep on top of their staff turnover and retain leading talent.

Competition was fierce throughout 2021 and the Great Resignation loomed large. Research by Microsoft found 41% of employees considered leaving their jobs, inspired in part by the move to remote work which gave them time away from the office to reflect on their career options.

Latest data suggests this trend is only set to continue through 2022, as one in three (32%) UK workers plan on handing in their resignations in the next 12 months. As such, employers must equip themselves with the knowledge on how they can combat it.

Sodexo Engage has identified four key areas HR professionals need to address to keep on top of their staff turnover and retain leading talent:

1. Competitive benefits package
It’s only natural that employees will be drawn elsewhere if competing organisations are offering a more attractive benefits package than the job they are currently at. Salary bonuses are regularly mistaken as a number one reward priority, but monetary benefits are short lived and are usually engulfed in an individual’s monthly pay cheque. In fact, a study by Glassdoor found 80% of employees would prefer additional benefits over a pay increase. Employers should instead offer tailored initiatives that are given after considerations have been made about their staff’s individual needs, for instance a rail card for somebody who regularly commutes or access to discounts for those looking to cut costs.

2. Recognition
Employees are more likely to stay in a job where they feel appreciated, and their hard work is recognised. Sometimes something as straight forward as a simple ‘well done’ can do the trick, as by shining light on an individual’s achievement, no matter how big or small, reassures them that their contribution to the company is not going unnoticed.

Recognition can come from the top down, or from a colleague – in fact, a study by Harvard Business School found positive recognition from co-workers can increase an employee’s output by 7%. Ecards are an easy and effective way of showing appreciation for another person’s work, and can be personalised to make recognition that bit more meaningful.

3. Employee wellbeing
Stress and burnout are contributors likely to lead to an employee handing in their resignation notice. It is therefore pivotal HR professionals have measures in place to identify and mitigate these issues, as well as taking steps to prevent them from happening in the first place.

A good way to do so is by reiterating the importance of taking breaks and encouraging staff to take time off, as well as reassuring individuals they will not be looked down upon if they flag to their manager that they are struggling with their workload.

Employers should also have an Employee Assistance Programme in place to support their team’s mental health and have access to professional help should anybody need it.

4. Employee feedback
There is no better way to gauge employee mood than through an anonymous engagement survey. These surveys are beneficial for both staff members and senior management since they provide an opportunity for individuals to get things off their chest they otherwise would not express, and gives employers an invaluable insight into how their team really feels about work. Some organisations only do this annually – they should instead be done frequently throughout the year, allowing leaders to access vital insight that could stop someone from leaving.

In the event of somebody handing in their notice, employers should request an exit interview to get feedback from the departing member of staff as this could be beneficial for avoiding future resignations.

Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage, comments:  “The Great Resignation is showing no signs of slowing down as we embark on a new calendar year, and as such employers must make a real effort to identify what areas of their organisation are contributing to notices being handed in, and take action. Whether that be revising their benefits package or fostering an environment of regular recognition, there are ways and means the challenge of talent retention can be addressed.”

*Sodexo Engage

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