Good people are hard to find, so companies are wise to retain them. Reasonable adjustments boost retention and help you get the best from your people. Our article explores the numbers behind the Great Resignation and offers tips on retaining staff.

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The true cost of hiring new staff

It’s expensive to hire new people, and it takes time to find the right people – if you’re lucky.

The CIPD estimates the average cost of filling a vacancy, including labour costs, is £6,125, rising to £19,000 for a manager role. Recruitment agencies can charge 20-30% of the salary.

A report by the British Business Bank estimates that if you hire someone new at the average UK salary of £27,600, the true cost, on average, for the first year is around £62,890.

The financial cost of losing staff

A high staff turnover can also prove expensive. Research by Oxford Economics and Unum claims the average cost of turnover per employee (earning £25,000 a year or more) is £30,614.

So, if you replace three employees in one year, the cost is close to £92,000.

Those costs include the following:

Staff retention has become harder following Covid-19, which prompted much-hyped trends toward the so-called Great Resignation and Quiet quitting.

For example, a report by PwC published in May 2022 claims that 22% of workers plan to quit their jobs in the next 12 months. The global study, which includes more than 2,000 respondents in the UK, found that 27% of UK workers plan to ask their employer for more money in the next 12 months.

Elsewhere, research finds that 85% of UK Businesses are feeling the pinch of the Great Resignation. Of the 85% affected:

Why are people leaving their jobs in the Great Resignation?

People are leaving their jobs for a variety of reasons. Covid-19 has undoubtedly played its part. The lockdowns which resulted from the pandemic meant companies had no choice but to implement home working.

For many employees, it was a shift that resulted in improved work-life balance, and many are reluctant to return to the office, which can entail long expensive commutes. Many employees are planning to relocate because they can work from home; 46 per cent of people say they’re likely to move because they can work remotely now, says Microsoft.

Microsoft also found that over 70 per cent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65 per cent are craving more in-person time with their teams.

Tips for retaining staff during the Great Resignation

Keeping staff is financially beneficial, and it’s not just about avoiding turnover costs. Indeed’s report notes: “Employers with a high level of employee loyalty can provide a better customer experience, retain experienced talent and be more productive. All these advantages boost growth and generate a long-term increase in revenue.”

Below we offer top tips for retaining people in the workplace

1. Retain an ageing workforce

Around 300,000 more workers aged 50 to 65 are now economically inactive in what the tabloid newspaper The Express dubbed the Silver Exodus. Over 50s are leaving work due to illness and disability and because they don’t want to work anymore, says an ONS report.

However, you don’t need to lose older and more experienced staff. Instead, you can make reasonable adjustments, which can account for changing needs such as long-term conditions, which may increase with age, supporting people with caring responsibilities, and encouraging mentoring between older and younger staff members.

2. Embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Government statistics show that disabled workers move out of the workforce at nearly twice the rate (8.8%) of non-disabled workers. Workless disabled people move into work at almost one-third of the rate of workless non-disabled people.

Creating an inclusive workplace will benefit everyone and can boost your bottom line. For example, a survey by Glassdoor found that employee turnover rates within businesses with rich company cultures are 13.9%, compared to 48.4% within organisations with poor company cultures.

3. Consider flexible working options

One main reason people quit is that they don’t want to return to the workplace. 59% of businesses attribute employee dissatisfaction with the organisation’s flexible or hybrid working policy as one of the main reasons for resignations over the last year.

Offering flexible working is a great way to retain staff. However, you mustn’t overlook the need to make reasonable adjustments for the office, home and a flexible approach.

ClearTalents allows employees to create up to three diversity profiles.

4. Focus on your employees’ mental health and well-being

Burnout is another reason why people are quitting. Microsoft’s survey found that:

Others have realised they don’t like their jobs. Without the camaraderie of working together and doing their roles at home, there’s arguably an increased focus on the role, but there’s a risk they’ll lose connection.

As a manager, ClearTalents can support you in having an open conversation with employees, which includes exploring their mental well-being. According to the ONS, adults in their 50s are more likely to give stress or mental health as a reason for leaving work.

Listening to feedback from your team and acting on it is a fantastic way to retain staff.

5. Make reasonable adjustments at work

Employers are legally required to make Reasonable Adjustments for disabled people. A ‘reasonable adjustment’ is “a change that must be made to remove or reduce a disadvantage related to an employee’s disability when doing their job,” according to Acas.

A reasonable adjustment may include changes to the workplace (in work or hybrid working), equipment or services. ClearTalents enables employees to create up to three diversity profiles and offers hints and tips on how employers can make reasonable adjustments based on their needs.

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