The Great Resignation or Great Attraction?

Updated: Oct 6

In this post, we summarize findings of a recent McKinsey research survey about the recent trend of large numbers of employees leaving their workplaces. We highlight how you can communicate benefits in a way that enforces the value your organization places on your team.

By September, a record number of US workers have quit their jobs (more than 15 million since April 2021). Many employers are struggling with the trend or with understanding why it is happening. In May 2021 alone, more employees left their jobs than they have in 100 years.


The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us those employees crave investment in a human aspects of work. Transactional fixes like “thank you bonuses” can sometimes diminish a sense of appreciation and remind them that the renewed and revised sense of purpose in work is missing.


According to a McKinsey research survey conducted in Canada, Australia, Singapore, The United Kingdom and the United States, the trends were very consistent. They found that the leisure and hospitality industries were most a risk for losing an employees but healthcare and white collar workers say they are also planning to quit. This trend is likely to persist.


If you are experiencing greater than normal attrition, the first step is to understand why. The top three factors the surveyed employees gave for quitting were:

  • They didn't feel valued by their managers (54%)

  • They didn't feel valued by their organizations (52%)

  • They didn't feel a sense of belonging at work (51%)

The pandemic has forever changed what people want from work. As companies try out new hybrid- work approaches, think about your next moves. Include your employees in the process and look to them to help shape plans and solutions.


Asking questions like whether you have the right managers and people in place, whether you can provide career paths and development opportunities and whether you are building a sense of community can help shape the discussion.


You can also ensure that your benefits are aligned with employee priorities. Employees are focused more than ever on taking care of themselves and their families.

Your benefits may already include perks like these. If not, you could consider adding these types of benefits as they are generally low cost.

  • Priority access to virtual health care

  • Mental health supports through an Employee and Family Assistance Program or coverage for psychologists

  • Second-opinion services

  • Pharmaco-genetic testing

  • Health Assessments

By communicating your benefits and why you have introduced them helps them focus on the relational aspects of work and reinforces that you care about their wellbeing.


Really listening to what employees are looking for with this renewed beginning could turn the trend from attrition to attraction for your organization.