22 September 2021

Careers on the move

How to keep your best people, when everybody’s talking about leaving.

The Great Resignation is hitting every sector, as millions leave their roles for pastures new. So what’s really driving the change? And what can you do to keep your best people?

What’s driving ‘The Great Resignation’?

In July 2021, job vacancies in the UK hit an all-time high of 1 million, while in the US, 20 million workers handed in their notice in April alone. Workers have re-assessed during lockdown, and now they’re moving on in an unprecedented scale.

But what’s the real story behind the shift? According to a LinkedIn survey, there are three main drivers: 40% say it’s about connection to purpose; 31% say it’s due to remote/hybrid working needs; and 23% say it’s about career progression. Here’s how to take action on each, as you convince your people to  ‘move on’ with your company.

Give them purpose

It’s no coincidence that ‘connection to purpose’ is big right now. An organisation’s purpose can provide colleagues with something to hold onto when the rest of the world is far from stable. And if that purpose fits their own, they’re even less likely to leave. If your company doesn’t already have a strong purpose, now is the time to pin it down and help employees feel a real connection to a worthy cause in the world.

Give them flexibility

Scan any job site, and you’ll see that remote and hybrid working options are becoming the norm, with 73% of people saying they want flexible working. If you really can’t make a hybrid model work, look at other ways to introduce flexibility. Re-designing the office environment to suit every individual is a good place to start. 

Give them career progression (development and mobility)

This is the big one. In Ceridan’s 2021 talent pulse survey, they point out that employees have always left a company in pursuit of new challenges. It’s nothing new. Employees want growth – the trick is to show your people that they can get that with you. There are some brilliant examples of companies who really ‘get’ the power of development – take a look at our recent round-up for some inspiration, and use these tips to turn your company into a place to grow:

  • Build conversations about growth and development into monthly 1-1s
  • Train your leaders and managers to be valued coaches
  • Develop and talk about the business talent pipelines and succession planning
  • Build career development opportunities into every strategy
  • Create and publicise solid career pathways
  • Publish regular career case studies
  • Publicise every vacancy internally – be inventive with the ad and headhunt where possible
  • Show new recruits their next steps before they’ve even started thinking about them


Engaging career development conversations

Get in touch at hello@mccannsynergy.com for some fresh approaches to career development and retention.

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