“The Great Resignation” at Your Company? (HINT- It isn’t just about $$$)

Each and every day we get peppered with questions regarding “The Great Resignation”.  Why is it happening?  Is this a long-term problem for Financial Services firms?  How can we better retain our talent?  If we cannot stop it, how do we at least minimize it for our company and many others…….


First, let’s analyze what is being referred to as “The Great Resignation”.   


The workforce has in fact gotten “thinner” due to several factors including:

  • Older, more seasoned employees taking early retirement (buoyed by recent financial market and housing gains of the past couple of years
  • Secondary earners being forced to spend more time at home caring for family members including kids (while schools were closed).
  • People “re-evaluating” their life situation and how work fits into it.  


Factoring in that competition for top performers is fierce, the cost of qualified talent has moved upwards, and candidates are receiving multiple offers, we see why so many companies are grappling with this quesiton.

The mass majority of hiring activity that we see in financial services is still primarily fueled by the want (need?) to achieve better financial compensation AND distinct types of experiences and treatment that employees covet.  This is NOT NEW!  Studies show us that very few candidates actually ever make career choices purely because of money.  A bad job does not become a good job because they pay you more.  It only becomes more tolerable (and only for the short term). If we look at compensation information for similar positions within industry sectors we see that pay is typically fairly close from one company to another.   The mistake is to think that we can just throw money at the situation.  So, it must be the “other” factors that are driving candidates’ decisions.

Some of the most common refrains that we hear from candidate’s as to why they want to change positions include:

  • Feel undervalued
  • Lack of upward mobility
  • Bad / Unsupportive management
  • Too much work / work Life Balance
  • Poor communication
  • Flexibility at workplace
  • Efforts go unrecognized
  • Lack of trust or autonomy
  • Lack of Challenge
  • Lack of shared sense of purpose
  • Not promototed timely
  • Another toxic employee
  • Corporate Culture
  • Unrealistic Goals and Objectives
  • Lack of career development
  • Lack of upward mobility

 We will devote the next couple of newsletters to delve deeper into some of these areas more specifically and propose some real time solutions, but here is one to start. Identify the problems that are specific to YOU.   All too frequently, we deal with clients that think that these issues only exist at their competitors, and they are befuddled as to why they have such high turnover rates or trouble attracting solid employees.  

Recognizing the issues that are most affecting your employees is often not easy as each team member sees & feels something different and has various needs that usually evolve over time.  For example, medical benefits might be more important to a family person that is the sole earner in the home, while time away from office might be of most importance to someone with younger children at home.  

A true “self-assessment” of your team members is key.  Asking your employees to rank (in order of importance) the topics raised on the table above, is a great start.  It may require you to ask tough questions, (and get some rough answers) but it is always better to get ahead of a situation than to be caught off guard. We also often recommend that you have outsiders (other managers, colleagues, consultants, etc…) evaluate your department / firm on a regular basis.    


Feel free to reach out directly to discuss this topic further as well as any other questions or concerns regarding the current hiring climate.  I guarantee that in our call together you will leave with 2 or 3 ideas that will greatly impact your ability to find, attract, and procure the top 10-15% of the candidate pool on a consistent basis. 


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