The Great Resignation is the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs, from spring 2021 to the present, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Who’s quitting the most? A Harvard Business Review study showed that resignation rates over the past year are highest among mid-career employees between 30 and 45 years old.

And it’s not over. An August 2021 poll revealed that 65% of workers are looking for new jobs. Naturally, HR is concerned about The Great Resignation. According to a PwC study in August, CHROs say retaining employees will be their number-one priority over the next three to six months.

Why the big exodus? Most of those employees aren’t leaving the workforce. Instead, they are seeking better opportunities and accepting new jobs, and it’s not really about money. They are going to new jobs where they will have more family time, a better work-life balance, and where they feel they are being more valued. Employees really want to know their employers care about them. In the early months of the pandemic, nearly half of employees strongly agreed that their organization cared about them. But that is waning, according to the same study, as it dropped to only one-third this March.

Financial Well-Being Benefits Matter

Employees say that one way for employers to show they care is by the benefits they provide – especially financial well-being benefits. The COVID-19 pandemic threw just about everyone a financial curveball. Prior to the pandemic, most workers already were financially stressed, and many were living paycheck-to-paycheck with little or no savings available for unexpected expenses. The impact of COVID-19 on employees’ financial well-being has been unprecedented, taking it to an even lower level.

According to The State of Employee Finances: 2021, a report on a Harris Poll conducted earlier this year on behalf of Purchasing Power, 78% of full-time employees say they can tell how much their employer cares about their financial well-being by the benefits they offer. Further, 79% of full-time employees say they would be more likely to stay with their present employer if there were more financial well-being benefits in the employee benefits package.

Our employee purchase program is a financial well-being voluntary benefit that can boost employee retention at no cost to the employer. It offers employees a financially-responsible way to purchase products and services they need or want through payroll deduction over a 12-month period with no interest. For employers, it’s a direct way to combat the Great Resignation, as we’ve seen employee turnover rates decrease up to 45% based on usage of the Purchasing Power program.

Having our employee purchase program as a voluntary financial well-being benefit in the employee benefit package indicates to employees that the employer cares about their well-being.

Written by: Mike Wilbert, Purchasing Power Chief Revenue Officer