The Great Resignation has been a huge topic of discussion—with 4.3 billion Americans leaving their jobs in December of 2021. So, many business owners are thinking to themselves: why did these people leave and where have they gone?

Business owners, especially those who are experiencing a great exodus in their office, need to be mindful of why employees are leaving, so they can remedy these issues and create a place that people are happy to work at!

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Here are four different reasons why people are leaving their jobs and how business owners can retain their employees:

Seeking a deeper emotional purpose

During the pandemic people took time to reevaluate themselves. What resulted was that they are leaving their jobs that they don’t love to seek a career that will give them purpose. They are looking for jobs that align with their passions and make them feel good. It is critical for employers to find their employees’ passions and draw on them and bring them into the workplace to keep employees engaged and happy. If you are an employer, find out what your employees’ passions are and how you can implement them in some way at the office. For example, if they teach yoga, have them teach an afternoon yoga class at the office, to fulfill their passion.

Demand for better wages

The pandemic also caused people to suffer financially. Many workers have been underpaid and left their current jobs to find something that will better support themselves/their family. If you are an employer, find out how/if you can offer a better wage to your employees. Work with your accountant and see what your budget looks like for salaries and see if you can negotiate with your employees to encourage them to stay. Make sure to do an in-depth dive to find ways you can increase salaries for employees, without increasing the price point of your product/services too much—since this could cause a decrease in your customer base.

Increased awareness of mental health

Mental health has suffered greatly because of the pandemic. Everyone is realizing how important their mental health is, and if their job is causing them any sort of mental strain, they have looked for other jobs. If you are an employer, think about providing resources for mental health for your employee – i.e. offering counseling/therapy funding. Also, find out if the work environment is toxic for your employees and make the correct steps to remedy it.

Leaving to work in gig work

There is an abundance of gig work opportunities. Gig work is any type of freelance work where you can choose your hours – like driving for Uber. With the rise of gig work, many people can leave their jobs and do odd jobs to make a living. Employees are leaving for gig work because of the flexibility that it provides. If you are an employer, see if you can create a gig work component of your work to give people part-time flexibility if that is what they are seeking.

Employers are going to need to work hard to recover from The Great Resignation and make sure that their employees want to stay at their current jobs. Make sure you foster an incredible work environment where employees wish to stay! Evaluating the company from the inside out and talking with the current staff to hear their wants and needs may help improve things and retain the employees you have.

AUTHOR: Wayne Goshkarian is the Director of Communications for Scottsdale-based Association for Entrepreneurship USA where he assists entrepreneurs nationwide with creating, establishing and expanding their businesses.