Businessolver Blog

The Great Resignation and Total Rewards: A Perfect Match

The Great Resignation and Total Rewards: A Perfect Match
Posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 by Darius Clay

Although it has a catchy name, The Great Resignation is no joke.


Last December, another 4.3 million workers quit their jobs. That’s 3% of the workforce. And last year overall, an average of more than 3.9 million workers quit their jobs every month. That means 2021 holds the highest resignation average on record, topping the 2019 average of 3.5 million.

It’s a historic moment for workers, to be sure; but it’s also a call to action for employers to change their approach to workplace culture.

Why is the workplace different now?

Work is different now for one simple reason: We’re different now.

The pandemic changed our collective perspective on many things—from how to stay safe and healthy and whether to order holiday gifts four months early, to reassessing our relationships to our jobs and careers.

Those collective reckonings led to individual shifts, too. Which is a good thing, for the most part. It’s just that, unfortunately for employers, delays in finding vaccine appointments or navigating supply chain slowdowns during the holidays scale completely differently from millions of people leaving their jobs at once.

With work-life balance top of mine for many employees, employers that favored clock-based productivity, lower pay, fewer benefits, and prioritized outcomes over well-being, have been hit hardest by the Great Resignation. To put it bluntly, many employees took a hard look at their employer and thought, “This place doesn’t care about me.” So, they took their talents someplace else.

Total well-being cannot be placed on the backburner.

A workplace culture that is centered around employee well-being, supporting them with the benefits they need to stay healthy, engaged, and productive—rather than burned out, bored, or both—is the cure to the disease that is the Great Resignation.

Toxic workplace culture is the number one reason people leave their jobs, according to a recent survey. Toxic traits include cutthroat environment, job insecurity, burnout, lack of recognition, and a poor pandemic response.

All of these can be addressed by providing empathetic benefits that consider employees’ well-being, mental health support and paid family leave to name a few.

I like to say that company culture begins and deepens when the conversation about compensation ends. It’s essential for employers to develop a compelling employee value proposition that includes competitive compensation paired with meaningful benefits. And never stop there. Assessing employee well-being and asking the right questions can mean and make all the difference.

For a deeper dive into how Total Rewards can positively affect employee retention, check out my conversation with Businessolver Compliance Lead Bruce Gillis on a recent episode of Brews With Bruce.

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If you’d like to learn more about compliance issues on our radar for this year, check out our most recent compliance webinar.