• Debbie Goldfarb

The Big Quit, And How to Keep and Attract Talent for your Small Business

“I’m quitting to pursue my dream of not working here!”


Back in the day when I had a corporate job at various financial service & insurance companies, they were not always the best working environment – to say the least. So, I always had a resignation letter ready for when I knew I'd be at my breaking point. Of course--the time always came to throw in the towel. Back then- I was one of the few to be so readily armed to resign...but, today, I would be just another face in the crowd.


In a recent survey of 2,000 employed Americans, it found that 59 percent have contemplated quitting their jobs enough to have that letter ready--but haven’t followed through quite yet. But a whopping 47.8 million workers in the U.S. actually did leave their jobs voluntarily in 2021. The number of people who quit their job hit a record of 4.5M in November and yet the trend hasn’t shown much, if any, signs of slowing down. In February alone, 4.4 million people resigned in the United States. Yep, that's right 1 out of 3 working people in the US are quitting their jobs in record numbers...this trend or continuing phenomenon has been aptly named by the media as “The Great Resignation.” or “The Big Quit.”


The number of Americans quitting has exceeded pre-pandemic highs. Most Americans blame the pandemic for quitting their jobs. While COVID has led many people to reevaluate their work and their priorities, the reasons for this trend are, of course, numerous including:

  • Toxic company culture

  • Low salary

  • Poor management

  • Little to no work-life balance

  • No remote work/hybrid option

  • Miserable daily commute

  • Expensive or unavailable child care

The quit rate is particularly high in sectors with a large number of frontline workers (hospitality, health care and retail), suggesting safety concerns continue to play a role in the worker exodus along with vaccine mandates. As employers struggle to fill open positions, there’s no denying that the Great Resignation has impacted businesses large and small. Unsurprisingly, the labor shortage is disproportionately affecting smaller and local businesses as they struggle to attract employees because of the tight labor market.

If you are one of them, despite having the odds not in your favor-- here is a list of how to attract/keep talent:

  1. Listen to your employees and understand what their needs are. Survey your team to stay-in-touch and definitely conduct exit interviews for those leaving to hear their thoughts and gain insights on areas needing improvement.

  2. Revisit and strengthen your brand’s core values. These are the beliefs that you, as a company, stand for. Building a brand with strong standards and beliefs inspires your team to work together in creating a business entity they can be proud of and passionate about.

  3. Offer flexibility to work from home, at least a few days a week, if possible. With the lockdown and the stay-at-home orders during the peak of the pandemic, the way we work has changed. Most employees who were able to work from home during that time want to continue doing so.

  4. Recognize and reward loyalty and outstanding performance in your team. Studies have shown that 63% of employees who are recognized are unlikely to look for a new job.

  5. Keep in close contact with top talent after they leave. “Boomerangs” are rising as employees reconsider what made them leave and are now open to going back to their old firms.

  6. Develop a safe and inclusive work culture in your company. This just goes without saying...

  7. Transform managers into leaders. Compassionate and competent leaders can empower employees and inspire company loyalty, while disorganized or toxic leadership leads to straying & retiring staff.

  8. Provide a competitive pay. Work is more than just a paycheck, but never forget that money is (and will be) a major factor when employees decide whether to accept a job offer or leave an organization.

For more business tips, check out my other articles. And for help with navigating your business amid the labor crisis, email me at debbieg@bizmadeez.com, or call me at (310) 621–8784.

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