Leadership Thoughts: How to React to the Great Resignation

How to React to the Great Resignation

According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), the US is currently experiencing the phenomenon called the Great Resignation, which is a mass voluntary exit of individuals from organizations disrupting the demand and supply of employees. During April, May, and June 2021, 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. Other surveys went on to reveal that 48% of employees are actively looking for a career change, and nearly 1 out of 4 employees will do so in the next six months. As a result, experts predict that the US will see up to 10.1 million new job openings.

To help you overcome this critical period, here are some methods you can utilize to minimize the effect of the great resignation on your business:

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

HBR suggests that to promote employee retention, you need to listen to and understand the changing needs of your employees that will encourage them to stay in your company. For example, business leaders need to accept that the current nature of work has changed and that more employees prefer flexible work arrangements.

A report by Ashton Jackson showed that 72% of workers in IT and engineering agencies prefer a flexible work model, and 67% of workers say they feel more empowered when provided with flexible working arrangements by their companies. Moreover, 84% of workers said that continuing to work from home would make them happier. This indicates the growing need for you and your employees to compromise work hours and location to ensure employee retention.

Encourage and Listen to Employee’s Perspectives

As a business leader, you can motivate your employees to stay in their jobs by making them feel valued. You can do this by spending time to understand their motivations and helping them see the positive impact they’re making in the organization. You can also ask for their assistance because sometimes leaders don’t have all the right answers.

We explained in our previous “Key Traits of Great Business Leaders” article that business leaders may not always notice their weaknesses and areas for improvement. Therefore, we suggest practicing self-awareness by encouraging team members to raise their ideas during team meetings. This expresses your willingness to listen to various perspectives from employees and increase their feelings of purpose and impact on the organization.

Employ Interim Talent Solutions

Aside from retaining the very best talent, you can solve recruitment issues by hiring quickly but strategically. In an article on the pressure to fill positions by LHH, data indicates that employers are now acting quickly to fill open roles. They discovered that 70% of recent job seekers got a job offer within 30 days. Roughly 18% of respondents waited 30 to 60 days, and only 12% waited for more than 60 days. However, there are risks associated with expedited hiring processes.

Furthermore, LHH highlights the benefits of having an interim employee to assist in current organization projects while the hiring process is ongoing. By doing this, you can be sure that they’re experienced and capable at the job since they’re vetted by a trusted partner. This also ensures that you won’t be paying a fixed cost for a full-time hire that may be a bad fit for the company.

Establish Employee Referral Programs

If you want to hire a reliable and permanent employee, creating an employee referral program can help you look for the perfect candidate. Referral programs are a management practice where workers are explicitly encouraged to refer their social contacts for jobs using bonuses. They are cost-effective measures to tap into a large pool of qualified candidates and can yield higher employee satisfaction and retention rates.

A study by Guido Friebel and colleagues revealed that referral programs in a grocery chain reduce attrition by roughly 15% and decrease firm labor costs by up to almost 3%. This is because they found that referrals stay longer than non-referrals. With this, you can establish an employee referral program to effectively and conveniently find qualified candidates.


The Great Resignation is set to cause issues in many organizations across the U.S., but strong leadership can always guide teams through the most turbulent times.

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