In the post-pandemic world, a whopping number of employees are leaving their jobs or considering
the possibility. The predicted global exit from the workforce was termed as the ‘Great Resignation’.
With a record number of resignations surging across the globe, this mass exodus amounted to four
million U.S. workers leaving their jobs that constituted almost 2.7 percent of the workforce – which has
been the highest rate of attrition since the year 2000. Wall Street Journal headlines further quoted
“Forget Going Back to the Office – People Are Just Quitting Instead,
A majority of organizations have reached a stalemate with no answers to why their employees are
quitting their jobs since the onset of the pandemic. Here, the Great Resignation has, indeed, thrown a
curveball at organizations, and has led to an overarching need to understand why this is happening in
the first place. Organizations are, therefore, grappling with ways to attract and retain talent in the face
of this uncertainty.
Highlights from a Mc.Kinsey Company study showed that when employers were asked why their
attrition rate was escalating, the reasons that they cited were purely transactional – compensation and
the fear of being poached. However, a contrasting study indicated that the top three reasons
employees cited for leaving were the lack of value provided by the organizations (54%), or their
managers (52%), and an absence of belonging at the workplace (51%).
When viewed from the lens of an employee, the feeling of being marginalized and the relationship
with their employer being just ‘transactional’ – lacking the human touch are cause for concern. And
just fancy perks, salaries, and benefits are not cutting it. They want to feel invigorated with a renewed
sense of purpose and value given the rollercoaster ride they have been on for the last year. They
seek a feeling of shared identity and meaningful interpersonal connections with their managers and
teams, which is why the time has come for leaders to start taking earnest steps to retain their
employees. From a thinking standpoint, the one takeaway is that the current workforce that was
trained to operate in a pre-pandemic environment will need a compilation of new capabilities to thrive
in this changing world.
Numerous experiences during the pandemic have empowered the employees in re-evaluating their
work-life balance and prioritizing their well-being above their employers’. Some of the areas are
existential and often related to the employees’ day-day and remote or hybrid work culture. As a
predictable response to the pandemic, the pre-pandemic employees who had already been on the
edge of quitting organizations with a toxic work culture saw themselves pushed to a breaking point.
Inarguably, bringing in the element of humanity into work as the workforce is gradually acclimating to
hybrid and remote routines is the core to creating a culture of collaboration, flexibility, and a sense of
belonging and purpose that they crave. The answers lie in recalibrating mindsets and synthesizing
areas that elevate employees’ cognitive capabilities.
The issues driving the Great Resignation are areas that are largely existential and focus on whether
the organizations are fulfilling a pivotal purpose in employee satisfaction and belonging. Therefore, it
is important for organizations to know that what cannot be understood cannot be fixed. In this current
work dynamic, the very foundational questions that employers need to ask themselves are – How do
we continue to empower our most valuable asset – our people? How do we bring in the element of
empathy through social interactions? How can we fuel collaboration? Are we creating psychologically
Unless these questions are not backed by a solid strategy, the idea of retaining talent is going to
remain a utopian concept. As an employer, if you have to attract and retain talent, you need to
transcend financial benefits and perks and offer more valuable resources such as mental health
support, skills development, and flexibility that contribute to their growth story.
Essentially, the situation calls for a transformation from the Great Resignation to the ‘Great Revival’.
With the fallout from the Great Resignation likely to linger, leaders who can demonstrate compassion
and authenticity in their communication and foster a culture of employee well-being will be the ones
driving their organizations toward the Great Revival. Employers must develop the most important
skills to nurture – which are largely social and humane, and embrace empathy, leadership,
adaptability, and resilience. These skills will help reassess the mindset of their employees and can be
effectively nurtured only through strong coaching and mentoring practices.
When it comes to value creation for employees and providing them a safe haven to thrive in this
current work dynamic, coaching has proved to be the bedrock in keeping employees engaged and
valued in the organization. Peer coaching is a powerful learning mechanism with multi-pronged
advantages and is being leveraged as a tool for employee development. Furthermore, peer coaching
humanizes work, supports networking, and propels employee experience and fulfillment. With many
Learning and Development functions currently stretched thin, the opportunity to elevate the social,
experiential, and psychological nature of peer coaching makes it uniquely positioned to address the
most pressing demands of the post-pandemic workplace paradigm.
Peer coaching can be the most effective method to build a bridge between expectations and
outcomes and empower employees with the direction they need to navigate these tumultuous times.
The focus on skills coaching and personal development for every employee enables organizations to
build trust bridges with the employee, and, in turn, drives a positive and inclusive work culture to help
tide over the Great Resignation.
Numly has been at the forefront of this evolution by helping renovate teams with a peer coaching
culture. The health and success of any organization depend on its ability to anticipate, prepare for,
respond, and adapt to change as they embrace the new ‘future of work’. Madhukar Govindaraju, CEO
at Numly, believes that the cost of any revival is expensive – not in monetary terms, but in creating a
crucial pillar to driving employee experience and engagement to bring about the Great Revival.