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The Great Resignation – how UK tech employers can steer clear of it in 2022  

Date Posted: 9 February, 2022

In 2021, we were all talking about one thing – the so-called ‘Great Resignation’.


Since researchers discovered that record numbers of people were leaving their jobs, there was a certain degree of panic among employers. After all, the figures from April 2021 showed that a huge four million people had quit their jobs in the US alone.


And many more were expected to follow. A survey by Microsoft of 30,000 workers worldwide found that 46% were considering a career change. Another piece of research suggested that over a third could do so within the next six months.


Will the Great Resignation continue into 2022?


This is the big question on the minds of hiring managers and recruiters as we start the new year. But the answer is far from clear.


Some surveys show that three in four UK workers are planning to look for a new job this year. At the same time, experts including Anthony Klotz, who originally coined the phrase ‘the Great Resignation’, believe that there won’t be such a big “quitting wave” in 2022. The Texas A&M University professor and organisational psychologist believes that employers’ responses to the situation, including offering higher salaries and better benefits, will slow down the employee turnover rate.


How tech employers can retain staff


In the face of changing employee expectations about what work should look like, doing nothing isn’t an option for most employers. It’s critical to understand why workers are leaving, and what will make them stay.


With this in mind, now is the perfect time for organisations to put together a staff retention action plan for the year ahead. Here are some key things to be thinking about:


  • Conducting ‘stay interviews’. A version of the exit interview, many tech companies are now speaking to their existing staff to understand how they feel in their current roles. These conversations can help gauge the mood of the workforce, and what companies need to do to support their best people. Crucially, it also helps employees to feel like they’re being listened to.


  • Supporting employee wellbeing. Burnout is a major driver behind the Great Resignation, especially in fast-paced sectors such as tech. So if you want your staff to stick around, 2022 has to be the year you take employee wellbeing just as seriously as health and safety.


  • Shifting to flexible and remote working. To remain an attractive option in a fiercely competitive jobs market, adopting a flexible working culture will be essential. Anthony Klotz predicts that in the wake of the pandemic: “Work will fit around our personal lives rather than our personal lives fitting around work”. Another thing to be aware of is that companies with remote working opportunities will be perfectly placed to scoop up the best international talent.


  • Prioritising upskilling and career development. The opportunity to learn new skills and advance into leadership roles is a powerful motivator to stay in a job. So, tech firms without the budgets to offer market-beating salaries need to think carefully about whether they can offer attractive career development opportunities instead.

If you’re planning an ambitious and perhaps even international recruitment strategy for 2022, we can help. Get in touch with the experts at RGH, the leading global people resource group.