Employees Are Quitting in Record Numbers — Here’s How to Keep Them

In April 2021, a record all-time high of 4 million people quit their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — this equals a 2.7 percent rate of quit, which is the highest recorded since the BLS started collecting this data in 2000. Say hello to what some are calling the “Great Resignation,” which is a prediction that employees who stayed in their current positions due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are getting ready to find new jobs.

Luckily for those departing workers, there’s a record high number of job openings — 9.3 million, according to the BLS. But that’s not so great for employers, who must do their best to be a desirable place to work. 

So, while employers can focus on offering more flexible or remote work and better professional development opportunities to keep current employees and attract new ones, workers are also looking for a connection to their company’s values.

A company’s mission and values have become more important to employees, according to a recent Robert Half survey, which found that 31 percent of workers said they prefer to work for an organization that better aligns with their personal values, and 71 percent said they would leave a company whose values don’t align with their own. Workers found company programs focused on employee well-being (70 percent) and diversity, equity and inclusion (47 percent) to be the most important.

“Today’s employees have high expectations of their employer,” said Lynne Smith, Robert Half senior vice president of global human resources, in a press release. “They want to belong to an organization that puts people first and takes action to create positive change in the workplace and community.”

Employers should connect employees to their company’s mission and values, and share that vision with potential candidates. Let employees know how they fit into the company’s bigger picture.

“You need to be great at telling stories in your organization,” Cassie Whitlock, head of human resources for the talent management software platform BambooHR, told Fast Company. “How are you making a difference? And are you sharing those successes with team members to help them feel good about the goals and outcomes you’re driving?”

Unless employers adapt for the post-pandemic workplace, they may have a harder time attracting new employees and retaining their current ones. But there’s no time like the present to move forward with some of these post-pandemic adaptations.

Katie Culliton, Editor, CalChamber

CalChamber members can read more about How Employers Can Weather the ‘Great Resignation’ in HRCalifornia Extra. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

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