How small businesses can protect themselves from the Great Resignation in the Workplace

Posted by
Chief of Minds
January 5, 2023

As the country continues to shift and adapt to the pandemic/post pandemic life, employers are swiftly realizing there is a new shift in the workplace. In any news outlets, you see terms coined “The Great Resignation” or topics of that nature that try to explain the phenomena of employees quitting their jobs at an all-time high rate. This can result from burned out employees, new responsibilities of caring for family members suffering from Covid, individuals wanting more of a work life balance, and simply employees going after their passion and not just a paycheck. Additionally, some employees are looking for the flexibility of working from home that they gained through this pandemic.

So what does that mean for you as an employer? At first glance, take a look at the statistics so you can start to plan for your workforce.  In an article published by Today titled “American workers are quitting their jobs at record rates. Here's why: The pandemic inspired many American workers to leave their comfortable, stable jobs” it cites that approximately one in three workers are thinking about quitting their job, while almost 60% are rethinking their career. Working women considering a job change are more likely than men to cite feeling burned out, with 42% of women contemplating quitting because of burnout versus 27% of men.

Do you know that means in the month of June alone, job separations as a result of quitting was 69%. The other 31% is comprised of layoffs, firings and retirement.

How does that impact the workforce?

At the same rate that employees are leaving the workforce there is an increasing need for employees to fill vacant roles. You may notice in most establishments from gas stations, fast food restaurants to corporate America, everyone is hiring. To put a number around it, there were approximately 10.1 million job openings in the United States alone according to the Department of Labor in June.

What are the trends in the workforce?

1. Individuals are looking for higher paying jobs

If you are looking to hire employees, individuals are leveraging the need to fill these roles for a higher paying salary. Employers will need to be more competitive by offering incentives that can range from signing bonuses, higher pay, attractive work schedules and improve their benefits programs.

2. Job opportunities vs Unemployment rates

Individuals who are unemployed may be looking for work because of a pay cut or reduced hours from their current employer. Additionally, there may be family obligations that causes individuals to not apply or accept jobs at this time.

3. The Covid Delta variant is a factor

As covid cases increase with the delta variant, individuals are becoming leery again about returning into the workforce. With all the increased mask guidance, vaccination policies, this is having an impact on the workforce.

What can employers do to minimize this impact?

As an employer there are things to consider that can help you minimize the impact of losing employees in the workplace. Here are a few things that you can consider and has been on trend across industries.

1. Company Holidays

Since taking a vacation has been a concern for employees, most employees did not utilize their paid time off (PTO) since they were working from home. As an employer considering company holidays or company shutdowns may be an option. This has been seen in the tech industries where companies are scheduling consecutive days off to give employees a chance to recharge. Another example of this is a compressed work week where offices are closed one day a week in addition to the employees regular PTO. If you are considering this option, make sure you update your company policies to reflect the change. This should include who is eligible, any restrictions, and approval, etc. When in doubt, work with your HR department. If you do not have one and need help with these type of policies, contact us here.

2. Extra PTO

Another way to retain your workforce can include adding additional PTO days for events/activities such as childcare issues, school-related events, elder care, pet care, etc. Where in the past, employees would have to take off one of their allotted days to include life events, providing this would foster the inclusion that the employees family life matters resulting in a feeling of more work life balance.

3. Other Types of Employer Flexibility

If you are an employer that cannot provide extra time off, think outside the box with flexibility. Can employees start work earlier and get off earlier, which allow employees to have more freedom in their workday. Do you implement health routines by offering time to exercise to reduce stress?If you are interested in developing a plan to safeguard your current workforce, update current and existing policies regarding benefits including PTO, flexibility in the workplace, remote/hybrid schedules, Chief of Minds can help. Our experts have 36 years of expertise leading in HR. Send us an email to

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