Undoing the Great Resignation: Three Essential People Strategies

Maria Forbes of FIREPOWER Business Catalyst, LLC. is a member of XPX Atlanta
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Get your people to stay, a growth strategy. According to a recent report by McKinsey, employers are misunderstanding the reason for the Great Resignation. While we learn much from big company trends, small businesses are similarly affected by the same patterns, especially relative to people. McKinsey reports that “over 25 million people quit their jobs in the second half of 2021.”  This data reflects a people problem across the vast range of business size and has resulted in what is now commonly called the “Great Resignation.”

Why are so many people really quitting their jobs? According to a recent McKinsey report, employers believe that it is a problem with compensation or work-life balance, however, report indicates that “the employees who are quitting tell a different story.”

The next big challenge is finally out of the bag. Big company or small, private or public, people are people, and the COVID era has swayed the pendulum toward a view of employment that was materializing for some time.  COVID was a tipping point for an increasing desire of the American workforce, to attain work-from-home options. It was trending for some time; signs of employee burnout and professional flat-lining were popping up well before the pandemic hit the world.  Our locked-in, hunkered down health-scare season simply kicked open the door to a movement on a new way of working. As employees express their fears, desires, and needs post pandemic, small business owners and leaders must face the fact that employees want to know they are valued, and they want to feel they belong to your business culture.  These important factors must be recognized as attraction and retention values.  Leaders should explore new ways to work together so they can retain their workforce and meet their growth goals.

Three strategies for ensuring employee retention:

  1. Onboarding is an essential for helping employees, both new and current, to understand your expectations for success in a role, track learning, know your business culture and their best contributions. An organized approach to a new working relationship from day one, will establish a sense of belonging.
  2. Regular feedback enables you to tackle problems early, before they become a big performance issue. Commit to regular check-ins with your team.  They will experience your interest in their value to the company and in their professional development, a benefit to your business and to their personal growth.
  3. Keep score – make sure your teams are working toward the same goals. Shared business purpose and mission is not an exercise for branding and marketing. It is an expression of why and how you do business to your teams, your internal clients. Keeping track of individual progress and collective movement toward growth goals will help you to unify your interests in company growth.  Keeping score of achievements helps individuals and teams to recognize the values that drive growth, all are valued contributors.

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Updated: April 7th, 2022

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