Leadership Insights

Workplace Epidemic Solutions

Work Epidemic Solutions

Work Epidemics like ‘Quiet Quitting’ and ‘The Great Resignation’ are Dominating the Headlines. What’s the Solution?

First, let’s start with some clear definitions.


“In 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs — an unprecedented mass exit from the workforce, spurred on by Covid-19, that is now widely being called the Great Resignation.” Source: HBR

In the same article referenced in the definition, the author goes deeper into the stats to show that this mass exodus from the workplace was a trend that started years earlier. Once the initial panic of the pandemic wore off, it just accelerated. 


First coined in 2022, it means keeping one’s job but only doing the bare minimum to survive and not get fired. A 2022 Gallup poll shows that “”Quiet quitters” make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce — probably more.”

According to the same Gallup poll, this epidemic is caused because of inconsistent and ill-defined expectations, lack of learning and growing opportunities, and a general sense that, as an employee, they aren’t cared about. 

Now What?

‘Destination Employer’ is a new term that helps describe how these problems get solved.

A destination employer is sought after by the very best potential employees. However, it is tough to get into. Employees consider their workplace a home away from home and are deeply engaged with their work, company mission, and the people they collaborate with. 

Calling yourself a destination employer doesn’t make it so. It’s one of those things that has to be named by outsiders and evolves all the time. It’s elusive but worth chasing.

So, how do we get there?

If you look at the reasons why people leave their jobs or, worse, stay but aren’t engaged or committed to success, they include:

  • Don’t feel cared for
  • Lack of connection and meaning 
  • Lack of learning and development opportunities
  • Lack of belonging 
  • Unclear expectations
  • Inconsistent leadership

So, the solution isn’t hard to see. First, don’t do these things. And, after that, do the opposite!

Care about your people

Bad begets bad.

Good begets good. 

It’s that simple. When you hire good people who care about others, it creates a domino effect. They then hire people they care about and do their best to care for them. 

Patrick Lencioni’s best-seller, The Ideal Team Player, describes the perfect team player as “humble, hungry, and smart.” These powerful characteristics are both ingrained in us, at some level, and nurtured to grow by good leaders. 

Offer consistent learning and development opportunities

Investing in employees is more significant than just buying lunch every once in a while. It’s looking at what your organization values as core leadership competencies, then supporting the development of those characteristics in all team members throughout their employment. 

When this is done well, employees stay longer, produce more, and are significantly more engaged with their team members. 

Let’s be clear. Learning and development costs time and money. It also grows your bottom line and frees up time over the long haul. 

Set and communicate clear expectations

This is a doozy. So often, undergraduate and graduate students learn the technical skills to do their jobs well. But they are not required to take courses that teach them to communicate, handle hard conversations well, and thrive as supervisors to others. 

It’s a massive gap in our education system. And the effects are showing up in the epidemics we are now facing – The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting.

Those very skills are the core of what makes a good leader. When leaders possess these high-EQ abilities, they are naturally better in setting and communicating clear expectations to those they manage.

Train and support leaders so that they can train and support those they manage

Learning and development are essential at every stage of employment. And it changes as an employee takes on a broader range of responsibilities. For example, an entry-level employee is expected to learn and embrace company values. While a leader is expected to set, teach and get the buy-in of those same company values. 

The growth from one stage to the next comes more naturally to some than others. 

As the ability to live out the company’s core leadership competencies changes, so does the type of training and support an individual needs. 

In the early days of employment, group training is the typical go-to for learning and development. However, small group and one-on-one coaching are more effective once an employee reaches a leadership level.

Getting Started

Surely by now you get it. 

You know that you don’t want the effects of The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting in your workplace. 

You also understand that it takes an investment in employees to get the best from them.

Now, it’s time to get to work – watching for opportunities to connect, reinforce and develop your people.   

We would love to talk this through with you. Our team at The Conversations That Matter is currently working with companies across the country to develop custom leadership development programs that teach and nurture the values that you hold dear in your employees and teams!