5 Lessons Executives & Management Can Learn from The Great Resignation

Abby Haralson

Employee turnover is tough on budget and morale. If losing one employee costs one-half to two times their salary, imagine the toll the Great Resignation took on budgets during the last few years. Most people use COVID as a blanket statement for why the Great Resignation happened, but the pandemic was only the catalyst that brought this trend to light.

To avoid the price tag of employee turnover, executives should take a closer look at the “roots” of the Great Resignation and learn how to avoid their own mass exodus.

The Numbers Behind the Great Resignation

To set the scene, here are the statistics that show just how expansive this shift was.

  • In 2021, 47.8 million people quit their jobs.
  • An average of 4 million people quit their jobs each month during 2021. The previous high was 3.5 million a month in 2019.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been keeping this data since 2000, which means 2021 is the record high for 2 decades of data.

What Caused the Great Resignation?

There’s no “right” answer for this, which is often the case when some 40 million people are involved! But a Pew Research Center survey found that “low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work are the top reasons why Americans quit their job” in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought much of this to light because it shifted the way we work. Many people had to work remotely and employers were forced to adapt quickly. This change showed many employees that they could have a better work-life balance, more flexibility, and less stress in their professional lives—and that’s what many of them did.

5 Lessons Execs and Managers Should Take From the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation revealed a lot about how corporate employees actually feel about their employers and how corporate time can be used most effectively. This data from Pew Research Center might help execs build better policies and avoid employee turnover.

1. Care About People’s Families

Childcare was a significant motivation for many people who quit their jobs during the Great Resignation—48% of people felt it was a major or minor reason for quitting. With schools and daycare centers closed, parents struggled to balance work and family responsibilities.

Executives should recognize the importance of family-friendly policies and support systems. Providing flexible working hours, remote work options, and on-site childcare can help alleviate some of these pressures, showing employees that their families are valued and considered.

2. Benefits Matter

The Great Resignation underscored the importance of comprehensive benefits packages. Employees are looking beyond salary to evaluate their overall compensation. Health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and wellness programs have become crucial elements in attracting and retaining talent. Companies that invest in competitive benefits packages demonstrate a commitment to their employees’ long-term health and well-being.

3. Respect Is Almost as Important as Pay

57% of employees quit because they didn’t feel respected at work, only 6% less “important” than feeling their pay was too low. Creating a culture of respect and kindness should be a priority for all organizations.

Open Channels of Communication

One of the most effective ways to foster respect is by ensuring open channels of communication between employees and management. Conduct regular check-ins and encourage feedback sessions where employees can voice their concerns and ideas without fear of retribution. This not only shows that you value their input but also fosters an inclusive environment.

Enforce a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Discrimination and Harassment

Creating a respectful workplace requires a firm stance against any form of discrimination or harassment. Enforce a zero-tolerance policy and ensure that all employees are aware of the company’s standards and procedures for reporting issues.

Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork

Promote a collaborative culture where teamwork is valued. Encourage employees to work together on projects, share ideas, and learn from one another. By creating a team-oriented environment, you foster mutual respect as employees recognize the unique contributions of their peers.

4. Focus on Employee Recognition

Another part of feeling respected, valued, and appreciated at work is employee recognition. In a time when many employees are feeling burnt out and undervalued, acknowledging their hard work and achievements can go a long way in boosting morale and job satisfaction.

Shouting out great work in team chats, offering small bonuses when employees go above and beyond, or even finding a software that operationalizes employee recognition, are all great ways to show appreciation and create a positive work culture.

At Lemonade Stand, we use the Build Then Bless software, which allows every team member to publicly thank their coworkers, send money as a “thank you,” track anniversaries and birthdays to send gifts, and much more. One of our team members has said it’s a “bad work culture’s kryptonite” and we agree!

5. Listen to What Employees Want in Their Work Culture

Listening to employees and understanding their needs and preferences is essential for creating a thriving work culture. Regular surveys, feedback sessions, and open-door policies can provide insight into what employees value most in their work environment.

By actively listening and responding to these insights, executives and managers can create a culture that aligns with employees’ desires, leading to higher engagement, productivity, and retention.

Apply These Principles With Build Then Bless

This program is more than a software—it’s a way to operationalize all the leadership tips and tricks you read in books or blogs like these! Schedule a demo to find out why Build Then Bless is one of the main reasons why 90% of our employees love to work at Lemonade Stand.

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