Will Employers Treat Workers Better After the Great Resignation?

Employers have gotten the message following record-setting quit rates in 2021. Here's what they plan to fix.
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  • The Great Resignation was a giant wake up call for employers.
  • To improve job retention, employers need to make the workplace better for workers.
  • Employers plan to address everything from workplace culture to employee satisfaction.

The Great Resignation will go down as a once-in-a-generation economic shift. Americans quit their jobs at a record-setting pace in 2021, sending shockwaves through the workforce.

The reasons were clear. A LinkedIn poll found that 74% of respondents said the pandemic has made them think twice about their current job. Stress, general dissatisfaction, or other pressures led them to quit en masse.

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By quitting in such high numbers, workers have sent a strong message to employers: We won't work for you unless the conditions are right.

So, what do employers need to change? Experts say good wages and benefits will be a strong starting point.

But beyond the basics of making a job attractive, what else do employers plan to do? And what should you — as a future employee — look for in your current or next role?

Here are eight takeaways from employers about the Great Resignation.

On Workplace Culture…

Takeaway: Toxic managers can't be ignored

Scott McKinney, head of marketing, Debt Bombshell: "The Great Resignation has taught employers that they should never turn a blind eye towards toxic managers. Oftentimes, senior executives choose to ignore bad managers because they get results when it comes to sales and profits. However, the cost of doing so is to also turn an ignorant eye towards employees who are feeling overworked or stressed. This is a huge red flag because it would become difficult to attract top talent if your company has a poor reputation as a place to work."

Takeaway: Employee benefits matter

Brad Cummins, principal agent, Insurance Geek: "I plan to take time to look over the benefits that I provide to my staff. Many employers felt compelled to leave their jobs because they did not feel like their employers cared about them. I want to do my part to show my team that I care and appreciate them for all the hard work they have put in, especially during the pandemic. If I can offer them better benefits and rewards in the company. The last thing I would want to do is risk losing any of my team members, and I am willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that they do not."

On Job Burnout…

Takeaway: Job burnout needs to be addressed

Kamyar Shah, fractional chief operating officer, Kamyar Shah: "From the Great Resignation, I have learned that I underestimated the impact of employee burnout. When employees do not feel valued, are struggling with communication, and don't feel like any progress is being made due to not being made aware of team progress and success, it weighs on a person. In the new year, employers need to make it a priority to help their staff cope with the issues to prevent burnout and keep their teams intact."

On Remote Work…

Takeaway: Work and home life are now intertwined

Olivia Tan, co-founder, CocoFax: "One thing we learned from the pandemic is we all have lives outside of the office. Before, working parents may have shushed a child who asked for help while they were at a Zoom meeting. Now, I see lots of parents who are more comfortable with their child making a surprise appearance. There's greater acceptance of these little interruptions that demonstrate our work and home lives are more interconnected than ever before. And, as employers, we're wise to recognize this."

On Employee Retention…

Takeaway: Bridges shouldn't be burnt with employees who leave

Michael Alexis, CEO, TeamBuilding: "We have about 170 employees. Like many organizations, we’ve seen the impact of the Great Resignation, though fortunately in our case we’ve only had a few people resign and seek employment elsewhere. In some cases, these employees actually returned to us after a few months. What we learned is how critical it is to not burn bridges. It is normal and healthy for employees to consider their options, including looking at other employers for career growth and compensation increases. You should handle every resignation with grace and respect. If you do so, people that leave will consider coming back — and that is incredibly valuable to an organization."

Takeaway: Stay interviews should be key going forward

Bob Scott, founder, Sell Land: "We conduct stay interviews to better understand the needs of our team members. True enough, it was an excellent strategy that made me aware as a leader on how to make things better. COVID-19 forced every company to take on unprecedented challenges such as remote work and shifting priorities. That's why the interviews provided insights about effectively tackling problems. Their point of views are invaluable in the assessment and monitoring of overall productivity. We're continuing this effort and have considerably lessened the number of resignations."

On Employee Satisfaction…

Takeaway: Employees need to feel valued

Boye Fajinmi, co-founder and president, TheFutureParty: "Employers need to take steps to create a workplace culture and balance that removes the expendability of the employee and creates value around them. You may have a strong business idea, a plan, and a good product, but if nobody is willing to work for you, you are going nowhere. The Great Resignation represents a priority shift for the workforce, deciding that benefits and lifestyle options are more important than consistently having a job."

Takeaway: Keeping employees happy needs to be a top priority

Robyn Tebeau, senior vice president of finance and human resources, Facilis: "Employees are far more focused on work-life balance, flexibility and mental health than in past years. Companies that also focus on these will be the ones who succeed in keeping dedicated employees. Little things like free lunches, bagels, and holiday parties help with engagement and camaraderie short-term. Bigger aspects like opportunities for growth, competitive benefits, and work-life balance form the foundation."

Feature Image: filadendron / E+ / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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