Keeping Your Best Employees During the Great Resignation

Now that restrictions around the pandemic have loosened, companies are asking employees to resume working from their offices again. But the result is not what’s been expected. Instead of returning, droves of highly skilled workers are quitting instead.

This widespread event has been given the name ‘The Great Resignation’. As a business leader, it’s critical for you to know what it’s all about, what it means for your business, and how to offset its effects on your business.

Let’s dive in!

The impact of ‘The Great Resignation’

Let’s start by learning about a few facts and statistics around the situation. Here are some details from a study by Gallup:

  • Forty-eight percent of the American workforce is actively looking for new jobs
  • 3.6 million people resigned in May 2021 alone
  • 74% of employees are disengaged from their workplace which leads to a loss in productivity for businesses
  • The loss derived from disengaged employees equals 18% of their salary

The cost of hiring people to take the place of an ex-employee can take up to two times the annual salary of an employee. And this doesn’t take into account the time and resources needed to train the new employees.

There’s no question that you need to take action and not underestimate the impact that the loss of employees can have on your business. Even if you don’t see a direct impact, chances are that your suppliers and partners may see difficulties in their own business because of such changes and this indirectly affects you.

What’s behind employees leaving companies

To learn how to support your employees better, you need to know what’s driving people to quit in the first place. Let’s look at some of the reasons why people are choosing to quit and find new jobs rather than return to their current workplace.

  • Companies have shown that they can give employees complete remote flexibility if they need to. And employees can get their work done right from the comfort of their homes. As a result, there’s little reason to revert to in-person work
  • Employees have experienced better work-life balance as a result of remote work flexibility. Undertaking long commutes and other pressures of in-office work are driving people to look for new job opportunities where they can work remotely instead
  • People are looking for self-actualization rather than spending a significant amount of their time at work where they only meet their career goals. And because of this, they’re seeking opportunities where they can flex their creative and entrepreneurial muscles
  • And finally, one of the biggest reasons people are leaving their jobs is because they are disengaged. From the study mentioned previously, the highest quit rate is coming from people who are not effectively engaged by their managers and workplace

The issues mentioned here are not new, people have been wanting more flexibility and greater life-fulfillment for a long time. What has changed is that the pandemic has shown that such goals are possible and people are holding up standards for how they want to live and work.

How to retain your employees

From the previous section, I’m sure that many great ideas have already come to your mind on how to keep employees happy and loyal to your business.

And keeping your best employees on is good for your business because your business will run more smoothly and you’ll build a positive reputation. Also, you save on expenses around recruiting and training considerably when you keep your employees.

Here are practical things you can do in your business that will make resignation less appealing to people.

Enable remote work

This is the most obvious and effective first step that you can take. If there’s work that doesn’t require physical labor, then make it possible for people to work from home.

In my business, we run everything 100% remotely and have employees from all over the world. The key is to provide people with communication and task management tools. Platforms like Google Workspace, Slack, Asana, Zoom, make it possible to have clear workflows and goals.

You can also ensure data security by using password managers, two-factor authentication, and other measures.

Work flexibility is so important that this alone can be an inducement for good workers to stay with you.

Offer training and skill development

As mentioned earlier, people want to grow in different areas of their life and not just have everything revolve around work. To support this, you can offer training and educational opportunities to your employees.

Create in-house webinars and online courses where leaders and team members share their knowledge on a topic. Take up a business account or package from e-learning platforms where multiple team members can access different classes.

Such activities build your employees’ skills which affect your own business as they can put their knowledge to use at work.

Engage your employees

Another critical reason that drives people to look for new jobs is that they’re not engaged at work. This happens when communication only revolves around immediate tasks and people aren’t motivated or appreciated enough.

There are studies that show that just 21% of people feel valued at work. And 79% of people say that they would leave an otherwise good job simply because they don’t feel appreciated at work.

As a leader, you need to make an effort to connect with as many people as you can. Have short one-on-one sessions, have online events, and make sure that you recognize work anniversaries and jobs well done. Also, use employee engagement surveys and feedback forms to learn how you can improve their working conditions.

The more you engage people, the less likely they are to leave.


It’s important for business leaders to be aware of ‘The Great Resignation’ and what it means for their businesses.

It’s always been important to engage employees and retain them, however, the aftermath of the pandemic has made matters like work flexibility and overall personal fulfillment paramount in people’s lives.

We’ve looked at ways to keep people engaged and loyal to your company. Use these tips and come up with your own ways to create a better workplace for your employees.

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Author: Thomas Griffin

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