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From The "Great Resignation" To The "Great Attraction"

Written by: Marisa Thomas, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Learn how extraordinary leaders attract and retain top talent through inspired relatability and authentic connection.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, voluntary attrition is up by 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels creating a massive challenge for businesses of all sizes. Globally, recruiting costs have increased, and competitive pay expectations are rising.

As a leader, it is important to understand the drivers behind “the great resignation” phenomenon and absorb that data to fuel your strategy to thrive at attracting and retaining top talent.

Now the title of this article may have you thinking that I’m going to talk about the importance of how leaders can better foster a culture of connection and relatability to build attraction and loyalty. Well, that is important in any sustainably successful organization, and this recent Forbes article explores that more deeply, but let's dig deeper into what the pandemic has done to drive this resignation trend.

It starts with the shock to the “system” the pandemic caused. Gaining control over COVID levels and death rates, the world essentially shut down on many fronts to limit social interaction and left many without jobs or working remotely from the confines of their home.

Out of “shock” comes reflection!

The knock-on impact from this external shock created waves. Initially, people started to find new rhythms and norms to satisfy their basic survival needs. It’s at this point that the aftermath of shock pauses to reflect.

Once we have taken care of the essential needs to support our basic human needs, we naturally stop to reflect on ourselves. How are we doing through all this? We explore our past and present with deep introspection. This reflection allows us to unearth the values and purpose we have been neglecting in ourselves while stuck in the speed force of life. Usually, this self-reflection is short-lived. We get dragged back into what was and then continue as before. Procrastination sets in, and the feeling of something missing sits like sediment with us. Only the very few stop long enough to notice new desires emerging. The isolation of the pandemic provided an abundance of time and mental space. More of us took that gift of time and space to do our own reflecting. We began to look at ourselves and life in different ways. We leveled up our vantage point to see more and we dug deeper into our true selves to connect to forgotten truths and desires. We found the “sediment.” We’d written them off as the “dregs”, but they are filled with unique goodness that needs to surface. Time to shake things up and start to taste the difference life can have.

Time and mental space give rise to new desires!

As an executive and professional coach, I witness time and time again the power that time and mental space give to throttling growth. In this fast-paced world, it’s hard to slow down long enough to notice what you “need” to thrive.

As a leader, you get the best of people when you can connect and relate on a personal level. We all know that, but it’s what you do with that data that creates the magic of exceptional leaders.

The cycle of reflection!

First, be aware of what that reflection journey entails for your people. Stand in their shoes first before making any decisions. This cycle of reflection can manifest from all sorts of triggers and evolve at varied speed. Individuals will toggle back and forth between stages, but essentially the cycle is like turning the pages in a book. You learn something, and you are compelled to move on to the next chapter.

This new future deeply connects to your true, authentic self. You gravitate more toward options and choices that you can better relate to your values, purpose, and meaning.

So, it stands to reason that if the work, culture, and management systems do not broadly align with a person's values, purpose, and meaning, results will suffer, and engagement and motivation will diminish. Your “humanforce” (my substitute term for the workforce”) will look elsewhere and hence the “great resignation” triggered by the COVID pandemic. So, what are you “really” doing about it? If you are purely providing support tools, forums, and training to help people take care of themselves and encourage balance, you may be falling short of turning things around. Is what you are doing enough to maintain and differentiate the attraction to your organization? What’s the data telling you?

The questions I would encourage you to start with are simple:

  • What is critical for my business, team, or organization to thrive?

  • What’s happening around us, them, our customers, our teams, and the world that I need to consider?

  • How well do I know what’s “important” to the people that drive these critical outcomes?

  • What do they need to “thrive” personally and professionally?

  • How can I better serve the personal and professional needs of existing talent?

  • How can I better serve the needs of new talent?

  • What do I need to change?

Extraordinary leaders constantly ask themselves these questions AND are willing to put ego, norms, and tradition aside to make the necessary changes a priority. If the pandemic taught us anything, we know that we can make meaningful changes that are hard and complex in record time if we truly go all in.

Are you “all in” to go from the “Great Resignation” to the “Great Attraction”? Start with understanding your people first! I can help with that! Visit my website, and let’s connect. Reference “Great Attraction” to receive an introductory discount.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Marisa Thomas, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Marisa Thomas is a talent amplifier, forward-leaning visionary, and strategic business leader. She is the Founder of DoorSeffect LLC and describes herself as a “constructive optimist,” striving to continually lift, adapt and evolve the way business leaders think and approach their people and business growth. She is charting a new course to bring a deeper sense of relatability and connection between business outcomes, technology, customer needs, and the “Human-force.” Her mission is to - Transform the thinking; Evolve the person; Arrive!





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