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Market Insights Workforce insights How to Ensure Talent Retention in the Middle of The Great Resignation
How to Ensure Talent Retention in the Middle of The Great Resignation

How to Ensure Talent Retention in the Middle of The Great Resignation

How can businesses ensure talent retention despite the uncertainty of the Great Resignation? Here are tips to survive.

When it comes to the future of work, the common issue that comes up is the uncertainty of the times. Companies are finding it difficult to plan forward and set long-term goals because of the precariousness of both the local and global state of affairs. What people are dealing with externally — a pandemic, climate change, societal instability, shaky economies — are affecting businesses and how everyday matters are dealt with. Talent retention, underemployment, quick turnovers, gender-wage gaps, and mental health are just some of the major issues companies tackle these days.

Programs on hiring and retaining talent that were effective a couple of years ago may have to be reviewed and revised to keep up with the times. With an ever-evolving work landscape, changes have to be made, especially as The Great Resignation looms. Questions abound: What is causing the departure of employees, especially of digital talent, in the middle of uncertain times? Where are they going? What talent retention strategy can best be applied to your company? How flexible should your work model be to stay afloat?  

Read on to know details about the great resignation 2021 statistics as well as to learn more talent management retention strategies.

What is the Great Resignation?

Many experts consider The Great Resignation a significant movement among employees to quit their current jobs and search for a new role elsewhere. Consider it a mass exodus among employees who are no longer satisfied in their current positions. This phenomenon has been observed in many western countries as well as Asian nations, including Malaysia.

Businesses are going the extra mile to improve talent retention and manage The Great Resignation. Except, proving to be a challenge in this pursuit is reaching out to the leaders of the pack: digital talent. The common reason provided for their resignation is burnout brought about by uncertainties. If companies can not provide them with the solutions they yearn for, there is no hesitation from this group to pack and go.

Who is part of digital talent?

Decoding the Digital Talent Challenge Report, a global survey of 9,900 digital workers by JobStreet, JobsDB, the Boston Consulting Group, and The Network, identified the individuals that make up this group and revealed their reasons for driving the Great Resignation. 

“We defined digital talent as people in jobs in IT, automation, analytics, or digitisation,” says the report. “People in digital roles embraced new work habits during the pandemic and want to maintain some amount of job flexibility. They are citizens of the world, more open than most to working virtually for a company in a different country or moving abroad for work. They care about what’s happening in society and the environment, and they want to work for an employer that shares their values.”


This set knows their value to any organisation. They know that their digital skills are in high demand among employers, making them more “confident in their abilities and desirability.” The report suggests that this is also why so many of them are willing to trade their current jobs for new opportunities. Among them, 73% have expressed plans to change careers in two to three years, while 40% disclosed that they are actively looking for a new job. 

These figures cement the group’s position as vanguards of the Great Resignation, proving to be both an opportunity and a risk for employers. But they already have the upper hand, and they more or less came out of the pandemic unscathed, so why are they still quitting?

What do digital talent want?

“Seeking an opportunity to advance their career is the primary reason digital workers give for looking for a new job.” Some are constantly searching for a new challenge, and being in the same role cannot always provide that. They want their skills set to be up-to-date and competitive, and they recognise that this can only be possible if they move jobs. Some also reason that they are undervalued in their current organisations or cannot achieve proper work-life balance. 

The report reveals the following key reasons driving talent to search for new opportunities:

  • 63% reveal they find better career opportunities in other roles

  • 49% say they are looking for a new challenge

  • 36% feel undervalued in their current roles

  • 29% mention that the work-life balance no longer matches their standards

  • 24% are looking for a company that is more aligned with their personal beliefs

How to improve talent retention?

Do you simply give in and tick all the boxes that cater to the needs of the digital talent in your team? Is this an effective talent retention strategy? 

Experts point out that the way to retain in-demand talent is by striking a balance between what they want and what the business needs. The company would always strive for efficiency, productivity, and innovation; meanwhile, most digital talent search for reason, empowerment, and growth. Strive to achieve both. The best solution is to build an attractive workplace that does not take one side but is rather flexible enough to manage uncertainties. 

Ensure flexibility in the workplace

The work-from-home setup during the pandemic has proven that many roles can efficiently fulfil their responsibilities without heading to the office. Companies should be flexible enough to recognise this and admit that not all work should be confined to a specific physical space. Let employees work where they want. 

The report reveals: “In all, 95% of digital respondents want to work from home at least once a week; only a small fraction want to be full time in the office.” Agree to a hybrid work model that promotes balanced schedules. Recognise that every employee faces their daily ordeals and schedules cannot always be set in stone.

Promote collaboration and a healthy work culture

Digital talent do not want to work remotely all the time. They also want to go to the office to work and collaborate with their teammates and even meet their managers. Foster good relationships among employees by practising a work culture that values teamwork, innovation, and healthy competition. At the end of the day, employees want to feel they belong.

Provide avenues for learning and development

No one wants to keep their careers stagnant. Despite the uncertainties of the times, employees want to feel movement in terms of their career projections. Offer upskilling and reskilling opportunities to help them develop. Make sure you offer these opportunities without bias. Do not single out an employee because they deserve a boost more than someone else. Also, consider transforming more employees into digital talent. The more, the merrier. 

Make them feel appreciated

“Good job! Excellent work! Continue this streak!” Did you know that simply saying these words can be part of your talent management retention strategies? Digital talent want to feel appreciated, and there are numerous ways managers can make that happen. Recognition can be done through promotion, valuable rewards, and financial compensation — whichever works best for your company, make sure that you practise fairness in giving them out. 

Secure everyone’s safety and well-being

COVID-19 has forever altered how people work and how they value their safety. Each one has faced a different set of challenges, so companies should recognise this and aid in finding solutions. Ensure that proper policies are set to ensure the well-being of the entire company. Reduced risks mean reduced talent turnovers.

The time of the Great Resignation is frightening for many businesses. Losing valuable talent is always painful to any company, and allowing it to happen during tumultuous times only doubles the suffering. Make sure that you are geared and ready with the right strategies to retain your talent — especially the “digital” ones. Stay flexible, and you’ll weather through unharmed.

Want to strengthen your team with more digital talent? Visit the Talent Search today. Then head to the Employers Insights page to get the latest hiring trends. And also check out the Laws of Attraction to better understand the current Malaysian employment landscape.

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