Goodbye to the ‘Great Resignation’ – and what it means for you


One of the biggest workplace trends that emerged from the turbulence of the pandemic was the ‘Great Resignation’. Between April 2021 and April 2022, in a mass exodus more than 71 million people worldwide left their jobs, many in search of a new job more in keeping with their wellbeing and work-life balance goals.

A potent combination of high volumes of job vacancies, labor shortages in many industries, and the ability to get big pay rises by moving spurred many to look for greener pastures.

But times are changing. Over the last year or so, job vacancies have declined, shortfalls in labor availability have receded, and high inflation has impacted the pay increases that were previously on offer. And with a cost of living crisis hitting several developed economies, employees seem more ready to stick it out at their current job rather than take the risk of moving elsewhere in a new trend that’s been referred to as ‘the ‘Big Stay’.

All this means that the ‘Great Resignation’ is pretty much over – giving businesses like you another curveball to contend with from an employee experience perspective. This blog explores the issue in detail.

What are the potential consequences?

Countless businesses moved quickly during the ‘Great Resignation’ to shore up or enhance their employee wellbeing and incentive programs, in order to keep hold of talented staff. But even in a new climate where they’re more inclined to stay, these programs will still be important and valuable. That’s because despite other factors contributing to employees’ desire to stay in their current positions, it still remains a fact that switching workplaces often offers up higher wage growth opportunities. So now isn’t the time to slack on providing a positive environment and new opportunities to your employees.

In any case, working to improve employee experiences is about so much more than retention and acquisition: it also contributes to wellbeing, productivity, lower rates of absenteeism, and ultimately your bottom line. It’s also important because much of the support that employees needed during the pandemic was financial in nature – and the cost of living crisis means that problem hasn’t gone away. Payroll and human resources-related innovations like Earned Wage Access, where employees were given autonomy to withdraw accrued earnings as and when they needed, remain a vital part of helping staff weather any financial distress they may be facing and protect their mental health. 

Keeping these efforts in place will prove to be beneficial not only in the short term, but in the long term, too. Employees who felt supported when times were tough will be more likely to remember that help and feel loyal to their employer. And with a recent shift in attitudes about staying at one organisation for life, the more you can do to support your top talent, the more they’ll be likely to stick around despite this cultural change.

How to focus on employee experience and retention now

So there’s a clear case to focus on employee experience now, so that your ability to attract and retain staff is as strong as it possibly can be for years to come. There are three key ways to achieve this:

Value employees’ quality of life

Employees want to know that you’ve still got their wellbeing front-of-mind, and that you weren’t just paying lip service to them during the most challenging parts of the pandemic.

Start with regular town hall meetings with a focus on employee improvement, demonstrating the opportunities within their current role for career development. Also make sure that they’re fully aware of platforms such as Earned Wage Access, that they know how to use them, and that they have all the support they need along the way.

These two actions are intertwined: employees who are less stressed about their financial wellbeing will feel more positive and motivated to pursue their career goals.

Build trust and foster engagement

Transparency is critical to making employees feel valued, and making them feel that they can trust their employer. Ensuring payroll policies are clear is especially important in this area, so that employees feel that they’re fully informed about anything financial that’s related to their work.

Earned Wage Access can make a major positive contribution here, but there are other solutions that can help, too. Pay-to-card systems can support more flexible access to earnings, especially for employees who are unbanked or underbanked, and financial education programs can encourage engagement across the workforce.

Focus on integration

There are so many things that you can do to improve employee satisfaction and experiences across multiple departments, and they’ll work best, and be most appreciated, when you stitch them together.

Any opportunity to integrate different platforms and services makes it easier for team members to interact with, and benefit from, the options available to them. For example, bringing together payroll, payments and Human Capital Management (HCM) improves payroll performance, and simplifies things for end-users.

This integration also benefits employees indirectly, as more detailed analytics can be undertaken, uncovering insights to improve services and payroll consistency even further.

Embracing analytics and automation can additionally be used to remove data duplication and input issues from payroll runs: our recent PEI report uncovered a correlation between innovation in payroll and improvement in key metrics and employee satisfaction.

In summary

A recent Deloitte survey uncovered a positive sign for the rising significance of employee retention: 85% of executives said engagement is an important priority for their companies. Those who are turning these words into actions, and taking the initiative to promote engagement and trust, will be best placed to keep hold of talent for years to come. And delivering modern pay experiences for your current employees that are fast, flexible, and certain has a big part to play in making that happen.

Learn more about how payroll can help support employee retention and wellbeing through the CloudPay Impact, then get in touch with our team to discuss your specifics.



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