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Navigating the Great Resignation as an Employer

We’ve found that the ‘Great Resignation’ we've been going through has hit a number of business owners, both large and small, by surprise. Harvard Business Review published a great piece 1 recently we'd also recommend checking out for more context on what we're seeing in the job market right now.

Employers have needed to adapt quickly to hire and retain employees. Many are reassessing their employee benefits and workplace culture, which is good yet challenging to do. Some quick data on where we’re at:


  • A staggering 11.5 million people quit their jobs over three months since April, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

  • In July, the number of open jobs surpassed 10 million for the first time in U.S. history.


The fascinating thing about this wave of resignations, is that it’s happening across a wide range of industries — service, retail, healthcare, and tech, to name a few. Each is experiencing significant employee exodus and hiring challenges. A summer Gallup poll found that nearly half (48-percent) of employed Americans are looking for new opportunities. 74-percent of those people are “actively disengaged” at their job.

How can businesses avoid employee disengagement? Here are some good places to start:


1. More flexible work policies.

  • The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work practices, forever changing the concept of a typical workday.

  • Now, employees generally favor a hybrid remote-office model and want more flexibility over the time and location of their work.

  • Why do it? Models like this can help create a healthier work-life balance. It also goes a long way in displaying trust in your employees and thus strengthening your relationship with your staff.

2. Offer meaningful learning opportunities.

  • If there’s a singular lesson we can take from the Great Resignation, it’s that people want the opportunity to advance their careers, learn, and have meaningful experiences.

  • See how you can also provide in-house training opportunities, or potentially send employees to conferences and other industry events as growth opportunities.

  • Why do it? Incorporating education benefits into your employee benefits packages makes people feel valued, as it shows you’re willing to invest in their future.

3. Create growth opportunities.

  • Offering to sponsor certifications and other educational pursuits are effective ways to make employees feel like they are growing at your company.

  • People want to see the next step in their lives and career, whether it’s at your company or elsewhere.

  • Why do it? The more opportunities you create for your employees to evolve and take on more responsibility, the better chance you have at retaining them. The more you commit to them, the more they commit to you.

4. Create retention programs that fit your business.

  • Ultimately, you need to take a data-driven approach to retention.

  • Take an internal audit of what’s worked and what may be causing employees to leave.

  • Develop tailored programs based on data to combat the underlying causes of turnover.


These are trying times for business owners seeking to attract and retain top talent, but with focus and an ear to the ground with your employees, you could come out a stronger employer on the other side.


1 Who Is Driving the Great Resignation? (hbr.org)




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