How to Combat Post-Pandemic Resignations

Août 5, 2021 | Talent Management & Recognition

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one in four employees plans to tender their resignations in the wake of the pandemic. In addition, a February 2021 survey found that 52% of employees plan to find a new job. Employees cite compensation and benefits as well as work-life balance as key motivations for making the change. In some industries, like healthcare, burnout has also become a pressing issue.

Additionally, few resignations happened during the pandemic. Many who planned to resign postponed the decision, as they awaited a more stable job market. Employers are now potentially facing a two-year build up of resignations.

Fortunately, you can take three key steps to mitigate this issue: 1) increase transparency, 2) find out how employees’ needs have changed, and 3) enhance job satisfaction. Let’s take a closer look below!


1. Reduce Resignations by Increasing Transparency

2. Find Out How Needs Have Changed

3. Enhance Job Satisfaction

1. Reduce Resignations by Increasing Transparency

A man and three women with devices talking happily post-pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, many people expressed concerns about the future of their respective organizations and roles. If they sense that company leaders aren’t being completely forthcoming, they may seek job security elsewhere.

Here are three ways to immediately enhance transparency in the workplace:

  1. Launch a survey asking how employees feel about the future of their workplace. Ask how secure they feel in their role, what worries them, and how effectively they believe their organization can rebound from the pandemic.

2. Communicate clearly about future possibilities. If times are tough, be honest but share a clear plan that your team can rally behind.

3. Show vulnerability by expressing your concerns and how you’re working to resolve them. Announce a regular time slot when people can discuss freely with you. For example, set aside half an hour every morning for a discussion over coffee.

2. Find Out How Needs Have Changed

Four women talking in a coffee shop post-pandemic

Many of today’s employees have realized that avoiding their daily commute gives them more time to spend with their children, improving their quality of life. While some wish to return to the workplace, others have found new routines that work better for them.

Here are a few ways to ask how employees’ needs have evolved:

  1. In a survey, ask employees how they feel about working remotely, in the office, or in a hybrid model. Many prefer a balance of both options. Ask how much of their time they’d like to spend in-office and at home and strive to be flexible about these preferences.

  2. Conduct retention interviews to speak in-depth with employees about their concerns and what will entice them to remain with your company. Ask what they look forward to about their workday, what they’d like to learn, and how their overall experience could improve.

3. Revise your policies on things like telecommuting so employees have the security of seeing them in writing.

3. Enhance Job Satisfaction

Three happy women in an office lounge post-pandemic

Many people had epiphanies about what brings them true fulfillment during the pandemic.

  1. Take a deep dive into what employees want to accomplish over the next several years. Then, create a new roadmap to get there. Have a heart to heart about what brings them fulfillment and look for ways you can bring more of this into their current job.

2. Discuss opportunities they might not have considered, like training in a different function. If they want to make a change, they could potentially make it in-house.

3. Offer increased mentorship and training, showing investment in their growth. 

4. Regularly express gratitude for their contributions so they know you see their efforts and will help open doors for them.

5. Boost camaraderie in your organization. If employees see a beloved coworker quit, they might feel less enthused about continuing to work there. The subtext here is that strengthening their broader network of connections could make them more likely to stay. Take extra steps to foster strong relationships, like holding a hybrid in-person/virtual lunch for the team once a week. 

In today’s world, most people don’t stay with a single company forever, so a resignation here or there is part of the course. However, by keeping the total number of resignations manageable, you’ll maintain peak performance as you recruit new talent. Following the above advice will help you establish your company as a desirable place for new recruits to work. Prepare a strategy for recruiting and onboarding new talent. You won’t miss a beat when the occasional departure occurs!

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