The Great Resignation: Crisis or Opportunity?

The Great Resignation: Crisis or Opportunity?

It’s been two-and-a-half years since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives in a bigger way than we could’ve imagined. During that time, when people had to adjust every aspect of their lives to keep themselves — and for companies, their employees — safe, there was a lot of opportunity for workers to think about their lives and what matters. In some cases, people decided to leave their jobs, a phenomenon dubbed the “Great Resignation.” 

The economy and the jobs market is recovering, with people coming back to work and companies continuing to hire employees as bottom lines rebound, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped thinking about whether their current job serves their personal lives. 


Is the Great Resignation a problem or an opportunity for your company? Here are a few things to consider. 


  • What makes your employees happy? What makes them unhappy? If you’re concerned that your employees might be considering making a change, talk to them. Ask employees what they like about your company and their jobs, in addition to where improvements can be made. Expect to hear that higher pay would be nice — that’s a default answer. But there’s truth to that. When was the last time your employees received a raise? Or an increase in benefits? If your bottom line is getting healthier, it might be time to provide an across-the-board raise to thank your employees for their hard work and loyalty. After all, without them, your company wouldn’t exist. 
  • Consider adopting more flexible practices. Work-life balance isn’t just a buzzy phrase to be tossed around. Part of the reason people were leaving their jobs was they didn’t feel as though their “real” lives outside work were being honored or respected. They might feel like leaving to take care of a personal matter was looked down upon or would be held against them. If you want to keep your employees, it’s important to show and tell them that their home lives, their families, matter to your company. Whether you show that by adopting summer hours (leaving earlier on Fridays, etc.), providing the opportunity to shift a schedule in order to accommodate family time and personal obligations, or considering some kind of remote work arrangement as applicable can be a huge step forward. If that’s not possible, ask your employees for their ideas on how to better help them balance their work responsibilities and their family priorities. 
  • Show some appreciation. In the old days, from 50 years ago up until recently, the assumption was that employees stayed in jobs and were grateful to have the work. They didn’t need to be thanked; that’s what their paycheck was for. But people who feel like a number, like their bosses and managers don’t care about them, that they should just “suck it up” and work through any problems or frustrations they have, they’re not going to stay in a job if some other opportunity comes up that will treat them better. Feeling invisible does not foster loyalty. When was the last time your company had an employee appreciation day? Or even just thanked employees for their efforts? It might sound a little trite, and it won’t solve everything, but it’s a gesture that will go a long way. 
  • Consider the working environment. When you walk by your employees, do you greet them? Do they meet your eye or look down? Do your employees come in with a smile on their faces or do they look bored, stressed or anxious? What’s the atmosphere like when people get together? Is your office bright and well-lit or is it kind of gloomy and dark? Your office might be where you spend most of your time, but make an effort to walk around and read the room. Employees who aren’t happy where they work, physically, will look for another place to go. A warm, welcoming environment can help productivity and ease stress. That might seem like an oversimplification, but it’s true. Brightening the atmosphere can brighten mood too. 
  • What’s your attitude? Finally, consider how you interact with your employees. Do you greet them? Know their names and the names of their spouses and children? Do you know when someone’s celebrating a work anniversary or other milestone? Do you talk with them often? Even just saying hello, or taking time to walk around and check in can make a difference. If people feel undervalued, invisible and unappreciated, and they think their boss has no idea who they are or what they’re doing? That’s a recipe for employment disaster and people will leave. Leaving a bad boss will also top the list of reasons for taking a new job, more than being attracted by a new position. 


If any of these things hit close to home, it’s time to make a change. If you’re already making changes to improve morale, know that you won’t be able to keep everyone under your roof, but you can win others over. Keep trying! People will notice. 

If you’re looking to add to your team, LeadingEdge Personnel can help. We have some fantastic candidates who are ready to go back to work and we can help you meet them quickly. Call LeadingEdge today and let’s get everyone back to business. 

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