By Simone Lockhart


With vacancy levels hitting a record high isn’t it inevitable that it will bring an increase in resignations? Many pundits are predicting a tsunami. Heralded as "The Great Resignation 2021" or the "Big Quit", this is set to be a global phenomenon.

Did we see it coming? Are we prepared for its impact? Can we do anything to minimise large waves coming our way?

Recent reports show that as many as 41% of the current global workforce are planning a career change in the next year. For some it will be down to re-evaluating what is important and moving into something more purposeful, meaningful or personally satisfying.

For others it's a result of their current employer not being supportive enough during the pandemic, or not recognising the world of work has changed forever. Others may be drawn to those offering inflated salaries, additional benefits, signing on bonuses – all while you can work from anywhere in the universe! As for the rest, it might simply be because they’re burnt out, feel under-valued, and think it’s time for a move.

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With so many companies focussed on hiring, are we remembering to check in on our existing employees to make sure they are happy, and are we challenging what happy looks like now we’re in a very different post-pandemic world?

If you’ve not already, now is the time to revisit your employee engagement strategy. Ask your people how they are feeling, what is important to them, how can you help them be happy in their role, and what type of company they want to work for.

Capture key themes from group sessions and one-to-ones, and build your revised strategy from the ground up. Let everyone recognise themselves in the new vision, thus increasing people’s loyalty and sense of belonging. Review your pay, reward and recognition policy, and benchmark it against the current market. It may seem impossible to compete with some of the inflated salaries, but at least be confident that you are paying market rates, and then check where all current staff sit.

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Do you always ensure company vacancies are advertised internally before going external? Sometimes we’re afraid of losing someone from our team and we’ll not be proactive in looking at new opportunities for them, but the reality is if we don’t, someone external will. Meet up with people across your business – go for a coffee, a glass of wine and just check-in, say thank you and give them some dedicated quality one-on-one time.

Will this solve it all? Of course not. However, it might help us better prepare for when issues arise, giving us time to catch what we could be doing differently, and also help us to create new versions of our companies that reflect what people want, and which environments and cultures they won’t want to leave.

We’ve started our process...have you?

Simone Lockhart is the group commercial director of the Taranata Group