“There is always an increase in resignations in January”, says Peter Done, the co-founder and director of Peninsula Business Services.
Indeed, helpline calls to Peninsula that related to resignations increased by 17% in 2021, from the same period in 2020.
If you’re in charge of your organisation’s recruitment, then it’s unlikely you’re surprised by either of those sentences. “New year, new me” is already a recurring mantra for many people, and given the upheaval we’ve all had to endure over the past two years, is it any wonder that the focus has shifted to “new year, new job”?
You may also have found that some employees aren’t necessarily leaving for new companies, but to strike out on their own. According to Nasdaq, 2022 is predicted to herald a major rise in self-employment, with 17 million new businesses expected to form.
Expect – and embrace – January resignations
Following Covid-19’s many disruptions, ‘The Great Resignation’ is a recognised phenomenon that is causing many organisations to panic, as employees the world over re-evaluate their lives, and their personal choices.
However, if you are able to view January resignations as an opportunity rather than a threat, then it is possible that you will gain a head start over your competitors in the marketplace, and position your organisation as an employer of choice.
Could now be a good time to analyse and audit your recruitment and retention practices, for example? If so, then a good place to start is by approaching your recruitment process through the eyes of an applicant, so you can remove any complicated, irrelevant, or unnecessary steps.
In a surprising article, the tech company Toolbox says that “most people who start an online job application don’t finish”, as many forms are too long and repetitive. For some organisations, the application bounce rate is as high as 60%, meaning they are “losing out on dozens or hundreds of potentially qualified applicants because people don’t fill out the form”.
Meanwhile, if your organisation isn’t embracing social media as a method of recruitment, now could be a good time to start, as 73% of millennials have found new jobs this way.
Don’t take loyal employees for granted
Try not to spend so much time focusing on resignations and recruitment, that you forget about those employees who have stayed.
Promoting from within, as well as offering supportive on-the-job coaching, skills training, and incentives that promote flexibility and mental health, will help reward your most loyal employees – as well as getting them talking about how great it is to work for your organisation!
“A decent boss can make a world of difference at work”
In a popular article for the FT, Sarah O’Connor discusses the importance of good line management, citing a UK study into NHS Trusts. “…those trusts with good ‘people management practices’, such as supportive managers, were much more likely to have satisfied staff, lower absence levels and satisfied patients”.
However, O’Connor also acknowledges that when it comes to management training, “UK employers invest surprisingly little into something that matters so much”.
Training isn’t everything, of course. Managers also need to be trusted to manage well, reinforced by supportive policies and a culture of encouragement. “The bad news is that if you run an organisation where bad managers are overlooked or even rewarded, no amount of free fruit or employee meditation apps will fix it,” notes O’Connor.
Facing a positive future
Ultimately, analysing your current practices means you will be able to change what isn’t working, and prioritise the things that matter most to employees. This will strengthen not only your position in the marketplace, but also your reputation as an employer of choice.
And employers of choice don’t have to worry about January resignations, because they will also attract just the right candidates to fill their vacancies, all year round.
If you would like some qualified and experienced advice about how to audit your current practices, or how to attract the right candidates, please get in touch with our expert team at Viridian HR.