Woman in white looking at a laptop on a tropical boardwalk

The Great Resignation has caused employers as well as employees to reassess the delicate balance between the needs of the company and the needs of the individual. 

The 2022 State of Talent Optimization report by The Predictive Index found that 20% of the workforce across all industries has quit within the past 6 months. The number-one driver of attrition, according to the 326 executives surveyed, was inflexible work options/hours.

Top 5 reasons for quitting

  • Inflexible work options/hours (32%)
  • Lack of personal/professional development opportunities (18%)
  • Stress and/or burnout (18%)
  • Lack of belief in the leadership team (18%)
  • Physical health was suffering (17%)

How can employers fight this exodus? The survey found that the key to retaining employees lies in prioritizing the employee experience. And, while the hybrid work model is enticing, this is just a piece of the puzzle. Employees are rethinking all aspects of their relationship to work, including trust in leadership, career development, and mental health. Companies that prioritize factors such as being remote-friendly, inclusion, and health care benefits experienced lower employee turnover.

Executives reported their top talent priorities as helping employees find purpose in their work (47%) and creating opportunities for career growth (47%), which speak to the universal human need to belong. It was found that companies who prioritize purpose also enjoy higher engagement and cited four retention factors more frequently than their peers: 

  • A strong sense of culture (36% compared to 26%)
  • Good job fit (28% compared to 20%)
  • Good relationship with their manager (15% compared to 8%)
  • Positive co-workers relationships (11% compared to 9%)

These “four forces of engagement” are critical for creating a retention strategy. If any one of these forces are compromised, disengagement and attrition could result. 

Survey findings suggest that employers can regain their power by listening to their employees and providing a purpose-driven environment where they can grow their career on a sustainable path.