The Great Power Shift

With much publicised post-Covid people shortages across many sectors, there’s been a fundamental change in the world of work.

Current buzzwords such as “talent”, “retention” and “incentivisation” indicate that the balance of power has shifted in favour of employees – which can only be a good thing, right? It means employers have scope to do things differently.

Employers need employees more than ever; and although employees still need employers, resignation levels are at an all-time high and the new economic landscape is providing them with the perfect negotiating position.

So what do employers need to consider in order to ensure they don’t lose their people? Here are just a few suggestions:

Go back to basics

Unless everyone in the business is paid a living wage, working hours are humane and conditions are safe, there’s really no point in thinking beyond this as it’s absolutely fundamental. At the very least people want – and need – work to provide them with enough money and free time to live. This applies globally. If you’re not providing this for your people you really do need to take stock.

Offer genuine flexibility 

Over the past 20 months or so, people have demonstrated they can be trusted to work flexibly, so don’t take this away from them. No perk is going to make up for the fact that your people are unable to meet their caring responsibilities. Like the above, this is entry level stuff. If you don’t let people look after their loved ones, they won’t want – and will not be able – to work for you. Avoid too falling into the trap of saying you are flexible but not actually being flexible.

Think old-school

Let’s not dismiss traditional perks and benefits such as free food, drinks, gym memberships, insurances, enhanced leave, etc. – in isolation they’re not enough to retain people today, but they’re still great to have.

New generation benefits

This year’s hot perk has to be pets at work, and why not? Assuming no one in the team is uncomfortable with it, well-behaved pets in the office can bring a lot to the party. Petting animals is known to decrease stress-levels, they’re an excuse to get out and about at lunch time, and cooing over adorable animals is a sure-fire way to bring people together. Other emerging perks include fertility treatment funding and time off, and an office concierge to take charge of people’s time-consuming life admin.

Continue the courtship

Employers should treat existing employees with the same sort of energy and attention they put into hiring new ones. Don’t let complacency set it once people have accepted a role with you – the courtship needs to continue for the relationship to go the distance!

Enable face to face human interaction

Most people want and need human connection at work, to some degree at least. We don’t mean awkward away days with team building activities and enforced ‘fun’; but simply the chance to spontaneously interact with colleagues. To be able to chat, laugh, rant and ultimately create bonds. If you completely remove the opportunity for any sort of in person interaction, for example by deciding on 100% remote working going forwards, this important element of work will be completely lost. Don’t underestimate how important it is to people.


This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to retain people (and we know you have a budget to follow). Ultimately, as long as they remain engaged and you put effort into creating a positive working culture, you’re already on the right track.

If you feel your culture needs work or your people aren’t as engaged as they could be, drop us a for an informal chat about potential solutions –