The Great Resignation: How a coaching approach to leadership can help you retain talent in 2022

February 16, 2022

The New Year is always a time for setting goals and making plans – but how many of your employees are planning to leave their jobs in 2022? The Great Resignation may sound like a fad of 2021, but economists believe it’s set to continue. High turnover rates are costly for business, so what can you do to retain talent?

Last year, Microsoft found that 41% of the global workforce were considering leaving their employer, a marked increase on previous years. 

So what’s behind this global shift? 

Research highlights a range of reasons, including:

  1. Workers reaching breaking point after almost two years of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, bringing with it increased workloads and hiring freezes, on top of the personal pressures of people’s work-lives merging ever more closely with their home and family lives (Harvard Business Review: Who is Driving the Great Resignation).
  1. The global shift to remote working has made it easier than ever for those with in-demand skills to access new opportunities – remote opportunities on LinkedIn nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021 – this makes it all the more important for employers to create and maintain an appealing work environment. 
  1. Leaders are out of touch with their workforces, and employees without decision-making authority are feeling disillusioned: 61% of leaders told Microsoft they were thriving, compared with 38% of those without decision-making authority (Microsoft: The 2021 Work Trend Index).

How can your business combat the Great Resignation?

  1. Understanding specifically what might cause your employees to leave is key to retaining them. Leaders who cultivate relationships based on listening are more likely to spot and tackle issues which are leading to dissatisfaction among employees before it’s too late. This is why Circl focuses on building leaders’ coaching skills: When we asked colleagues who were managed or coached by someone who had participated in the Circl programme, over 80% told us that their colleague now listens better whilst 88% felt they had become more empathetic*.

  1. Building autonomy among employees gives them a greater sense of control and engaged with their work. Circl participants see this for themselves when using the skills they’ve learnt:

“I have been actively applying certain skills with my team at work - when they ask me for advice on how best to proceed in certain situations, I now ask them for their thoughts and encourage them to come up with their own solutions. It has been fascinating to observe their reactions when I respond to their questions with another question (rather than the answer). Little by little, I can see them growing in confidence and enjoying more responsibility and autonomy.”

  1. Providing opportunities for employees to learn, develop and make an impact are often linked to engagement levels and retention strategies. The Circl programme combines these two aspects – with professionals from business learning coaching skills alongside “Future Leaders” from diverse backgrounds, working closely with them to build their confidence, skills and aspirations for their future careers. Both groups consistently tell us this enhances the learning, as well as making the programme more enjoyable. 

“The best thing about Cirl was working in partnership with a Future Leader. There's so much to be said for learning and developing alongside someone who you did not know prior. It both drives you to always be engaged as well as puts you outside of your comfort zone.” Mustafa Roomi, Receipt Bank

This may be why 94% of participants’ line managers and peers tell us that colleagues are more engaged with their work after participating in the Circl programme*.

Considering upskilling your leadership team? The Circl programme provides your senior managers with the tools they need to lead diverse teams. Discover how the programme works here or get in touch to talk with the Circl team.

*Based on feedback provided by 167 people who work closely with colleagues who participated in a Circl programme in 2021.