Retaining Talents during the Great Resignation 

April 5, 2022

What is Great Resignation

Great Resignation, also called the Big Quit or Great Negotiation is the global workforce movement where people voluntarily leave their jobs. 

The Great Resignation movement was visible mainly in the United States at the end of 2020 and 2021. 

However, according to Harvard Business Review, it is an ongoing trend that started a decade ago. It includes retirement, relocation, reconsideration, reshuffling, and reluctance. 

Great Negotiation in numbers

In 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs.

Data shows that almost 4 million Americans per month resigned from their jobs in 2021.

The sectors affected the most by the Big Quit are leisure and hospitality (accommodation and food services). The numbers reached almost 7% of people working in restaurants and hotels who gave notice in November 2021. 

The next sector with the highest rate of 4.4% was retail trade

From the demographics perspective, young people make up the most significant share of those switching jobs, specifically Millennials and Gen Z. 

It is not as simple as it seems

People have the aspiration to have a job that would fill their life with meaning. 

This is especially true for knowledge workers who have already experienced burnout and have efficient funds to take a career break and reconsider their future endeavors. 

Also, younger generations who are at the beginning of their professional journey and have no family obligations or little responsibilities tend to look for new opportunities or higher pay.

However, the pandemic situation put many people in a difficult situation, particularly women. For them, quitting their jobs is made not from a place of empowerment but rather from a childcare calculus.

The cost of losing great talents

Losing employees is expensive.

According to Deloitte, high turnover may cost the organization a monetary hit and much more.

A considerable part of the cost would be recruiting, mainly advertising, screening, interviewing, and hiring. Once the right candidate is selected, we are faced with onboarding costs. For the new talent to thrive, we need to provide her with training, which means more money and time. 

Additionally, according to statistics, it takes up to 2 years for the new hire to reach the same productivity as the resigned person.

Apart from apparent costs, many other drawbacks may have a negative effect on the organization. High turnover often causes low engagement and affects company culture.

Stopping the resignation wave - how to strike the right balance?

1. Offering a high salary may not always be the answer. However, it stays on top of the list. For employees, the amount of money they get is a     clear indicator of the importance of their work, effort, and time.  

2. People who have a sense of power and independence tend to excel in their performance and get a sense of fulfillment in their job. 

3. Beyond compensation, people would like to work for organizations that can offer growth opportunities.

Robust learning and development opportunities, real-time coaching and mentorship, and a clear path for career growth and promotions may be equally important to the salary one earns.

4. Offering a remote or hybrid model is what people expect, especially in the post-Covid phase.

5. Company policy that includes fairness, diversity, equity, and inclusion is a must.

People want to feel valued and respected within a diverse and inclusive work environment.

6. Organizations that positively impact essential issues such as the environment have a lower turnover rate.

    According to Deloitte’s research, people want to identify with organizations with a purpose beyond profit and address challenges like     wealth inequality or environmental changes.

7. People want to feel appreciated and valued. Organizations can answer this question by offering working time flexibility, maternity     schemes, and other reward systems.

8. Protecting the vulnerable is the right thing to do. Taking care of employees and offering them mental health programs may be a    considerable step to minimize burnout.