The "Great Resignation": Top tips to retain talent in your organisation

Over the past 12 months, the UK employment market has been booming. The Office of National Statistics (the ‘ONS) has reported a record number of vacancies across all sectors. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including the economy reopening after Covid-19, a decrease in the flow of workers from the European Union as a result of Brexit and the “tougher” new point-based immigration system.

Rapidly increasing remuneration packages, spurred on by a mixture of inflation and the demand for talent has only fuelled the so called “great resignation”.

Employers are fighting back, many with tools other than increased remuneration. We set out five top tips for retaining your employees which won’t break the bank:

  1. Workplace Benefits

It can be difficult to keep pace with the rapidly changing remuneration packages in the marketplace, but employers can set themselves apart from the competition by ensuring they have a benefits package to envy. This can vary from industry to industry, and should be considered within budgetary constraints, but additional perks and benefits in the workplace can include employee recognition programmes, employee discount programmes, office-based perks and “home office budgets”, to help your employees buy the equipment they need to work flexibly.

Employee recognition programmes in particular, rewarding employees for going the extra mile, can be a great way to show employees that they are appreciated and retain top talent within your organisations.

Salary sacrifice schemes with tax and national insurance savings can have added benefit for employees, saving them money on things such as electric vehicles, pensions and private medical insurance.

  1. Flexible Annual Leave

Most organisations already offer an ability for employees to both carry over and purchase additional annual leave. However, you could also consider offering additional perks beyond this, such as the ability to sell annual leave (subject to legal limitations) or allowing employees to bank a percentage of their annual leave across multiple holiday years for the opportunity to take an extended “holiday of a lifetime”, again this is subject to legal limitations.

Another option could be allowing employees to work on bank holidays and instead take paid annual leave at another, more convenient time for them. This could also help promote a more inclusive culture as it caters for employees of different faiths. However, this should be weighed against the potential reduction in productivity as the majority of the workforce and other organisations are likely to be on annual leave.

  1. Flexible Working

Covid-19 forced many organisations to work more flexibly, in the majority of cases this meant an increase in working from home. Many employers expect this trend of flexible working to continue into the future. Indeed surveys have shown home working does not impact productivity and employees generally prefer it. The increase in remote working has likely contributed to the “great resignation”, as employees seek opportunities further afield.

Ensuring your organisation has an appropriate flexible working policy in place can, in today’s marketplace, be vital in keeping your best talent. It is worth remembering that employees with 26 or more weeks of continuous employment have a statutory right to request flexible working, a request an employer can only refuse if they have a good business reason.

  1. Culture

Workplace culture is key to retaining staff.  An inclusive, transparent culture, can make employees feel valued, ensuring they feel part of the team, with a real contribution to your organisation’s success. Market trends have also seen an increased focus on wellbeing. A comprehensive wellbeing policy can mean more productive, healthier employees and can contribute to an organisation’s reputation as a great employer in the marketplace.

  1. Training and Development

Employees want to develop and grow with an organisation, it is important they are afforded the opportunity to do so, through training, upskilling or promotions. Allowing employees to learn new skills can be a good long-term investment for the organisation and help retain your best talent.

Ensuring there’s a clear route for progress within an organisation can often prevent employees seeking promotion elsewhere and has the added benefit of saving the organisation management time and the expense of recruiting a replacement.

If you have any queries regarding these or any other employment law issues don’t hesitate to contact our Employment Law team below.

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