As the world tries to turn the page on COVID, employees are turning in resignation letters. Some are quitting to start a business, while others are quitting for a better workplace or work-life balance. The COVID pandemic has left the world in a state of reflection on their values, time, and overall state of life, leading to the phenomenon now known as the great resignation. With 95% of workers considering changing jobs this not only changes the lives of employees, but also companies. If you’re currently a business owner, you should be following this trend closely.

So why are people leaving their jobs?

Woman packing after leaving job
Woman packing after leaving job

COVID changed the way business was conducted. Sometimes this meant they closed fully and for others they found that work could be done from anywhere. What seemed like an inconvenience initially, became a path to a more convenient lifestyle. Working from home meant no 1-hour long commute, more options at lunchtime, and comfortable clothes.

Now with companies reopening with minimal restrictions, the expectation of employees returning to the “norm” has grown. For employees that have thrived with remote work, returning to the office seems to be unnecessary. Businesses not willing to offer flexibility in work arrangements are seeing employees seek opportunities that meet their needs. It’s understandable that some roles need individuals in the facility. However, for roles that don’t require physical presence, offering location flexibility could be helpful.

Other reasons individuals consider leaving are feeling the company doesn’t value or treat them as professionals. In addition, any company lacking a clear direction for the future poses a threat to their personal security. With all the uncertainty COVID brought to the world, employees are seeking companies that can provide security and meaning. Some company’s outlook and agility in the uncertain environment seem just as unstructured and unclear. These companies lead their employees to question if they want to stay.

What you can do to lessen the impact

Business closed due to great resignation stemming from COVID
Business closed due to great resignation stemming from COVID

First you must understand why people are choosing to leave their current organization. Once you understand what is drawing employees away, you can evaluate areas for improvement in your business. Secondly, as you consider how to improve, you allow employees wants and needs as your guide. Being as objective as possible to observe whether your business passes the great resignation smell test.

Now, remember as you find ways to provide more benefits to employees, you must ensure these don’t compromise operation. There should be a compromise that balances the business and employee needs for optimal performance. Along with the employees, the business needs to reflect on ways COVID may have impacted its components.

Starting with the direction, whether it’s changed or remained consistent during the pandemic, this must be clearly communicated to employees. Being transparent could help with providing a sense of security and potentially stability for employees. Next, you must look into the operational needs and any changes that could be made for employees. Particularly for roles that have not lost their efficiency in a remote environment, it could benefit to keep that option. Offering your employees answers to these spoken and unspoken questions could give them the comfort they need to stay. Maintaining your workforce and decreasing employee turnover provides unlimited benefits financially and culturally to your company.

How to capitalize on the great resignation

Talented employee finding a role that meets their needs
Talented employee finding a role that meets their needs

Armed with tips to lessen the impact of the great resignation on your business, you may be able to capitalize. Look at this as an opportunity for business growth. As more employees leave larger companies you could offer appealing roles. Not only extend the roles, but also support roles employees are pursuing. If your business can remain effective with a hybrid or remote environment offering this option could increase your candidate pool.

Further, being able to clearly provide vision and direction to someone that isn’t getting that elsewhere could attract quality talent. And this could help your company reap the benefits of the training of employees from other organizations. Their training and skills could bring changes your organization needs to take your company to the next level. Employees are a business’s greatest asset. With increased quality and happier employees, your business will likely grow drastically. Be the company that thrives during this period, taking the needs of your staff and business to heart.

What’s your take on this great resignation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.