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Great Resignation

Five ways to prevent your staff from joining the Great Resignation

Working with your workforce

By Zeenat Moosa Hassan

, |

Five ways to prevent your staff from joining the Great Resignation

Working with your workforce

By Zeenat Moosa Hassan

, |

2 min read


Last year, 33 million Americans gave up their jobs in what’s been termed the Great Resignation. Things might not be as bad in South Africa, but research shows that employees now move on with far less caution than in previous years, and senior staff in corporate roles opting for early retirement.

If your staff are showing signs of restlessness, how do you retain talent? Here’s a few tips:

1. Think outside the box

Organisations that adapted during Covid are the ones seeing the biggest successes. During the harsh lockdown, the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Cape Town for example offered laundry and housekeeping services, as well as household repair work.

‘We even utilised our workforce as an external cleaning service for Covid-19 decontamination to save the jobs of employees, some of whom have been with the hotel for over 10 years,’ says general manager Chris Godenir. By keeping staff employed, the company increased moral and reduced the costs of hiring, training, and onboarding new staff.

2. Join the Great Renegotiation

The Great Resignation is basically a by-product of inflation. Workers want better pay to meet rising living costs. However, there is also a desperate need to find better career opportunities and ensure job security. According to Kim Hawke, from global growth strategists, Within People, this is the time for workers to re-contract.

‘Those leaders who apply equal importance to profit, impact and joy are far better equipped at retaining and building their teams, which ultimately is the real key to productive and profitable companies,’ she says.


3. Commit to employee development

According to Cheryl Benadie from The Wholeness Guide, it’s not enough that employers say they care about mental health – they must have policies in place that prove it.

‘Investment in continual training and development at all levels is needed to cross skill, upskill or reskill employees, helping them to navigate the ever-changing demands of the evolving marketplace,’ she says.

4. Support the side hustle

Many have taken on a side hustle during the pandemic to make extra money. Thomas Vollrath from says a business owner’s first instinct might be to discourage side projects, but this would be a mistake.

‘However, a work environment that embraces intellectual freedom, creative pursuits, and self-improvement is more likely to improve morale, boost bank balances, and avoid the business losing talents that can grow it in innovative ways,” he says.

5. Don’t force square pegs into round holes

Creativity doesn’t keep office hours and time in the office does not mean you get quality of work. Your employees may want to stay more if you give them flexibility.

‘People who enjoy their jobs and know that it’s not about clocking in and out or time sheets are more likely to stay because they are much happier and feel valued,’ says Annie de Wet, managing director, 2AM Agency

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