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Most employers have felt the effect of the Big Quit or Great Resignation. Employees are voluntarily resigning from their jobs at a rate greater than seen in decades. The resignation rate, as tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), had remained below 2.4%1 each month since the beginning of the century. That is no longer the case.

As of December 2021, BLS2 found that 3.2% of employees in private industry voluntarily quit their jobs. The hardest-hit sectors include accommodation and food services at 6.1%, retail trade at 4.9%, and professional and business services at 3.6%.

There are very few private-sector areas that have not felt the repercussions of this trend, as detailed by several studies:

  • 40% – considered quitting their job in 20213
  • 65% – looking for a new job4
  • 88% – number of executives saying their company was experiencing high turnover4
  • 73% – CEOs felt resignations would disrupt their company5
  • 57% – CEOs believe attracting new talent is their biggest challenge5

Employee turnover is costly and disruptive, so employee's need to find a new way to help combat the dramatic increase in resignations.

What Are Employees Looking For?

To help determine what employees are looking for, it will help to understand what might be behind the high resignation numbers. According to many economic experts, possible causes include:

  • Wage stagnation
  • Stimulus payments that increased economic freedom
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • COVID-19 safety concerns
  • Concerns about financial wellbeing

The 2021 Workplace Wellness Survey6 found that financial wellbeing concerns had grown sharply during the pandemic.

Employees struggled to manage their financial priorities, often neglecting retirement savings and emergency fund savings while they struggled to meet their day-to-day expenses.

Because of this, employees look to specific benefits to help them feel more financially secure, and more than three out of four trust their employer’s efforts to improve their overall wellbeing.

Health Insurance

As it has been in the past, health insurance continues to be a benefit that employees look for when seeking employment. The Workplace Wellness Survey found that it was the benefit that made them feel the most secure. 

How do employees feel about their current health insurance?

  • Almost all employees have at least some satisfaction with their health plan
  • 60% of employees prefer their current health benefits to higher wages
  • Rising costs are a concern, with 33% seeing an increase in the past year

Additionally, the study found that employees expect their employers to be concerned about their physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, they believe it is an employer’s responsibility to make sure employees are healthy.

Paid Leave

The most common employee benefits include:

  • Health insurance
  • Retirement savings plan
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance

Although employees look most at health insurance and retirement savings when determining whether to take a job or look for a new one, another benefit is making waves.

Employees feel that paid time off or paid leave contributes to their financial security.

Employees want the assurance that they can balance the needs of their family and personal life without losing income. 

Financial Wellness

The survey found that 69% of employees believe their employer should make sure they are financially secure. Adding a financial wellness program is one way to help.

Due to increases in healthcare premiums, inflation, pandemic-related wage reductions, and general wage stagnation, employees in the past year have:

  • Decreased contributions to retirement plans
  • Increased retirement plan withdrawals
  • Decreased emergency savings contributions
  • Delayed seeing a doctor
  • Increased credit card usage
  • Used up their savings
  • Experienced difficulty paying for basic necessities

Although a financial wellness program cannot change the economy, it can provide employees with the right tools and habits to maintain, and even thrive, despite current economic conditions.

Internal data from one Enrich Financial Wellness program user found that after just one year of use7, more employees reached their personal savings goals, had an emergency savings fund, contributed to their retirement plan, and paid off their credit cards each month. 

When looking for ways to attract and keep talent, you need to offer benefits that meet employee needs. A holistic financial wellness program like Enrich can help your employees feel financially secure – something seven out of ten states is your responsibility.


1 - https://www.epi.org/indicators/jolts/

2 - https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t04.htm

3 - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/work-trend-index

4 - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/pulse-survey/future-of-work.html

5 - https://fortune.com/2021/10/21/the-great-resignation-is-no-joke/

6 - https://www.ebri.org/docs/default-source/wbs/wws-2021/2021-workplace-wellness-short-report.pdf

7 - https://www.enrich.org/financial-wellness-resources/financial-wellness-behavior-change-data-study 

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