Retaining employees in 2022 and beyond

When there’s uncertainty, people tend to stay put, so there are pent-up resignations that didn’t happen over the past year.

Anthony Klotz

the man who coined the phrase ‘The Great Resignation

According to a poll by job-site Monster, 95% of workers have considered quitting their jobs, citing reasons such as burnout and lack of career progression. To quote Lawrence Katz of the Harvard Gazette,

We’ve really met a once-in-a-generation ‘take this job and shove it’ moment”. But what can be done, not just to retain employees, but to keep them genuinely happy with their jobs?

Lawrence Katz

Harvard Gazette

Tip 1 – Listen. No, really listen.

According to research from Qlearsite, less than half of UK employees feel that their employer listens to them. And even amongst those that do, simply listening isn’t enough. The thing that sets certain businesses apart is that they’ll take on board what they’ve heard, and use it to make genuine, positive change.

Surveys can be an excellent way to get an overview of your employees’ thoughts and opinions. But the real skill comes from interpreting the data, and using that information to drive real, discernable change.

Tip 2 – Recognise your employees’ achievements

When asked why they’d decided to leave their job, recent leavers overwhelmingly cited a lack of respect as a key factor. And with the average employee costing £12,000 to replace, it’s easy to see why recognising your workforce’s achievements is so important.

That’s where programmes like The WOW! Awards come in. These employee recognition schemes provide a way to uncover those little moments of human gold–stories of exceptional customer service, or a member of staff going the extra mile–that would otherwise have been lost.

Tip 3 – Trust your employees

Trust is an essential part of retaining a happy workforce. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, which looked into the neuroscience of trust, workers at high-trust companies are 74% less stressed, 50% more productive and experience 40% less burnout.

And in a post-pandemic world, where the majority of office workers are still working from home for the majority of the time, showing trust has never been more important. It means believing in your employees to do the right thing, without supervision. To get the job done without sitting on Netflix all day.

By treating your employees like the mature professionals they are, you’ll foster an environment of trust, one in which people feel comfortable asking questions, challenging company missions, and staying put in a job they love.

Tip 4 – Give them more responsibility

Extra responsibility is a great way to show trust in your employees. But it does so much more than that, too. By involving people in the company you’re engendering commitment, ensuring they remain engaged long-term.

Pulling this off correctly takes a shrewd leader – after all, empowering the wrong people, (or the right people at the wrong time) can be disastrous. But a skilled appraiser will know their employees’ skills, weaknesses, and work ambitions, and will be able to play with these to their advantage.

Tip 5 – And relax…

A recent study showed that a staggering 79% of UK employees regularly experience work-related stress. The Health and Safety Executive estimates this costs the economy £5.2 billion every year, and of course, it’s a major factor in those soaring resignation figures.

Time away from work – whether through holiday days or work-arranged socials – is one of the most important factors in decreasing work stress. It’s tempting, in the era of home-working, to forget that your employees need time off. But there’s a big difference between working at home and simply being at home. Employers that recognise this need for relaxation time are likely to see their retention rates soar.


How The WOW! Awards can help

Over 20 years ago, we set out to uncover the personal, human stories at the heart of every business. To celebrate the little moments of human gold, and champion the companies that foster an inclusive, rewarding workplace. In 2022, we believe that mission is more relevant than ever.

The WOW! Awards are:

  • Engaging. Recognising your employees’ hard work cultivates a healthy, rewarding company culture.
  • Inclusive. We’re the only recognition programme on the market that’s judged independently, so we don’t suffer from hidden internal bias.
  • Supportive. At a time when employee wellbeing is all-important, The WOW! Awards help individuals to feel truly valued by customers and employees alike.
  • Motivational. We read every single submission, from customers and employees alike, so good work never goes unrecognised.