Winning The War for Talent

The Great Resignation has also been called, “The Great Awakening.” There has been a profound shift in worker motivation, going from, “My job needs to pay the bills,” to, “My work needs to matter.”

Written by:

Kyle Hermans

CEO & Co-Founder
great resignation

How to turn The Great Resignation into A Great Creation

Companies continue to struggle to retain employees under “The Great Resignation.”

As Arianna Huffington recently posted on LinkedIn,
The Great Resignation is really a Great Re-Evaluation.”

great resignation huffington

The Great Resignation has also been called, “The Great Awakening.”
There has been a profound shift in worker motivation, going from, “My job needs to pay the bills,” to, “My work needs to matter.”

Even as economies started to rebound post-Covid, the United States labor market reached its highest quit rate in 20 years.1

Why? On the surface, it doesn’t make sense.
Why would people leave jobs in financially dire times such as a pandemic recovery?

Why people are quitting

People aren’t just following the paycheck, they’re following their hearts and a calling for purpose.

One of the biggest reasons reported for quitting was missing a sense of belonging and purpose. People want more inclusion, a sense of purpose, and the feeling that what they’re working on has a positive impact in the world. People are leaving six-figure salaries to become humantiarans and entrepreneurs (the highest-ever number of new businesses were started in 20212).

The pandemic made everyone evaluate:
Where am I in my life? What is important to me? What is my purpose? (If you’re searching to answer these questions for yourself, here’s our Power of Purpose guide.)

This attitude shift has created an atmosphere of intense competition for great employees, being referred to as the “War for Talent”.

What is the “War for Talent”?

“The War for Talent” means that companies in every sector are struggling to recruit and retain employees. Why? Because the 2022 work force wants something no prior work force has ever demanded at scale. People don’t want ping pong tables and catered lunches, they want to use their talents for meaning.

Take a moment to see the world on the other side of The Great Resignation. What will it look like? What will happen when the massive rearrangement of the pieces on the board have settled, and we have the “new normal”?

Part of the new normal will find itself, and part of it we can begin to envision, create, and design towards. In our work with companies across the world, it’s clear that workers are rejecting the culture of burnout, and the current definition of success is broken. The signals we’re hearing across the board are:

  • My job needs to matter
  • I need work-life balance
  • I need to follow my heart
  • I need an inclusive environment
  • I need a sense of purpose associated with what I do
  • I need to make a positive impact
  • I need to use my talents for meaningful work


The old way of designing jobs based on compensation, benefits, and vacation time, needs to adapt to a new model aligned with a person’s purpose.

How do we design for this new world?

The main way to end the “War for Talent” is to create a respectful, accepting environment in your company that enables and encourages employees to express themselves and use their talents for meaning towards a sense of shared purpose.

We’re seeing a few good places to lay down a foundation.

  1. Provide inclusion, diversity and equity (DEI) in your organization.
    So many companies are focusing on this and it is great to see! We help companies in this work if you need assistance with these programs.

  2. Make sure your employees don’t have to “put away” who they are at their core to succeed at work.

  3. Establish an EarthShot mission, or other meaningful, positive impact initiatives so your employees can feel a sense of purpose surrounding them.
    If people aren’t working for you for the right reasons, they’ll be drawn like a moth to the light of another organization who offers this opportunity for them. Need help with yours?
    Our guide is here.

Creating the future Great Creation

We’re still finding our way to the “new normals” that will end The Great Resignation. At Be Courageous, when we find a problem, to unlock insight, we elevate the question to a higher perspective and seek an answer from a more systemic point of view.

We’re asking questions like:

  • What could a new metaphor be instead of the “War for Talent” be? One idea: A Great Creation.
  • What is the world we’re trying to create?
  • What world aligns with our beliefs and personal purpose? What does that look like, and why?
  • What would the structure(s) of an organization be if it was designed from the ground up inside these new normals?
  • What is the business question in this new land?
  • What are the new employee questions?

Start answering these, and you’ll begin to map out the future that the “Great Resigned” are seeking. Paint as vivid and complete a picture of this future world as you can. The gaps between your future and current states will jump out at you. Then begin to build bridges towards the better future you envision. The solution lies in the Great Creation. What can and should we create?

The award winning Be Courageous Future-Ready Leadership Innovation program helps companies counter The Great Resignation by inspiring, enabling, and attracting dedicated, agile, future-ready talent. We have just won our second Australian award for our work with the second largest metals and mining corporation, Rio Tinto.

Corporate Fragility

Antifragile

Most of us agree that we are really only at the tip of a massive amount of change. The 2020s will be the decade of challenge for the globe.

Corporate Fragility

Antifragile

Most of us agree that we are really only at the tip of a massive amount of change. The 2020s will be the decade of challenge for the globe.

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