The Great Resignation and Employee Retention

Employee retention is critical. However, something big is happening right now! If you’ve been watching, you’ve noticed it. If you’ve been keen to focus on other aspects of work then you may have missed it. It’s called the great resignation and it directly affects you, your job and your life.

The pandemic has drastically changed us. We are not the same individuals because we had more time to think, more time to dream and more time to plot our future. Plus, each of us carries our own memories, challenges and life-altering moments that changed who we are.

From a workplace perspective here’s what you need to know.

Workers ages 25-75 are leaving their jobs by the millions for various reasons including:

Crummy manager

Company does not align with personal goals

Back to the office full-time does not work for me

Burned out/worked too hard

Company does not have a clear corporate stewardship message e.g. what are we doing to help our community and society?

Time to retire

I’m being held back

I’m going to work for myself – I like the thought of being my own boss

Pay is not in line with what I want/need

Nobody cares about my (our) health and welfare. It’s just business as usual.

The cost of childcare is keeping me home

Bottom line – fed up…

With retention comes compromise. This leads to less turnover, higher productivity and a focus on business and not scrambling to fill empty positions. Here’s how to keep that talent and mitigate the hold that the great resignation has on businesses and organizations.

1) Flexibility and health matters. Remote and in-office, flexible hours, vaccinated or not, childcare, health & wellness. In 2022, the ability of business owners and leaders to navigate these issues will decide how the depth of your employee bench. Do you have a plan in place to keep staff who do not choose to get vaccinated? Can you offer childcare or be flexible with drop off and pickup times? Do you have a solid healthcare plan in place with wellness incentives? Can staff work remote? These key questions matter to a majority of workers. Getting this right will grow retention.

2) My manager is a JERK is a kind way of saying that people are leaving because their manager does not listen, lead and assist well. The last two years have been incredibly difficult and everyone has a unique story of how they’ve navigated the pandemic. Today’s managers and leaders must be trained to be compassionate, listen with purpose and pitch in more when needed. Yes, the world has changed and so has the way we do business.

3) Millions of people are dipping their feet into self-employment. They’re taking the risk and hoping that working for themselves will give them the flexibility, income and life style that the last two years have shown them that they want. This is a significant number and most are/were employed before going solo. Keeping talent requires listening. Are you noticing a pattern developing? Asking good questions and listening well will uncover a list of concerns that you didn’t know existed. Being proactive and having weekly meetings with staff can shed light where individuals are and what they’re thinking.

The great resignation is here and were living in unique times. It is costly, time sucking and difficult to hire new employees. It stands to reason then, that if we can be proactive with staff and try to give them enough reason(s) to stay that we can slow down the mass exodus of talent that is looking for other opportunities.


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