Your 5-step plan for thriving as an employer in the 'Great Resignation'

The great resignation as an employer by Ad Esse Consulting

Long before COVID many employees were experiencing burnout and dissatisfaction at work; COVID has magnified the existing problems and resulted in a shift in many people’s priorities. The result? Mass resignations. Combined with the impact of Brexit, getting the right people in the right roles in the right numbers has become a monumental challenge for many teams and organisations. 

Not having staff available to deliver your services can lead to stress and anxiety in your remaining staff (and yourself), poor customer service & performance, and sometimes the necessity to cut services. 

In the simplest terms, you need to deliver the same services (or sometimes more) with less capacity.  
Here’s our 5-step plan for you to break the cycle of dissatisfaction and thrive in the era of the ‘Great Resignation.’

“The number of job vacancies in October to December 2021 rose to a new record of 1,247,000″

Office for National Statistics (source)

1. Define the problem of the 'Great Resignation'

Members of your team are walking out the door every day and there are fewer and fewer people available to do the work. Who is suffering right now? – Your customers. As a result of the ‘Great Resignation’, your main obstacles are:

  • How to continue providing a value adding service for customers with fewer staff?
  • How to retain the limited staff you already have in your team?

According to research by McKinsey & Company, the root cause of why people are leaving their job is because they lack a sense of belonging and they don’t feel valued by their managers. This is slightly different to what employers think the reason for employees resigning is. The Venn diagram below shows the factors that are important to employees vs what employers think is important to employees.

Factors for employees leaving in the Great Resignation venn diagram by Ad Esse Consulting

2. Improve your processes, led by current employees

To provide the best value adding service for your customers, ask your team to help you with a capacity analysis. You can download a worksheet here. This is a good starting point for identifying what type of activities your team are working on; value adding, business essential non-value adding, or non-value adding. You can then take action to reduce or eliminate activities that don’t directly deliver purpose / service to your customer.
Anything you can do to remove waste from your process will provide more time for your staff to focus on value adding work. If you need any help with identifying and eliminating waste, take a look at our Knowledge Hub or ask us for help today.

3. Take action to increase productivity

Everyone feels stressed and dissatisfied when overworked, so improving individual & team productivity will help with staff wellbeing as well as performance. Removing waste is the best way to increase productivity. 

For more ideas, take a look at our recent infographic for productivity tips. We also plan to run our popular webinar, ‘How To Get More Done In The Time You Have‘, again in the future. Keep an eye out on our Events page for more details.

4. Create a culture of inclusion

To retain your staff, aim to create a culture of inclusion where everyone knows that they’re working together towards a common goal with a common language. Your cause or social purpose is why many people joined your workforce in the first place. By refocusing on why you’re doing the work you do will be a motivational factor for your employees to stay.

We recommend implementing Information Centres and a daily meeting for creating an open and empowering culture for your organisation. This tool allows you to monitor team performance against key measures, display key information, drive team accountability, and provide a place for everyone to highlight problems or questions for review and, most importantly, action.

5. Develop empathetic Managers

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important factors for people leaving their job is because they’re not valued by their manager. To show that you do value your employees, build effective relationships to express that you care personally through having sincere conversations and providing candid feedback. In episode 2 of our podcast, Not Another Book Review, Isabel Varey shares how she has applied lessons from Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor to her role as a Customer Experience Director at Stonewater Housing.

Your 5-step plan for thriving as an employer in the Great Resignation infographic

“It’s the companies which meet [employee] expectations which will be the winners.”

John Goulding, CEO and founder of Workvivo (source)

By increasing staff satisfaction alongside improving your processes, productivity, and people management, you can transform the ‘Great Resignation’ from an obstacle into an opportunity. You could transform your now smaller team into a high performing tribe that focuses on continuous improvement to provide the best service for your customers.

If you do need more staff further down the road, it will be easier to attract new talent who want to belong to a team where they’re valued with a work-life balance.

In the short term, if you need immediate help with a shortage of staff capacity, our Implementation Managers can step into roles right now. Due to high demand, we encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible if you would like support from our Implementation Managers. Use our Contact page or email us at

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