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What impact will the financial crisis have on employee retention?

The impact a financial crisis can have on employee retention varies from business to business, but it causes a level of insecurity for all workers in all industries. Even if their job isn’t directly at risk, uncertainty can lead people to look for work elsewhere – and that’s exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis, with some employees heads turned by marginally better pay or the promise of a more stable position.

All things considered, a recession like the one we’re facing right now is more likely to have a negative effect. So, what can you do?

Communication is key

Communication with employees during times of uncertainty is crucial. Not only will it build trust, but regular and consistent communication around business performance will keep them aware and informed of what’s going on.

If your business outlook is positive, routine team communication will help alleviate tensions and anxieties, as well as aid in reducing the likelihood of employees looking for work elsewhere as a precaution. As a result, staff are likely to be more productive.

Non-monetary motivators

Keeping staff engaged at work is a powerful way to retain talent. It’s a fact that, when employees are more engaged, they’re more motivated, productive, and committed to making an impact at your organisation. This also creates a positive work environment that will encourage employees to stay.

There are many ways to encourage engagement – one great method is to look at what incentives you can offer. Of course, in a recession you need initiatives that won’t break the bank, but there are plenty of non-monetary motivators out there. Read our article, 10 non-monetary motivators to encourage employee engagement, for some ideas.

Embed regular employee listening

To ensure management understands the concerns and needs of employees at all times – but especially during an economic downturn – regular employee listening must be implemented. This will help your organisation make well informed decisions and adapt to the situation, and can help identify things that aren’t working so well.

By uncovering what works best for your organisation, costs can be cut, and efficiency can be improved – which is key for survival during a recession. Read our article, Pulse surveys and the power of leading data, to uncover more reasons regular employee listening is so beneficial to the performance of your business.

It won’t last forever…

Nobody’s certain how long the financial crisis will last, but we do at least know it will eventually end. And employees won’t forget how their organisation did – or didn’t – look after them throughout it.

Look at the pandemic, for example. This had a significant, negative impact on anyone and everyone – and those that looked after their employees came out stronger on the other side. Those that didn’t are still taking a hit, with major issues in recruitment and the retention of talent.

Employees are your backbone, and neglect will have serious repercussions for both the stability and survival of your business.


WorkBuzz helps organisations gather real-time feedback from their people, track employee wellbeing, and make more informed, data-driven people decisions. If you want to know why your employees may be thinking of leaving – and what you can do about it before it’s too late – get in touch today by completing the form below.

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