When you’ve put training, resources and time into your team members the last thing you
want is for them to pack up and move on unexpectedly.

Now, with what’s being dubbed as ‘The Great Resignation’ looming over us, this has never been more important.

Here at Zest, we don’t think staff retention is a dark art – but it does require work. Read on to find out more about why people are handing in their notices en masse, and how you can avoid your team doing the same.

What is ‘The Great Resignation’?

Over the last few months, millions of people across the country (and the globe) have been quitting their jobs to move on to pastures new. This is leaving employers across all business sectors in more than an unprecedented sticky situation.

There are more positions available out there than talent, so with recruiting new staff being more difficult than ever organisations are starting to panic about how they can retain the great people they already have.

But why is this happening? Well, we think there are several reasons – and it all comes down to how you as an organisation are treating and prioritising the people who work for you. As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease and talks about the ‘new normal’ are becoming a reality, if your team aren’t feeling valued and prioritised they why wouldn’t their eyes begin to wander?

So, how can you weather this incoming storm and ensure your key players feel valued and stay put?

How to Retain Your Team Members

1. Be a Better Listener

As we start to change how we work (again!), you’ll no doubt have a vision in mind as to how your business will start to look over the next few months. 

But, what happens when your ideas don’t marry up with the thoughts your team are having? You’re not a mind reader, so it’s time to start asking questions:

  • Are your team chomping at the bit to be back in the office full-time?
  • How have they found the way they’ve been working over the last two years?
  • What are they anxious about for the future?

Asking these types of questions is just step one. Step two is making sure you actually take in what the people around you are trying to tell you. Step three is actually acting on it.

This brings us nicely on to our next tip.

2. Be Adaptable

Any team member that has been with you over the last two years has adapted how they work to ensure your business continues to thrive. They may have waited through the uncertainty of furlough, made the shift to working remotely or found themselves taking on the extra pressure as keyworkers and implementing constantly changing safety procedures.

They’ve been flexible for you, so it’s time to give a little back. We’ve told you that you need to be listening to what your team need, so be as accommodating as you can where you can.

This will look different for every business, so whether you need to embrace hybrid working or make some tweaks to your office set up to ensure everyone feels comfortable, consider every aspect you can and see what you can do.

If it isn’t physically possible to accommodate what your team is asking for, communicate why and offer the alternatives you can. It’s time to accept that things aren’t just going to snap straight back to the way they were pre-pandemic. Forcing a worker who feels more productive at home to now come in five days a week isn’t going to get them back in the office. it’s going to push them towards a company that’s happy to offer a more flexible schedule.

3. Focus on Building Trust

Trust has never been more important in the world of business. Whether you have a team of ten or a team of thousands, if they don’t trust you they’re going to stray.

So, how do you build trust with your team? There’s no perfect formula you can tap into that will change things overnight. However, leading by example, communicating openly and just acting like a real person will do wonders.

There are a number of qualities that go hand in hand with being a good leader, and doing some self-development to ensure you’re being the best possible leader is an important step in building up trust with the people around you.

4. Be Resilient

We already know that if your business has come through this pandemic you’ve got resilience in you. Now it’s time to take that skill and hone in on using it to keep your team on side.

Don’t get us wrong, retaining your team during this difficult time isn’t going to be a walk in the park – but if you’re providing a workplace that is nurturing, considerate and adaptable to what your team need then you’re taking the right steps to ensure that both the people you have a more likely to stay, and that any new hires you need will be excited to work for you.

We’ve given you advice on steps you can take to reduce the impact of ‘The Great Resignation’, but this isn’t a magic potion that will keep all bums in seats. If a team member tells you they’ve decided to move on, and you can honestly say that you’ve listened properly, been flexible and communicated to the nth degree, then it may just be that the new culture you’re creating isn’t the right fit for that person anymore – and that’s okay!

As long as what you’re doing is working for the core members of your team, the positive environment you’re building will attract new talent towards you. As always, it’s all about finding the balance.


So, we’ve told you how to avoid ‘The Great Resignation’, now what?

The things we’ve mentioned above may come as second nature to you, or you might be staring at the screen right now at a loss of what to do next.

Don’t worry, this is where we come in. Here at Zest, we pair up with the best of the best to bring our clients a range of development services to benefit both you and your business. Whether you need some help in becoming a better listener or want to develop your leadership skills, get in touch with us today to talk through how we can create a programme that’s tailor-made for exactly what you need. Drop an email to: info@zest-learning.com.

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Qualities Of A Good Leader

The Benefits of Executive Coaching

Why Do Organisations Need Change?

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