• Culture

The great resignation and McKinsey report learnings

August 5, 2022
4 min read

Keep your people from heading for the exit

“A record number of employees are quitting or thinking about doing so”  - McKinsey report

This quote from the recent McKinsey report on employee attrition, is a wake-up call for companies across all sectors. But before you start to worry, we’ve reviewed the report for key takeaways to help you navigate your team successfully into the post-pandemic era.

Where were we – and where do we go next?

The report examines this unique moment, brought about by a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime set of catalysts. It highlights the changing needs of your teams and individuals and acknowledges that some leaders will choose to stand still whilst others will move forward, enabling employees to find renewed purpose.

It’s about finding the right solutions for your people and your company, exposing and dismissing ineffective moves and faulty assumptions.

It’s not all about the money

"The pandemic has irrevocably changed what people expect from work"  - McKinsey report

Money and material goods don’t appear in the top motivators for employees. The top three reasons for employee attrition are:

  • Not feeling valued by their organisations (54 per cent)

  • Not feeling valued by their managers (52 per cent)

  • Not feeling a sense of belonging at work (51 per cent)

There’s no place like home

"Among employees who said they were not at all likely to quit, 65 per cent reported that a primary reason to stay in their job was that they liked where they lived" - McKinsey report

Remote working has its benefits and problems, and it’s one of the major reasons why employees are moving on.

Many are no longer tied to working within commuting distance of the home. The fact that ‘36 per cent who had quit in the past six months did so without having a new job in hand' is more startling – and indicative of a bigger problem. Pre-pandemic, the majority of employees would have had a job lined up for financial security before contemplating handing in their notice.

It shows just how out of touch employers may be, and how hard the last 18 months have been.

Ask questions and listen to the answers

When we’re time-poor many look for quick fixes: splashing on extra bonuses and one-off thank yous whilst making no effort to ask "why?"

What are your employees running from and gravitating to? If you don't take the time to understand this, you’ll struggle to move forward.


Doing the research is brilliant, but you need to act on it appropriately. According to the report, ‘Many senior executives will be challenged to reimagine how they lead… hit “pause” and take the time to think through your next moves.’

Questions/Answers Sign

Attracting and retaining talent

Being seen is more important to job satisfaction than just simple perks and fair pay. Employees seek interaction, whether in person or remotely, in order to build connections and realise their role in the company as a whole.

Whilst seen as extras ‘before the COVID-19 pandemic – strong coaching, mentoring, creating strong teams – are just table stakes for the challenge of the months and years ahead.’

As Zig Ziglar once said: ‘you don’t build a business, you build people – and then people build the business’.

Build a culture of appreciation through gifting

‘Solve problems for the whole person, not just their bank account’. - McKinsey report

This was a startling, yet simple takeaway from the report. If your policy is a cold series of transactions, an employee won’t ever get that human sense of appreciation. They will be more inclined to feel they’re unthought of, their needs are not being met. Instead, gifting can help build a culture of appreciation if it is aligned with employee priorities.

In one effective example, a company provided ‘staycation’ packages (a movie night with popcorn and a gift card; a game night with family-oriented games; and a ‘virtual spa day’ complete with face masks and chocolate) for their employees, the majority of whom have families.

The company created a Slack channel for posting photos and stories, encouraging employees to share these experiences, a perk that improved connectivity and helped people expand their networks.

Moving forward with Huggg

In our joint webinar with Mo, we explore practical ways to help you through this transition. We cover appreciation (an individual process, from anyone at any level) vs recognition (performance and outcome related, from the top down) as well as how to get widespread uptake of your recognition policy – with real-world examples.

And the most important takeaway of all? Listen to and work with your employees to forge a path forward.

There’s no bigger investment than your people.


Mo x Huggg Webinar Link