The Great Resignation – How To Retain The Talent In Your Team

Reading time: 5 minutes

Where would we be without the internet huh?

Until this week, I had no idea that we were living in the midst of something called The Great Resignation, but thanks to an interesting looking article that popped up on my screen, and after about 20 minutes of my time, I now feel informed.

Before this, my awareness consisted of there being a rising number of people leaving their jobs, but other than that, I was floating through my days completely oblivious to the record shattering numbers at which this is happening.

In addition to the fact that it has now been appointed a ‘The Great’ title, somewhat akin to that of the Depression…

…or Wall of China.

Why on Earth is this happening though? What is causing this?

The answer to this question though, is as tough to attribute into one thing as it is to scoop all the water from a bathtub with a fork.

There are a whole host of reasons. The bulk of which are deeply rooted in the pandemic.

These include people being less likely to tolerate returning to unsatisfactory wages and working environments. And which is also aided, for some, in that they saved a lot of money during the lockdowns and therefore currently have the freedom to resign without urgently seeking new work straight away.

There are people also who have returned to workplaces, holding anxieties about contracting Covid-19, and preferring a role with the potential to work from home.

These factors, and the data that support them, are therefore ringing ginormous alarm bells for businesses and team leaders wanting to keep their finest talent.

And whilst the sources of this problem were out-of-your-control, you actually HAVE the control as to how this will affect you and your business.

So, let’s answer the question – What can I do to stop people wanting to leave my team/business?’

They Understand Their Significance

It is incredibly motivating and inspiring to know that your everyday efforts are positively impacting others and contributing to something bigger.

Without this, it can become very easy to become disillusioned and disinterested.

Therefore, ensuring that each member of the team understands that their individual brushstrokes form a much bigger picture is crucial to reinforcing the importance of what they do each day.

It gives them reason and purpose, as well as perspective on the links that exist, not only between them and others, but also between them and the wider goals of the team and business.

Praise Them Like You Should

I’m going to embody Fatboy Slim for this section of the blog.

If you are the leader of a team who are working tirelessly to achieve their individual and collective goals… you need to celebrate them, you need to praise them like you should.

If a member of your team is continually having hard work go unnoticed and unrecognised, it can be a real energy sapper.

They may start asking themselves questions ‘Why do I even bother?’

Therefore, it is important to find ways to celebrate all the successes your team and the individuals within achieve, to build a whole load of positive momentum which will help significantly to push you towards your targets.

The word of the day for this section though is… sincerity.

Empty, hollow praise, or praise for praise’s sake is almost as bad as no praise at all.

When you receive truly sincere praise, the thoughtfulness of the feedback shines through. It also builds a connection between you and that person rewarding you with the praise, as through their kindness and selfless observations, they have made you feel happy, confident, and valued.

Invest In Their Growth

Wealth is about having an abundance.

Some will narrow its definition to being solely monetary and measured in various currencies.

However really, wealth extends far beyond that. Including having an abundance of advantageous options available to you.

When you are part of a business that prioritises your development and supports you with various opportunities to grow, you are in a very wealthy and beneficial position.

Therefore, it would seem like an incredibly detrimental, gigantic step backwards to leave a team which has set you on a path with a very high trajectory for something else, unless it offers you the same.

The flip side of this is the feeling of frustration that comes with stagnation and seeing no forward directions to move into. If the people in your team are feeling this, then it is highly likely that there will come a time where they cut ties and find something else that better suits their ambitions.

The people in your team are your most valuable asset.

They are not just ‘cogs’ that will forever be ‘cogs’ and nothing else.

Their potential is the future of your business, which when invested in, will revolutionise your company far beyond just running on ‘cogs’.

People NOT Workers

Unless the individuals in your teams have circuit boards and wires embedded deeply into the steel armour that covers their backs, then it is likely that they are human beings and not perfectly engineered productivity machines.

As a leader, your duty towards the individuals you lead, and the team as a collective is to build an environment containing everything needed to flourish and not one where people wilt through stress.

Integral to this is that the people within it feel understood, trusted, and cared for.

Spot the difference here…

‘I really appreciate the fantastic work you are doing.’

‘I really appreciate you and all the fantastic work you are doing.’

The latter hits different right?

Your team consists of people, not just workers, and whilst the above is a rather simplified and obvious example of how to articulate to people that you value them for more than what they achieve for you, there are more ways that you can do this.

A great place to start is to really take the time to build deeper connections with each and every person. Show an interest in them, engage in meaningful conversations, and celebrate them for who they are.

Ultimately, they need to feel that they are not just the hands behind the work, but the people and personalities behind the business.

Build Peer Relationships

Cohesion. What a powerful thing.

When you have wildly talented individuals, you have the potential for something special.

When you have wildly talented individuals that each form integral pieces to a well-connected, high spirited and high performing team, you have that something special.

Building absolute unity is incredibly challenging, however every individual spark of connectivity generated has the power to ignite a charge and energy that can be felt far beyond its origins.

This is why team days, collaborative working and challenges are hugely important if you are trying to build bonds and chemistry.

They give people the opportunity to understand and learn about one another, to establish commonalities and appreciate differences, to uncover values and see motivators.

It is always harder to leave when you feel deeply attached.


There are times in life where we need to make a decision about which way we turn next.

Ultimately, we conclude what we believe will be best for ourselves and the people closest to us both now and further down the road.

Many factors contribute to that conclusion, career being one of them.

Whilst these steps cannot guarantee you keep hold of every talented team member you have; it will ensure that an unsatisfactory working environment is not the reason they leave to pursue something else.

Before you go, have a look at our video summary of this blog, here:


Alex & The Excel Team

P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges for 2021, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.






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