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Surviving the Great Resignation: Why CEOs are making employee wellbeing part of their mission critical strategy

  • Date posted

    Aug 16, 2021

  • Guest post by

    Troy Vincent, Navigate Founder and CEO

While it is typical for people to change jobs as the economy improves—this time it’s a bit different. According to the US Labor Department, approximately 4 million employees quit their jobs in April 2021 alone. And a recent study commissioned by the Achievers Workforce Institute showed that in 2021, a surprising 52% of employees said they intended to look for a new job.

Pandemic-weary employees have been dissatisfied with how their companies supported them over the past year-and-a-half. So, they’re moving on. As a result, employers across the country are seeing a massive labor shortage. They’re calling it the Great Resignation. People are leaving in droves. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. However, for employers with deep roots in a people-first strategy and strong wellbeing programming—they are winning the day.

This pandemic has changed how people live and work and many are realizing the advantages of a new balance and a new normal. In a society that was constantly squeezing life in around work—many are now focused on doing the opposite and squeezing in work around their lives. So, what can employers do to keep their best talent? How can we create a work culture that aligns with this new normal?

Show your people you care. Build a benefits program that aligns with their values. A meaningful wellbeing program can help you get there, but you must view it as a suite of opportunities that work together to support your employees’ personal needs and challenges.

Build a strategic, values-based program

Consider why you exist as a company. Infusing those core values into your employee wellbeing program provides another variable in the engagement equation. Creating opportunities that connect your benefits and values with your team members can unlock new value for your company. For instance, Gallup's research indicates that highly engaged teams—who employ a holistic approach to wellbeing—quadruple their potential for success compared to poorly engaged teams. And, according to the American Psychological Association, 89% of employees are more likely to recommend their company if the organization supports wellbeing initiatives.


of employees are more likely to recommend their company if the organization supports wellbeing initiatives.

If you're going to combat the Great Resignation, you must become an employer of choice. Encourage authentic engagement with programming that meets employees exactly where they are. Taking a holistic approach allows you to focus on the whole person through various aspects of their wellbeing—whether it’s mental health, fitness, nutrition, or just finding a better balance. Provide multi-generational and diverse opportunities to engage. Employees can explore any area that interests them, so they can find content, challenges, and guidance to achieve their personal wellbeing goals. In short, if you want to bolster your employee retention and recruiting efforts, a strong engagement strategy can help.

High levels of [employee] engagement promote retention of talent, foster customer loyalty, and improve organizational performance and stakeholder value.

Through methods like our quick Pulse Surveys, we help our clients learn more about their employee population so they can create a unique, relevant, and engaging program. In a recent survey, one of our clients found that 80% of their employees supported the Animal Rescue League. This information was essential to helping them plan a give-back initiative that truly resonated with their population. Understanding what is important to your employees is essential for boosting engagement and encouraging retention. From supporting local charities to taking on unique benefits like pet insurance, a personalized wellbeing program can help you promote all the awesome things you’re doing for your employees.

Remote work and flexible schedules matter now more than ever

The evidence is overwhelming: As vaccine rates rise and return-to-office policies roll out, many employees are seeking increased flexibility from their employers. According to a recent Prudential survey:


of employees want to work remotely at least one day a week after the pandemic.

1 in 3

employees wouldn't want to work for an employer that required them to be onsite full time.

Nearly 50%

of workers plan to find a new job when the threat of the pandemic decreases.

If your company is moving forward with a fully remote strategy, a completely office-based strategy, or a hybrid approach, a strong wellbeing program can help keep everyone connected and ease the transition between home and office. And Navigate can help you do it well.

No matter where your employees operate, it’s important to keep them engaged, connected, and committed to the company mission and culture. As our clients tackle this challenge, we help them keep their employees' wellbeing top of mind.

One way we’ve helped our Navigate family take on the challenges of the pandemic is through weekly mental health hours. This popular benefit is just one way we make sure our employees can take control of their self-care on company time.

It’s just good business

Wellbeing is a retention tool. Frequent, voluntary turnover harms employee morale, productivity, and company revenue. According to a Gallup Workplace estimate, replacing an employee can cost anywhere from half to double the amount of that employee's annual salary. And while the exact cost of employee turnover can vary, there is no question that the cost of losing an employee is far greater than the cost of keeping them happy. That’s why it’s important to take a proactive approach to employee wellbeing—so you can adapt to changing needs while building loyalty and resiliency in the process.

Ensuring that your employees are healthy and happy can save you from seeing valuable dollars go down the drain. But that's not all. A year-long study by doctors Richard Milani and Carl Lavie found that 48% of surveyed wellbeing program participants experienced a decrease in annual claim costs. On top of that, the Harvard Business Review reported $1.5 million in total cost savings and a 50% decrease in workers’ comp insurance premiums for a single employer.


in total cost savings


decrease in workers’ comp insurance premiums for a single employer.

More important than these significant financial benefits, we believe that doing good things for others will inspire them to do the same for you. With an impactful wellbeing program, you can better the lives of every employee, so they feel empowered to stick around, advocate for their employers, and do purposeful work.

If you're looking for a wellbeing partner, remember the following:

  • Wellbeing is an orchestra—not a solo act. Find a group that will listen and collaborate with you to bring your strategy to life. A good partnership is like a harmony of “notes” blending together.
  • Substance over style. Dive into an organization that is deep-rooted in serving your specific needs, takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, and simplifies the member experience as well as your administrative burden.
  • Shift from a product-by-product model of wellbeing to one that offers a suite of solutions. Once you have a better idea of what you need, a good provider will help you narrow it down.
  • Your wellbeing program should encourage employee resiliency. Find a provider that offers ways to boost productivity and help employees adapt to the ever-changing “new normal.”
  • For many small to mid-size businesses, a wellbeing program is the front door to their culture, communication, and engagement strategy. Make sure you have a partner that believes in you, your mission, and is willing to put your interests first.

If you want to do good things for your people, keep your best talent, and attract more amazing employees to your company, we can help you get there.

Give us a shout to see how you can spark even more engagement, connection, and motivation for your employees with our personalized solutions.

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