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Changing Direction

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - Joe Kiedinger

Millions of people in the U.S. have chosen to leave their jobs—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million of them in August 2021—causing a rippling effect through our economy.

They’re calling it The Great Resignation. Even if you’ve never heard of it, I guarantee you’ve felt its effects. Have you recently waited over an hour for a table or food at a restaurant? Have you noticed empty shelves and waited weeks for product deliveries? There’s clearly a labor shortage. But, why?

The pandemic has caused so much change in our daily lives. People who were sent home to work remotely experienced an entirely new way of working. Hours spent commuting were suddenly freed up. Formal in-person meetings changed to Zoom calls in sweatpants.

Working parents’ time with their children changed from 4 hours each day to 12 or more. Rushed nights of fast food eaten on the way to soccer practice gave way to homecooked meals and conversation around the dinner table when extracurriculars were halted.

Those working in public-facing industries like food service and retail faced real health risks each morning when they punched in, new and time-consuming protocols, significant product shortages and short tempers.

This change, while scary, has an undoubtedly powerful upside: it causes us to re-examine our lives. And what is life worth if we’re not willing to stop and examine it?

The pandemic created a new lens for us to view our values and examine how we spend our time. For many, that meant leaving jobs for more flexibility, more time with family, less stress and a greater sense of purpose and value in the workplace.

People are changing direction. How will you retain your people in the face of this tidal wave of resignations?


ACTION PLAN: In today’s marketplace, it’s not always possible to replace employees who leave—making it more important than ever to create a culture of happy, engaged employees. Our Organizational Health experts can help you improve communication and the health of your organization, creating a culture of stayers, not leavers. Let’s chat.

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