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Everybody’s talking about The Great Resignation

Everybody’s talking about… The Great Resignation

Whether you believe in the phenomenon or think it’s a trending phrase, employment disruption is very real right now.

The current climate is rife with staff retention headaches, recruitment nightmares and in some cases, and all-out battle for talent; we’ve not seen an environment like this for more than 50 years.

Continuous staff exits, increased and more aggressive head-hunting techniques and a huge build-up of savings that are now being spent around the globe causing supply-chain issues means SME businesses like yours could start to experience significant pitfalls.

But… The Great Resignation doesn’t have to spell doom and gloom! With a strong, active talent retention and acquisition strategy in place, you can use this phenomenon to your advantage; just by nurturing and onboarding exceptional talent, you’ll not just survive this event, you’ll increase your business performance.

Not sure where to begin? Let’s start with a few of the most commonly-asked questions…

I have a great workforce now, but what signs should I look for that suggest my employees might be job-hunting?

It could start with seemingly small changes like constantly clock-watching, and before long they start to miss deadlines, and output quality and consistency deteriorates. Emotionally, they might be less likely to collaborate with other team members, disengage in meetings, reluctant to bring new ideas to the table and unlikely to want to be part of or lead new projects.

I’m not very familiar with the head-hunting process. What are some of the aggressive techniques I should know about?

The ‘sign-up bonus‘ has had a resurgence in popularity – it’s a lump sum of money paid to a recruit as an incentive to join the company. And it’s working! Other tactics include offering inflated salaries upfront for a quick conversion, and promising seniority in job titles that are often above the recruit’s current skill set. More broadly, companies will aggressively market their physical workplace attributes like having an on-site chef, or position lifestyle incentives (e.g., unlimited holidays, choose your own hours, ‘flat organisation’ structure) at the top of their recruitment strategy.

How can I protect my talent pool from being poached?

  1. Culture – do you know what yours is? A good one should inspire a positive and collaborative environment, ensure your whole team from top to bottom feels informed about and empowered by major company decisions, acknowledge excellence (both the big and small wins) and provide opportunities for staff at all levels to contribute ideas and implement change.
  2. Leadership – start by pitching an exciting direction, steering healthy growth that’s manageable (i.e., 20% organic growth is ideal so you’re not causing major operational issues and unnecessary stress levels), and challenging staff to develop and progress within the company.
  3. Vision – this is critical. It should inspire the company to move towards an outcome that seems completely unachievable right now. Don’t forget to communicate it!
  4. Incentives – there’s a simple formula for this: find rewards that staff value, then set clear, achievable KPIs that relate to the company’s vision. You’ll have an incentivised team that feels like they’re directly contributing to a positive future. It’s win win.
  5. Lifestyle – not every role is workable from home, so be mindful of the kind of flexibility you offer. There are many ways to deliver work-life balance, the key is being willing to have open, honest conversations with your staff to find the right compromise.

What’s the benefit of having an ongoing retention & recruitment strategy in place?

Retention eliminates recruitment, so the first step is to review (or create) your retention strategy.  If you have the right talent in place now, your business will massively benefit from the time and effort poured into making them feel seen, appreciated and professionally nurtured… because it’ll be too good to leave.

If your business could do with a fresh injection of savvy people, then you’re in luck because we know top talent is looking around right now. Consider what your company’s strengths are, then set about creating a marketing strategy that speaks specifically to the kind of employee you want to attract.


SME Growth Services has 30 years in leading small to medium businesses in the creation of resilient, lucrative talent acquisition strategies.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how we can help your business upskill for growth and success.

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