OwnerYour team


Are you at risk of The Great Resignation?

One of the main frustrations of business owners at this time is the difficulty in finding qualified staff to grow their teams. A strong construction market, coupled with a close to zero immigration flow, is resulting in the demand for workers increasing while at the same time the supply is shrinking.

Now, according to a recent report in the NZ Herald, employers are also facing a growing trend in team members actively looking at quitting their current jobs and finding something new. It is a phenomenon that has been noted overseas over the past 12-18 months and it looks like it is coming here. In the US it is being referred to as The Great Resignation. The widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the pandemic. Many are leaving the cities and looking for jobs in smaller centres, or looking for less stressful roles. Some are using the opportunity to better themselves and go for a higher paying position.

Dr Jarrod Haar, a human resource management professor with the university’s School of Business, sampled attitudes at three points during the pandemic: May 2020, December 2020 and April this year. The results are displayed on the chart above.

He’s found that workers’ intention to leave their current job has risen sharply during the pandemic – with staff in skilled positions the most likely to be thinking about moving to greener pastures.

“The findings suggest the great resignation may well be happening in New Zealand,” the AUT academic says. “Perhaps differently from overseas. The biggest driver here is the lure of new job opportunities – more pay, more personal development, or more ‘making a difference’.”


Shut The Back Door

So, what are you doing to make sure you hang on to the talent you already have? How often do you have meaningful 1:1 conversations with team members to check if they are happy and what their goals are?

Employees today are seeking better opportunities to career growth and development. They seek better opportunities for skills advancement and sometimes higher wages and benefits. They may even be actively approached by one of your competitors. Of course you would never “poach” staff from other companies, but not everyone has your high moral standards. Also, it is typically your best people who are the ones at risk of leaving the most. They are probably more aware of their value and if they feel their talents are not lining up to their rewards, you have a problem. What are the main reasons the best people are most likely to leave:


  • They see no link between their pay and their performance
  • They don’t perceive growth or advancement opportunities
  • Their contributions are not recognized and valued
  • They don’t get to use their natural talents
  • They have unclear or unrealistic expectations
  • They will no longer tolerate abusive managers or toxic environments, or the “culture of sacrifice” finally becomes too much


It starts with making sure the on-boarding process is really solid and then making sure you are giving ongoing coaching and rewards (financial and other) to ensure loyalty. Making them feel valued and helping them grow their career. Consider the points above and put a pro-active plan in place to discuss with your team members on what motivates them and what a staff retention plan needs to look like in your business.


To discuss what this plan might look like for your business contact me at andy@tradescoach.co.nz or 027-6886721 and we can talk.