Fight the Flight: How to Navigate the Great Resignation and Retain Talent

Keeping employees motivated is a challenge that all managers face at the best of time, and as we shift into a post-pandemic world, this challenge has never been greater - since 2020, employees have adapted to work-from-home culture, embracing the work-life balance it provides. In addition, many have questioned their employment and shifted their priorities. As New Zealand opens its borders to the rest of the world, managers are being posed with a new challenge: how to retain talent when the temptation to move overseas is very real.

Auckland University of Technology’s Wellbeing at Work study found those considering leaving their jobs grew from 34.7% to 46.4% in 2021. With factors such as career dissatisfaction, a need for flexibility, and a lack of workplace support all commonly cited reasons, it is clear that transformation in the workforce has never been more prevalent nor so necessary. So, how do you ensure you are offering an appealing and attractive work environment or role to retain good talent?

Gallagher Bassett New Zealand’s National People & Culture Manager, Gabrielle Cook, gives her top tips for fighting the great resignation and retaining talent.

  1. Embrace employee development and secondment opportunities

As the world’s borders continue to open up, it is realistic to assume that many younger employees will be looking to travel in an attempt to gain new experiences. With this in mind, employers should consider harnessing their employees’ want for career development and travel. Secondments – where employees are temporarily contracted to a client company to offer their expertise – increase innovation, holistic knowledge, improve retention and combat fatigue. By embracing the employee development that secondments offer, businesses can improve their relationship with employees. Secondments can take place in different NZ cities or close by in countries such as Australia to help scratch employees’ travel itch.

  1. Invest in your managers

Perhaps unsurprisingly, research suggests that a lack of proper management is often the number one reason for employees resigning. With this in mind, we strongly suggest that companies look for managers that genuinely care about their employees and believe in their potential. For new managers, hire people with the management skills that your business needs. For current managers, consider providing them with proper training to fix any current behavioural issues and encourage meaningful career focused conversations between managers and employees.

  1. Prioritise workplace flexibility

While flexible working options were once a luxury, they are now necessary in the eyes of many – compressed hours, hybrid options and the ability to work from any location is what many modern employees demands from their employer.

In order to create a positive working environment, be upfront with your employees and ask them what working model works best for them – after all, each employee will often have their own preference based on their personal situation. Offering real flexibility – where employees can choose their working model - can improve work-life balance and staff mental health.

  1. Supply resources that enable employee inclusivity and growth

Acknowledging that staff need to be able to grow and complete their role is key when it comes to a hybrid working model. Employees need to feel empowered to utilise the resources and information you provide. Investing in resources such as communication and video platforms, online team building events, and web-based file distribution and collaborative software will help in your efforts to engage staff. Using these software tools, your dispersed team will have the proper communication tools at their disposal to facilitate valuable team conversations. As a result of this, employees will feel supported to perform to their potential.


While the ‘Great Resignation’ can be worrying for businesses, these tips can provide employees the opportunities and flexibility they are craving and remedy their need to look elsewhere.

Gallagher Bassett can assist you with your workplace injury management plans, and integrated wellness services that focus on health, safety and wellness in the workplace. To find out how Gallagher Bassett can support you in retaining top talent through the Great Resignation, contact us here.

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Disclaimer: The advice and guidelines recommended in this article may change in the future as more and new information becomes available. 

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