The Great Resignation…It’s Different this Time

The Pandemic of 2000-22 has inspired many of us to think about our priorities through a new lens and has made us more aware of the fragility and preciousness of life.  While money is important, how we spend our most precious resource, the moments, hours and days of our lives, is what really matters.  This type of thinking has caused many skilled and unskilled workers to quit their jobs, particularly if they are not offered flexibility or do not feel respected or cared for at work.

In many industries, the balance of power has shifted from employers calling all the shots to employees choosing to work for organizations that “feed their souls” rather than just provide paychecks. Skilled job seekers now ask about company values and purpose.  Now, more than ever before, Millennials, who make up the biggest segment of the workforce, are wanting to contribute to something bigger than themselves.  It is up to company leaders to help each employee see how his/her job is essential to achieving company goals and making a positive difference for customers, stakeholders or their communities.

The Great Resignation is here.  In 2021, over thirty-eight million employees voluntarily resigned their jobs. There is no evidence pointing to a slowdown of this trend in 2022.  However, if leaders recognize the need to adapt their strategies to the expectations of the 2022 workforce, they can insulate their companies from the expense and disruption of high turnover.  Let’s begin with culture.

Take a close look at your culture

Incorporating or strengthening certain elements of your culture will go a long way to retaining your critical employees and avoiding business disruptions due to staffing. Traditionally, some have referred to these factors as “soft’ but I think of them as putting FEELing into your Culture.

Flexibility is Encouraged, rather than tolerated

After demonstrating high productivity, strong work ethic and creative problem solving from home offices, many of the best employees and applicants expect to continue to enjoy flexibility in work scheduling and location. The winners in this New War for Talent will be those leaders who embrace the potential of working from home, find opportunities to offer flexible scheduling, and ensure that remote workers feel as included as those who choose to come to the office.

Employee Engagement is Paramount

Employees who are emotionally invested in your business will bring their best efforts, energy, and positive attitude to work every day.  They will follow your lead in making necessary changes and will strive to provide the very best customer service. To strengthen employee engagement in your workforce, begin by training your supervisors to give clear instructions, give frequent and effective feedback, be appreciative of employees’ efforts and focus on deep listening to employee concerns and suggestions.

Everyone is Respected

I have always loved the Ritz Carlton’s slogan of “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” If employees are ignored, insulted or not treated with respect, they probably will not respond optimally to each other or to customers.  The DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) movement continues to gain speed.  Training employees at all levels on how to work effectively with people from different races, backgrounds, cultures and gender results in better work environments for all.

Learning is Ongoing

The job security that some companies used to offer is gone with the wind.   New technologies, and innovations are introduced constantly.  Employees realize that new skills will be required, so many are looking for jobs with educational and training benefits. Companies that offer career planning with supportive resources and work time allocated for professional development will be most attractive to ambitious professionals.

The bottom line is that the workforce of 2019 is not coming back.  The COVID pandemic has changed how most people think about work.  The new balance of power between employer and employee has fueled employee expectations about where, how and when they work.  Inspirational, creative leadership is needed to navigate through these challenges.

Our Newport Human Capital Team is available to develop customized strategies for companies to navigate this journey successfully.  Let’s talk about how we can help.




Ms Helsinger believes in infusing positive energy into company cultures, focusing employees on vision and goals while significantly uplifting employee engagement.  Utilizing 20+years as an innovative CHRO, CAO and COO, Irene develops strategic human capital plans to ensure that clients achieve high ROIs from their investments in people. As a CHRO, she led successful initiatives to be recognized as an Employer of Choice, including selection as one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” three times, and one of the Houston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in Houston” for six consecutive years.

You can reach Irene Helsinger at 713-817-8299 or

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