The Business Of Belonging: How To Tackle “The Great Resignation”

In September, we published a piece on “The Great Resignation.” We broke down some of the reasons why millions of US workers have quit their jobs this year, and why millions more are considering doing the same. Since then, notable research has been released to support the one thing we’ve been saying all along: companies who understand the importance of creating exceptional company cultures, rooted in trust, belonging and inclusion, will be those that come out on top. And most importantly, those who will be able to attract and retain top talent – something that has become increasingly difficult in recent years.

We’ve combed through numerous reports published by the world’s largest consulting firms, and it’s safe to say: the experts agree. Human factors – trust, belonging, connection, culture, inclusion and well-being – are the antidote to this phenomenon we’re calling The Great Resignation. Here’s a roundup of this year’s hottest workplace research, and everything you need to know.

The McKinsey Quarterly: “Great Attrition or Great Attraction: The Choice is Yours”

  • McKinsey’s research emphasizes the fact that employers can’t fix what they don’t understand. They tend to overlook the relational elements that are key drivers for why employees are leaving, such as lack of belonging or feeling valued at work.
  • The top factors employees cited as reasons for quitting were that they didn’t feel valued by their organizations (54 percent) and because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work (51 percent).
  • The conclusion? By investing in the human aspects of work, employers may be able to turn this Great Attrition into a Great Attraction. According to McKinsey, “Yes, employees want pay, benefits and perks, but more than that they want to feel valued by their organizations and managers. They want meaningful interactions, not just transactions.”

Ernst & Young: An Antidote to the Great Resignation

  • Similarly, Ernst & Young writes: “Leaders who understand the human factors around the Great Resignation and build a culture of belonging will be best positioned to attract and retain top talent.”
  • Many companies are responding to this mass exodus with well-intended transactional fixes such as increased pay, more flexible hours and improved virtual collaboration technology. However, in contrast to transactional fixes, employees largely seek cultural and relationship transformation.
  • Research shows that people with the highest sense of belonging have 34% higher intent to stay than those with a low sense of belonging.

Deloitte: 2021 Global Human Capital Trends Special Report

  • Deloitte outlines the negative consequences of employers who have been treating their employees as “units of production” rather than “human beings”.” As a result, many organizations have de-emphasized the emotional component of the work-employer relationships – a suboptimal approach for engagement and performance.
  • Consider this: “Ninety-three percent of respondents in our research agreed that belonging drives organizational performance—one of the highest rates of consensus we’ve seen in a decade of this study.”
  • To establish belonging, Deloitte recommends that organizations create an environment where workers can represent both their authentic selves and their unique needs to their employers.

I don’t think we need to repeat ourselves, but one last time for good measure: organizations that will succeed in the future of work are those that truly invest time & resources into the human aspects of work.

Don’t know where to start? MixR can help you get there. Learn more at and book a demo today!

And, don’t be shy – share this research with your networks and let’s spread the word about Trust & Belonging.

MixR Team



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