Staff Retention Strategies to Make 2023 the Year of the ‘Great Retention’

May 30, 2023 | min

The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ has been challenging businesses in all industries over the past few years. However, the IT, tech, and software industries, in particular, have been struggling more than most, with above-average turnover rates for last year of 13.2%.

With tech skills remaining in high demand, the good news for IT businesses in 2023 is that the Great Resignation is set to grind to a halt. For one, resignations and job openings in the industry seem to be plateauing. Alongside that, previously stagnating compensation is on the rise once again, as firms start to realise how much more cost-effective it is to keep their best talent than hire new rising stars.

But to turn the Great Resignation into the ‘Great Retention’ in 2023, businesses need to do more than just up their pay. They also need to understand all the reasons why employees leave. Only then can they formulate effective staff retention strategies to keep their workers productive, engaged, and happy in their roles.

What is the ‘Great Resignation’?

The Great Resignation is an ongoing employment trend in which employees are voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse. Also known as the ‘Big Quit’, the wave of resignations spread across Europe, the US, and the UK in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and has continued ever since.

The Great Resignation is not just anecdotal. Figures from last year show that:

  • In the US, 43% of employed people surveyed said they were somewhat likely or extremely likely to consider changing jobs within the next year;
  • In the UK, over half of the respondents aged 18-34 said they were currently looking for new roles;
  • In Europe, 44% of employees said they were open to a new job, while 18% said they were actively looking. 

The pandemic had an enormous impact on the job market and caused instability for millions of employees. However, it also allowed workers to take a break from their careers, take stock and consider their next steps. Many realised that they weren’t happy with their working environment or their work-life balance and subsequently left their jobs.    

Millions of employees also worked from home for the first time in their careers. They got a taste for the benefits of home working and want roles that offer more remote working and flexible hours. And if their employers aren’t willing to be flexible, many have simply quit. 

What is the ‘Great Retention’?

To combat the mass exodus of their top talent and with skills shortages across many sectors, employers are now focusing on the challenge of retaining their staff and tackling employee turnover. The so-called Great Retention is about rebuilding the employee experience and, in many tech industries, empowering individuals with all the tech and tools needed to thrive, wherever they work from.. 

Deloitte’s European Human Capital Trends Report shows that 54% of leaders are re-imagining their work processes moving forward. Organisations are also starting to view company culture and the employee experience as a priority for the first time. The hope is that this approach will stem the tide of resignations and boost employee engagement. 

Staff Retention Strategies for 2023

If you’re getting what you need from your current job, there’s less incentive to quit. That’s what companies are increasingly focusing on in the coming year. With the ripple effects of the Great Resignation still being felt, businesses are prioritising employee wellbeing, switching to hybrid models, and giving their employees what they want.   

These are the staff retention strategies that HR teams are honing in on in 2023. 

The 3 Ps of employee performance management

The 3 Ps of performance management - purpose, people, and process - can be used by HR departments to align the objectives of employees with the company’s overall goals.

  • Purpose - This focuses on whether the goals of employees and their employers are aligned, how employees can be given a greater sense of autonomy and meaning, and what needs to be done to increase their commitment.  
  • People - A people-focused approach is essential for employee retention and business success. It considers how job satisfaction, engagement, and employee wellbeing can be monitored and improved.
  • Process - These are the core processes employers put in place to help employees set and achieve their goals. It includes reviews, appraisals, coaching, and development. 

When it comes to retaining employees, performance management is critical, as it helps you track employee progress and achievement, monitor the general well being and satisfaction of workers, and identify and resolve problems quickly.

Create a positive work environment  

Top workplaces put as much effort into creating excellent experiences for their employees as they do for their customers. The key to creating a positive work environment is to define and communicate how your company will make employees feel confident and positive about their role in the company. That can include everything from upskilling and career development opportunities to team-building activities and charitable initiatives. 

Offer workplace flexibility

A Randstad survey of over 160,000 employees in 34 countries found that work-life balance was the main reason people left their jobs, even over salary. Giving employees more flexibility about where and when they work can help them achieve a better balance between their work responsibilities and family lives.

Consider how tech and digital transformation can improve productivity and wellbeing

As previously mentioned, the global pandemic forced millions of employees to work from home. Businesses had to pivot fast to ensure they had the right tech to allow their workforce to work remotely in the most secure and efficient way. From end-users to the tech team managing the IT infrastructure, the pandemic forced businesses to find new ways to deliver cost effective services with minimal downtime and support. Legacy IT systems not designed for this new way of working often causing a negative working environment across the business. IT teams often spending hours, even at weekends fixing issues.

But there is hope for the overburdened IT teams. By taking advantage of powerful hybrid multicloud platforms such as Nutanix Cloud Platform cloud complexity can be simplified and implementing an effective automated IT infrastructure to help redress work-life balance. Poor end-user experience can hinder employee’s productivity and cause dissatisfaction and have an impact on wellbeing. Todays tech however can give employees the tools they need to work more efficiently, allowing them to work remotely and give them the flexibility they are now demanding. Cloud computing services such as Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions can redesign the employee experience by providing a reliable, consistent, and secure environment so teams can work effectively wherever they are.

When the pandemic hit, Nedbank a South African financial services provider had to find a way of delivering desktops to its staff. Downtime was also a problem as technical issues would take a significant amount of time to fix or restore the systems to a functional state.

By using Nutanix solutions, Nedbank not only improved the delivery of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) allowing employees to work in a safe and productive environment, it also significantly reduced the amount of IT overtime at the business to ensure they were able to provide its services and meet customer needs.

Build clear progression pathways

If employees are going to stay with you for the long term, they want to know what their future looks like. Stagnation is a leading cause of disengagement, quiet quitting, and eventually resignation. So, you need to provide your employees with opportunities to expand their skills and show them how their roles will contribute to the company’s mission in the future. 

Encouraging managers to work with teams to define their career goals and share a road map for how they can achieve them is an excellent starting point. 

Make 2023 the Year of the ‘Great Retention’

Kickstarted by the pandemic, a step-change has occurred over the last few years in terms of what employees expect from the workplace. 

With the ‘new normal’ ways of working now firmly established, HR leaders, managers, and decision-makers must prioritise employee retention and attraction strategies. That will help to create positive, inclusive, and flexible environments where employees are valued and looked after. 

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