Resignation rates among mid-career employees between the ages of 30 and 45 rose 20% over the course of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The Great Resignation is taking its toll on businesses all over the world. We all know: it costs far more to hire a new employee than to retain one.

There are many reasons people have been quitting their jobs. Many people were forced to shift priorities during the pandemic, finding new roles at home. Others decided to take the opportunity to pursue a dream job. But others are leaving because they don’t like how they were treated during the pandemic.


For those who fall in the latter category, here are some things you can do to bolster retention in a world where employees are leaving by the droves.


1. Make Culture A Priority

A trend that was already happening pre-pandemic and has now been cemented is employees’ desire to be a part of something important. They want to fulfil a company’s purpose aligned to their values. Culture matters in more ways than one here. Creating a positive culture increases happiness at work. When you live up to the culture you claim, employees gain trust and loyalty.


2. Engage with Feelings

Your top talent aren’t just employees, they’re also mothers, brothers, students, artists, etc. The pandemic gave them time to take stock of their lives. Work is no longer as high on their priority list as it once was.

You can work on engaging their hearts so that they can find a higher purpose at work beyond just a paycheck. Invite them to take ownership of their positions and contribute creatively. Find ways to engage with them emotionally and to make them feel seen and understood.


3. Be Flexible

They were sent home to quarantine. Called back into the office. Sent back home. Trained on Zoom. Now, employees live in a world where employers are still figuring out how to operate a hybrid workplace. Navigating this new world has been challenging.

You can help employees choose to stay by providing flexibility. Many of them took on new responsibilities at home. Allowing remote working gives them the option to have the best of both work and home life.


4. Prioritise Mental Health

While many people avoided sickness due to isolating during the pandemic, they may also have suffered mental health issues related to that isolation. We’re only now coming to discover these health issues. A workplace that recognises and supports people struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues is more likely to retain those people. The top talent in your workforce isn’t necessarily the happiest or healthiest people. Checking in and offering mental health support can save you time and money in the long run. Ask them today “How are you?” and really listen to them!


5. Pay More

This is the suggestion nobody wants to hear. Yet, the pandemic forced a lot of people to accept salary cuts. They evaluated what they need from their jobs to justify continuing them. The answer isn’t only pay, but it’s usually a piece of it. Consider re-evaluating pay rates across the company and making equitable adjustments to bring people up into the appropriate pay scale.

Overall, people who have a choice to work may choose to leave if they aren’t engaged with the company for more reasons than collecting a paycheck. You can take this opportunity to shape your company’s culture, mission and purpose in order to retain loyal, happy and committed employees.

Make leadership development part of your HR strategy and empower your leaders to guide, coach and develop their team members. Contact us and find out how we can support you with our tailored leadership development programmes, coaching your leaders to success.