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Turning the Great Resignation into the Great Rehire

A group of people walking up a set of stairs

The Great Resignation. We’ve been hearing a lot about it and many of you have experienced it on your teams, or maybe you yourself have made a job move or at least considered one in this pandemic.

While we probably don’t need to rehash all of the reasons this is happening because many articles have already explored the why, have you considered that the “big quit” could mean the “great rehire” for companies with a strong, purpose-driven employer brand and culture?

What do employees want now out of their jobs and their careers? And what did they discover when they stepped off the hamster wheel of their traditional, in-office work life or for some, their road warrior life? For many of them, the answer was a lack of meaning in their work and a distinct disconnect between what they were spending a lot of time doing, and why it mattered.

Even though there’s lot of talk of companies throwing money at the problem, the great rehire of top talent isn’t going to be achieved by attractive compensation alone. Companies in position to land the best will need to have that x-factor that centers on purpose.

A 2021 article by McKinsey stated, “Nearly two-thirds of US-based employees surveyed said that COVID-19 has caused them to reflect on their purpose in life. And nearly half said that they are reconsidering the kind of work they do because of the pandemic. And Millennials – the largest segment of the current workplace – were three times more likely than others to say that they were reevaluating work.”

The other important point in the McKinsey piece is that “70 percent of the employees surveyed said that their sense of purpose is largely defined by work.” As the article pointed out, “This signals a clear opportunity for employers and leaders—an open door to encourage your employees at all levels to develop and live their purpose at work.”

Having a purpose-driven vision, whether it’s grounded in innovation, sustainability, impacting communities or just making a marked difference in your industry – these higher-level aspirations connect employees to the promise of meaningful work for a company that is doing more than just focusing on the bottom line.

Our previous post explored how meaning inspires employee retention but research shows that it also becomes an attraction model for top talent that has left, or will leave, other jobs to connect to something more fulfilling.

Newton’s 3rd law of motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The Great Resignation is spurring the Great Rehire, and smart companies are making sure they are offering what top talent wants. Are you ready?