The Great Resignation, with its roots in COVID-19, is essentially a working title for a 2021 trend that showed employees quitting jobs and changing careers at an inordinately high rate. A snapshot of data taken in the UK, showed  job vacancies growing to a record high of one million in the UK (Aug 2021), with three out of four considering role changes in 2022. So, what can employers do to slow the rate of the Great Resignation?

The reality is that the pandemic gave many of us across all sectors the time and opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate the meaning of work. For a record number of us it’s front and centre, as employees ponder whether to quit their jobs if current roles don’t meet a range of criteria from compensation and commute, to purpose and sense of value. Added to this volatile mix is the new reality that teams are often working remotely and are longing for connection and organisational cohesion. Employees are essentially taking control of their careers and their development and if their needs are not being met in one job, they will move to the next.

My mantra throughout my 20-year career in HR and latterly as a Coach has been:

Treat people right, respect them, motivate them, reward them, develop them, thank them – and you will only get the best out of them and in turn become a commercially successful organisation.

This mantra has never been more relevant as it is today in the context of how much more employees are looking to their employer to make them feel valued personally  both in the short- and the long term, with an opportunity for growth and a clear career path.  So, this is where employers can tap in to Coaching as a tool to nurture this new sense of ‘self’ within employees  and provide them with a platform to establish a path of development and career progression.

It is from the point that an employee starts as a ‘new hire’ with an employer that this journey can begin. Coaching is a results-driven approach designed to elevate professional performance and engagement; it is self-led and is a tool that demands ownership of goals. It drives a sense of accountability and discipline within individuals which is key for their own development both personally and professionally, but is also a behaviour which is crucial for organisational growth and success.

Organisations must establish a ‘coaching culture’ and ensure that the experience of a new hire from day one is one that inspires them and intrinsically says to that hire ‘I’m going to feel valued here’ and ‘I can succeed here’. Working with a Coach, that individual can understand quite quickly where their strengths and goals match with the business’s needs, contributing to both organisational growth and individual fulfilment. With the expertise of a Coach, that new hire can also focus on enhancing their soft skills to help them advance their personal development and career.

Employee coaching can play a valuable and unique role in contributing to Company success. It is an employee-centred tool that aligns the goals of the Company with those of the individual and if conducted effectively by an expert Coach can reap rewards for both parties.  By paying attention to the ‘value’ of employees as they walk through reception on their first day, organisations are faced with the huge benefit of the ‘Great Retention’ rather than the Great Resignation.