Three ways to retain employees amid the ‘Great Resignation’

The ‘Great Resignation’ is a very real trend sweeping the country. While 2020 pandemic lockdowns were a time for many to hunker down and stay put, the economic recovery has created a perfect storm for employers with restless workers and shortages in many sectors. A recent study revealed 38% of workers plan to quit in the next six months to a year. Paying employees good wages is the first and most important retention strategy, but the best employers will go beyond pay. Research by Glassdoor in 2017 of 615,000 workers revealed that across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction included factors like: the culture and values of an organization, the quality of senior leadership, and career opportunities at the company. This data confirms there is more we can do as managers to retain our best talent, by encouraging them to bring their whole selves to work.

  1. Encourage your staff to pursue a creative passion

The past 18 months have been a time of great stress, with mental health challenges for workers everywhere. There is also a wealth of evidence suggesting creativity is the perfect antidote to stress. In a recent survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Skillshare, 85% of those polled said they would find an employer more attractive to work for if they supported their personal passions. Meanwhile 60% of respondents said having a creative passion improved their mental health. Therefore, actively encouraging your employees to  pursue their passions is a win/win. It makes you a more attractive employer and supports your employees’ wellbeing during this difficult time. You can encourage your staff to explore their creativity by providing stipends for creative pursuits, such as music, cooking, knitting or drawing.

  • Actively encourage a side hustle

It has been well-reported that the UK is a nation of ‘side hustlers’ but the extent of this is truly astonishing. In Skillshare’s study, 51% of respondents reported having at least one side hustle, and 21% reported having more than one. This includes a remarkable 70% of 16-29 year olds, with nearly a third of that demographic having a few different side hustles. Instead of  viewing this as ‘moonlighting’, employers can actively encourage these interests. After all, having the wherewithal to set up one’s own business or enterprise, even as a side hustle, requires a huge amount of dedication and entrepreneurial flair. These are qualities every employer should want to encourage.

One way to integrate your teams’ side hustles into daily work life is to ask staff to present key learnings from their business or project in a weekly lunch and learn. This could be incentivized by offering a discount for the product or service for existing staff members to help  “side hustlers” build a market for their micro-enterprise. Senior staff with similar interests could even be encouraged to provide mentoring opportunities.

  • Invest in skills training to rebuild fractured confidence

The pandemic has undoubtedly stunted many workers’ confidence and growth. According to Skillshare’s survey, 62% of UK adults said learning a new skill gave them ‘more confidence’ in the workplace. This rises to 78% of 16-29 year olds. Employers should look at how they can actively encourage skill development to build this confidence. Investing in your staff through offering training courses will make them more likely to feel invested in your company. You will reap the benefits with more productive and appreciative staff.

The Great Resignation doesn’t need to be an inevitable next step at your company following the pandemic. By encouraging them to bring their whole selves to work, you can engender more loyalty and reap the benefits in more engaged and confident staff.

By Liana Douillet Guzmán, Skillshare CMO. Skillshare is the world’s largest online learning community for creativity, with more than 13 million registered members and over 30,000 video-based classes. To find out more visit


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