The Great Resignation is back, so how can employers retain staff?

- July 4, 2023 3 MIN READ


The Great Resignation, a phenomenon that saw millions of workers around the globe quit their jobs post-pandemic, is back. In Australia, a recent survey found that 38 per cent of workers are planning to leave their current employer in the next 12 months, with Gen Z and millennial employees taking to TikTok to live stream their resignations under #QuitTok. So, how can you avoid the Great Resignation at your business? Chris Dahl, CEO of Pin Payments shares his tips.

With mass tech layoffs, economic instability and rising costs of living, employees are job-shopping for businesses with better working conditions and financial remuneration.

So, what can employers do to maintain a positive workplace culture and avoid costly turnover of employees?

How to avoid the Great Resignation at your business

Offer competitive pay and benefits

As of June 2023, annual wage growth in Australia is 3.7 per cent, which is the highest annual wage growth since the third quarter of 2012. The increase has been driven by several factors, including the tight labour market, high inflation and the government’s wage subsidy program.

Whilst it may seem like a no-brainer, generous financial remuneration is one of the best ways to retain good staff. However, money alone is insufficient to keep staff, especially Gen Z and Millennials, who are reportedly seeking greater flexibility for remote and hybrid work, a better work-life balance and employers who care about their wellbeing.

Provide flexible work arrangements

Since the pandemic, employees see flexible working conditions as a right, not a privilege. In fact, the recent passing of The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2022 has enshrined employee rights to ensure employers consider all reasonable flexible working requests.

Despite this, many businesses are enforcing a mandatory return to the office. A survey by the Australian Institute of Management found that 44 per cent of businesses are planning to bring all employees back to the office full-time in 2023. Likewise, 63 per cent of business leaders said their staff were required to spend more days in the office this year, according to data by employment agency Robert Half.

However, employers who follow this approach are doing so despite their workers, with 47 per cent of employees in Australia saying they are more likely to stay with their current employer if they’re offered flexible work arrangements.

Create a culture of trust and respect

Workplace culture is one of the most important aspects of employment for many people. Employees are now looking to find work that aligns not only with their interests but also their values.

A recent study by the University of Melbourne found that employees who feel their work is meaningful are more likely to be engaged in what they do and report lower stress levels. Likewise, according to ADP Research Institute, 67 per cent of Australian employees say they want to work for a company that shares their values.

Business leaders who create a culture of trust and respect will be more likely to build a business with happier staff, less turnover and greater output overall.

Provide opportunities for growth and development

It takes a lot to keep staff happy in this employment climate, and providing your employees with growth opportunities and career development is another fundamental aspect of any business retention strategy.

Whilst employees are seeking flexibility and good remuneration, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management found employees who received development opportunities were 2.6 times more likely to stay with their company for at least three years. Development opportunities can include additional training or education, role or department changes, additional responsibilities, travel incentives and mentorship programs. If your business doesn’t currently offer any growth or development opportunities, you should consider building this into your HR strategy.

While the next wave of The Great Resignation may present challenges, it also allows employers to show their appreciation for their staff. Likewise, it’s a good time to re-imagine outdated workplace policies to develop better business processes and practices that enhance happiness and productivity.

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