Recruitment and retention best practices

How to avoid the Great Resignation

Find good talent, develop it, and keep it. Review your policies and processes in these key areas to avoid the Great Resignation.

Are you experiencing the “turnover tsunami” or the “Great Resignation” that has been talked about for most of 2021? Every employer seems to be struggling to find good talent, and when employers do have great talent, how to keep those employees. One simple way to do so: Be great! Be a great place where employees want to work and where they feel engaged and valued.

How do you become a great employer?

Review and update your policies and practices that impact employee attraction and retention. Below are key areas to consider.


If you are recruiting using the same methods and sourcing strategies as you were even a couple of years ago, it is probably not effective. Consider how you become faster, more engaging, and more personal in your recruiting processes. How do you source candidates from diverse population pools? How do you get your organization to the top of the list for applicants? How quickly and easily can a candidate apply for a position with your organization and get a job offer? Are you using assessments to increase the likelihood of a successful hire?


Many organizations invest heavily in recruiting efforts but neglect the importance of how well they onboard new employees. Employees who are actively searching for employment will likely still be on the radar of other employers after they accept your job offer. What are you doing to engage them post-offer and prior to their first day of employment? How do you and other employees demonstrate excitement and a warm welcome on their first day? In the first weeks and months of employment, how do your practices build engagement and belonging for your new employees?


While compensation isn’t the only driver for attracting and retaining employees, it is a very important one. If compensation isn’t competitive, nothing else matters. Base pay rates have increased significantly for some positions over the last year. Have you conducted a recent compensation review to see how your pay compares to your local market? What are you doing to compensate employees who work remotely? What other aspects of pay should you consider: bonus/incentive structures, pay-for-performance, retention or long-term incentives? In addition, what are you doing for pay compression issues if you’ve raised lower pay rates and to address pay inequity if it exists?

Employee benefits

With most employers offering traditional insurance benefits, other differentiators are paid time off, workplace flexibility, retirement contributions or options, and supplemental insurance. Do your paid time off policies align with current market trends? Are you able to offer some flexibility in your workplace – work from home or remotely, work schedule flexibility? What supplemental benefits are offered to employees?

Learning and development

Learning and development are important aspects of engagement and retention to consider for every employee. Whether employees are new to the workforce or senior in their careers, having a path for continued growth and learning opportunities allows employees to create more value for the organization and also for them to feel that you are invested in them.


Employers with robust and transparent communication systems have weathered the last 18 months better than other organizations. What is your organization’s communication strategy? Do you need an employee handbook? How do employees receive feedback on their work? Do you have ways to gather input as well as provide information? While communicating with management and HR are great ways for employees to share issues they see in the workplace, a recent survey conducted by AGH revealed that those methods were more likely to be ineffective in resolving the issue. Having a hotline or online communication portal for employees to submit issues, concerns, or suggestions can provide more accountability to the communication process.

Management and supervision

Great managers and supervisors are the biggest influence on employee engagement and retention in organizations. Are you developing leaders for today and tomorrow in your organization through sustained and organized processes? Do managers and supervisors have the tools and training to manage and lead well? Are supervisors and managers assessed for good management behaviors and practices? Are managers showing appreciation and recognition to employees? If you have remote workers, are managers keeping them engaged?

In conclusion

While there are significant factors contributing to the Great Resignation, COVID-19 wasn’t the cause, and challenges with attracting and keeping great employees aren’t likely to go away any time soon due to population demographic shifts and changes to our needs at work. Taking a systematic approach and reviewing current policies and practices is a great way to assess where you are successful and where you may need to adjust. Regular innovation will be essential to being a great employer that attracts and retains the best talent.

For more information about recruitment and retention best practices, contact Carrie Cox using the information below.

Carrie Cox

Vice President
HR & Org. Development Services

Carrie has experience in a variety of human resource functions, including labor laws, compensation structures, employee classification, benefits administration, performance management and human resource best practices. She has served clients in a number of industries, including manufacturing, construction, banking, government, and not-for-profits. Carrie is a member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Professionals (SHRM) and serves on the Wichita chapter board of directors.

She is a certified practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Hay Group’s Emotional and Social Competency Inventory. Her additional certifications include Certified Professional Coach from the Academy of Creative Coaching, Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute, and SHRM-CP designated by the SHRM.

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