Business

Laura Gordon: Retention strategy crucial amid The Great Resignation

The staffing crisis affecting multiple sectors is now being referred to as The Great Resignation.

This mass exodus is really pushing companies to their limits at an already challenging time.

In November, recruiter Ranstad UK surveyed 6,000 people and said 69 per cent expected to move jobs within months, while 24% planned a change in three to six months.

That would suggest this problem is going nowhere fast.

When you explore what’s behind the resignations, the “epiphany” theory seems to be the front-runner. People are reflecting, reassessing their needs, their purpose, their happiness, their work-life balance – what makes them tick.

And why not? We get one life and around a third of it is spent at work, so naturally we want to do something that’s meaningful and fulfilling or we’ll feel robbed.

I recently read some interesting commentary on the epiphany theory from Nathan Christensen, CEO of HR powerhouse Mineral.

He believes we need to turn the so-called great resignation into a “great re-engagement”.

Instead of lamenting employees skipping off into the sunset with a renewed sense of purpose, he thinks businesses should follow their example and become more intentional and purpose-driven too.

It’s a recipe for success and the businesses already operating in this way will testify to that.

Not only have they created working environments where staff feel they are doing something that counts but they have also found the secret to boosting consumer confidence and research shows they’re also likely to grow faster too.

Putting purpose ahead of profit might sound idealistic but when you look at these benefits it’s a solid strategy, and one more companies are adopting.

That’s precisely why we’ve seen the rise of the B Corp movement – a community of leaders using business as a force for good.

Certified B Corporations must meet the highest standards of environmental performance, transparency and accountability and they use profits and growth to positively impact their people, communities and the environment.

Worldwide there are an incredible 4,200 across 77 countries with big household names like Ben & Jerry’s amongst the certified.

The UK launched the initiative in 2015 and the numbers show this model is being embraced. We boast some 500 B Corps including the likes of Innocent Drinks, Alpro and Change.org.

In order to become certified, businesses are really put through their paces. Their performance is assessed and rated and there’s even an exam interrogating company operations.

It’s worth noting that this rigorous accreditation process and need for transparency are among the reasons B Corps have a real appeal factor for investors.

What’s more, UK B Corps have reported an average growth rate significantly higher than the national average.

Top that with the fact B Corps are proudly playing a part in creating a better tomorrow and what’s not to love?

Even if your business is not ready to go through this type of tough interrogation just yet, don’t let it stop you from taking a step back, reassessing your practices and seeing what you can do to put a sharper focus on purpose.

We know Gen Z and Millennials in particular are more driven by purpose than by salary and status, so it will improve your employer brand and help you recruit.

But more importantly, it will help you keep your best talent – something that’s far too often overlooked in the scramble to recruit.

By all means revamp your recruitment strategy, but make sure you look just as closely at your retention strategy as it’s more important than ever to hold on to your high performers.

Laura Gordon is a CEO coach and group chair with Vistage International, a global leadership development network for CEOs

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