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How to Retain Talent During the Great Resignation 

 March 16, 2023   By Living As A Leader


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Making Employees Feel Valued

How to Retain Talent During the Great Resignation 

“I quit!” 

The chorus of resignations that started during the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased, with millions of American workers turning in their resignation papers. There are no signs of it stopping—4 in 10 workers are considering quitting in the next 3 to 6 months, according to a new report from McKinsey and Co.

Despite the pressures of inflation and a possible recession, workers still have the upper hand, with employers looking desperately to hire with record-setting job openings

The exodus of workers should be more than eye-opening for employers, and also provide some insight into how organizations can best keep their talent. Here is what we know from research about why workers are leaving—and what to do about it. 

Take care of basic needs 

According to a Pew Research survey, the biggest reason why people quit their jobs in 2021 was low pay. Those who changed jobs were also more likely to report better pay and benefits in their new role, proving that they were worth more than their employer gave them credit. While organizations don’t have unlimited budgets, a simple conversation and minor negotiation may be enough to retain workers, especially if it means not needing to hire, train and retain someone else. This leads us to a more underlying issue why workers leave…

Treat employees with respect 

Feeling disrespected at work” was right behind pay in reasons why people leave, according to Pew Research. In fact, it was only 2 percentage points under pay in the “major reasons” why workers left and right behind “no opportunities for advancement.” If you look closer, all of these reasons are intertwined. “Why people quit really boils down to one word: Disrespect,” observed Marcel Schwantes, founder of Leadership from the Core. Bottom line, employees need to feel valued.  

Give workers autonomy 

Workers realize now more than ever that they have options. That may mean looking for another full time job, or it could be joining the gig economy, working remotely or with more flexibility or even starting their own business. Of the people who quit without a new job in hand, only 29% went back to a traditional, full-time job, the March McKinsey & Co. survey notes. Knowing this, leaders should strive to involve and empower their teams in decisions and actions, which will give them greater ownership and autonomy in their roles. 

At Living As A Leader, we offer a Leadership Development Series designed to produce leaders that can positively shape the cultural environment, reduce turnover and achieve crucial business initiatives. We do this by providing training, coaching and consulting with a focus on pragmatic communication tools for leaders at all levels of your organization.

For more information, contact Aleta Norris at or find a 15-minute slot on her calendar HERE.


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