Employee Benefits Key To Addressing The Great Resignation

Employers have much to learn from the unprecedented rate of staff turnover we’ve witnessed in recent times. The Great Resignation has underlined the importance of organisations really looking after their staff’s needs, including their working arrangements, available support and employee benefits.

[Related reading: Employee Benefits Watch: Preventing An 'I Quit' Culture]

Employees Want A Sense Of Purpose

According to consulting firm McKinsey, many employees are tired, and grieving. “They want a renewed and revised sense of purpose in their work,” McKinsey says. “They want social and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers. They want to feel a sense of shared identity. They want meaningful – though not necessarily in-person – interactions, not just transactions.” The problem is many organisations simply aren’t sympathetic enough to these needs and this manifests in their employees leaving.

A recent survey by Gartner has revealed how over 70% of information technology workers are looking to change jobs this year. Gartner says more flexible and human-centric models – that include better working hours, more productive meetings and greater flexibility – “can reduce attrition and increase performance”.

Finally, there’s this study by Pew Research that reveals how “low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work” are all top reasons why Americans quit their jobs last year. The study also found “those who quit and are now employed elsewhere are more likely than not to say their current job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement and more work-life balance and flexibility”.

Understanding Is Key

Something to consider about the Great Resignation is that out of all the individuals who have resigned, the majority are now working somewhere else; they haven’t simply left the labour pool. In other words, they have switched to companies that, in their eyes, can better cater for their needs. It’s why some are now dubbing the situation the “Great Reshuffling” instead. 

Employers should see this as an enormous opportunity, not only to retain their best talent but also attract those who are looking to switch jobs.

One of the biggest mistakes organisations have made in the past is assuming what their staff want. This resulted in remuneration packages that didn’t really meet their employees’ needs.

First and foremost, employers must understand what motivates their employees and which benefits they value. This needs to be done – as much as possible – on a per employee basis. After all, what one employee values will likely differ from what their colleagues value.

And it’s not just about employee benefits. Employers also need to consider other aspects that have become pivotal during the pandemic. Things like hybrid working and flexible working are highly valued by most employees. But also some back to basics, like understanding who’s thriving and who’s struggling in their roles, and providing tailored support where needed.

[Related reading: What Employee Benefits Do Staff Want In 2022?]


If your employees are jumping ship and heading to other companies in your industry, you are not only missing a trick, but literally gifting your greatest assets to your competitors. Contact us today to find out how we can help you tailor your employee benefits so they really meet your staff’s needs.


Author: Terry Fromant - Head of Group Risk