The Great Resignation and How You Can Retain Your Staff

2021 was the year of the ‘Great Resignation.’ It was the year when the number of people quitting their job in the UK hit a high of 4.4 million people by September and dropped slightly in October.

Surprisingly, The Great Resignation occurred despite it being the year of the Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, it could have been a direct consequence of the pandemic. 

What is the Great Resignation?

The fact that the Great Resignation coincided with the pandemic may seem confusing. After all, it also put a lot of people out of work. Although there is no definitive reason why the Great Resignation took place, there are many potential reasons for it.

During the pandemic, many employees found themselves on furlough. That is to say that they were not permitted to go to work and received a salary while staying at home. Furlough, also known as the Job Retention Scheme, cost a staggering £70 billion to the UK economy.

Other employees continued to work but did so remotely. The months of being at home gave people time to reflect on their life, their jobs, and what made them happy. Many people decided on a career move or decided that being self-employed would offer a greater balance. Some wanted to remain with their employer, but did not want to return to the office.

The year of the Great Resignation may have passed, but it is still very much a candidate-driven market. The number of job vacancies in the UK stood at 1.3 million in the months to March 2022. It was an increase of 662,000 from the previous year. Employers need to be aware of the potential to lose employees and take steps to ensure they retain their staff. 

These are some steps you can take to improve your retention levels:

Recruit the Right People

When you need to fill a role urgently, hiring the first person who seems to fit the bill can be tempting. However, this can prove to be a costly mistake. If you hire the wrong person, it is likely to lead to an unsuccessful employment relationship. For instance, if they don’t fit in with the culture, or they simply can’t perform the role adequately. Therefore, taking time with your recruitment process, and ensuring you get it right, will improve your retention levels.

Offer Flexibility

According to statistics, 85% of working adults want to work on a hybrid basis, i.e., splitting time between their workplace and home. If you are not offering flexibility to employees, you will find yourself left behind. Employees have understood the benefits of a balance, and they are likely to look for other opportunities if you are not offering this. Flexibility might include remote working, hybrid working, a four-day working week, or condensed working hours.

Training and Development

Top of the list for retaining employees is the provision of opportunities for training and development. Most employees do not wish to stay static within a job; they want to know that there are options to move around and progress. Therefore, if you can offer training and development, you are more likely to retain your staff, especially those who intend to be with you for the long term.

Open Communication

Openness and honesty when dealing with employees will help you to retain them. Employees feel valued and respected when their employer is honest with them. Allow your employees to provide feedback on their experience and make changes to try and enhance the working environment for them. Don’t leave them in the dark when it comes to changes within the business.


At Thymometrics, we offer a variety of ways to gain valuable insight into how your employees feel within the working environment and therefore, how you can improve retention. These include always-on surveys and anonymous feedback solutions. 

You can call us for more information on 01223 750251, email, or visit

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