3 S.M.A.R.T. Steps to Help Alleviate the Great Resignation

The answer is not that difficult to understand.

Yet so many are bewildered.

In this post, we discuss the simple and effective solution to the Great Resignation. While this won’t solve the problem immediately or completely, these three steps will be significant.

Those that follow me know I write about thinking bigger and reaching higher to realize your breakthrough success. I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to make one pivot and create the pivotal habit in a rapidly and radically changing world. As leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, or employees, the more we learn how to make S.M.A.R.T. decisions avoid S.T.U.P.I.D. mistakes, the quicker we seize great opportunities.

The Problem

People are fed up. They have put up with bad managers and oppressive companies for too long. The problem has been brewing for decades, but it has finally boiled over. People are so angry that they are willing to quit without another job.

I don’t blame them.

The problem can be seen from three perspectives.

NOTE: Please understand my perspective. I’m here to help aspiring and emerging leaders do what they never imagined possible. In other words, I want to help you to do great things and be compensated immensely. The best way to do that is collaboration, not greedy competition. To do that, we must think bigger, make S.M.A.R.T. (Sparkling Minds Articulating Revolutionary Transformation) decisions, and avoid S.T.U.P.I.D. (Stagnant Thinking Undermining Potentially Incredible Decisions) ones.

NOTE #2: This article does not apply to the lazy or entitled employee who only cares about him or herself. Instead, I’m focusing on those good workers that quietly do their job and don’t complain. Those are the ones who surprise you when they quit. Those are also the employees you cannot afford to lose.

Learn to Make S.M.A.R.T. Decisions.

First, Lack of Compassion.

Compassion is the best business practice.


Until leaders learn to come alongside their employees and help alleviate their pain, they will continue to struggle with the Turnover Tsunami. That is especially true for those who callously cause their employees pain. They treat their employees poorly, barking out orders and failing to offer even a compliment a week. (According to Gallup.)

We have known for a long time that employees leave a company because of bad managers. Yet, management doesn’t address the problem.

Isn’t that rather stupid?

Wouldn’t the smart decision be to get rid of the bad manager?

Don’t be S.T.U.P.I.D.

Despite what you may want to believe,

  • Employees watch carefully.
  • Employees expect fairness.
  • Employees, when they have a choice, will not work in unfair situations.

Make the S.M.A.R.T. decision:

  • Keep good employees and get rid of bad managers.
  • Listen to employees to proactively learn of their pain.
  • Come alongside of them and help alleviate that pain.
Shift Your Paradigm to Make More Money

Second, Lack of Work/Life Balance.

Listen to employees, good managers, and even human resources, and you will hear several horror stories of how organizational expectations have intruded upon employees’ private lives. Have you heard or seen executives, leaders, and managers that refuse to allow their assistant to talk to anyone or leave their desk? Have you heard about companies that require employees, especially supervisors and mid-level managers, to promptly answer phone calls and emails after hours? Some even require that quick response when that employee is on vacation halfway around the world. How many workers report that the pandemic shutdown and working from home require them to work more hours?

How many stories have you heard of where

  • They missed their children’s school programs and birthday parties to stay at work?
  • Employees had to cancell or cut their vacation short?
  • Were moved without their concent?

Remember, I’m here to help you be far more successful. Yes, I know what I’m saying violates many organizational norms. But think about it, aren’t those practices significant causes of the Great Resignation?

Too many leaders believe that the employee must show loyalty by sacrificing everything for the company. Also, too many leaders and organizations use $$$$$ to force employees to sacrifice their work/life balance.

Yet leaders think they are smart by demanding salaried workers dedicate more hours to their companies. They greedily cling to a competitive win-lose game instead of collaborating to build community and foster a win-win attitude.

Is there any wonder workers quit to start their own companies?

Don’t be S.T.U.P.I.D.

  • Stagnant thinking is assuming what worked yesterday will work today and tomorrow.
  • Stagnant thinking assumes all employees are alike and that they are motivated by the same thing that motivates you.
  • The world is changing rapidly and radically. Pay attention to the changes.

Make the S.M.A.R.T. decision

  • Foster a community by collaborating.
  • Understand how the company thrives when workers find the right work/life balance.
  • Understand the employee by listening to who they are, their biggest joys, and their dreams and aspirations.

Leverage your Power to Create an Innovative Culture

Third, Pay Imbalance.

I know every business needs to turn a profit. However, part of the problem is that too many owners and CEO’s run unbalanced companies. They selfishly hoard profits at the expense of those who made those profits possible. It’s not that they don’t pay their employees but that the balance between executive compensation and front-line workers greatly favors the owner or executives. That ratio has skyrocketed 1322% since 1978. CEOs were paid 351 times the hourly worker.

Think about that.

Even bad CEOs that were fired walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, what does an employee get who is fired?

Workers have always felt the imbalance but now have a choice, and they are voting with their feet. They no longer want to work in that type of biased situation.

You have heard the stories.

Remember the 2008 recession when banks were bailed out by the government (read your tax dollars), yet managers and executives receive huge bonuses. How did that make taxpayers feel? How did it make front-line workers feel? There is something fundamentally wrong with rewarding those who fail, no matter how high on the organization chart they are.

Think about the stories where the owner drives his luxury car and tells stories about being on his boat yet claims there is no money for raises. What do you think that hourly worker is thinking? They are angry. Remember what Mya Angelo said,

Ponder the consequences of demanding everyone sacrifice for the company, yet when the owner sells for 100 million, they don’t share any of the profits.

“People will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Yes, owners deserve their profits. But when good, hardworking employees don’t see an opportunity to advance beyond their current position and pay, they will move on.

Don’t be S.T.U.P.I.D.

  • Employees notice your life style.
  • Don’t flaunt it and expect them to admire you.
  • Greedily taking your share first erodes any hope for collaboration.

Be S.M.A.R.T.

The Great Resignation has been made possible by a shift in power. The smartphone allows mobility and the internet fosters entrepreneurship. Employees have far more power than ever before to earn their livelihood apart from employment. Also, many millennials and Gen Z individuals are not impressed with materialism. (Check out what Gallup found Millennials and Gen Z want in the workplace.)

That means they won’t do your dirty work. They won’t wait their turn when they can have what they want by pursuing other options. That is S.M.A.R.T. on their part. To bring them onto your team, you must pivot your perspective and approach to power.

Make the S.M.A.R.T. decision.

  • To keep your good employees, be proactive and pay them so much they would never leave.
  • Treat them with respect.
  • Understand how they are uniquely valuable.
  • Celebrate that uniqueness.
  • Find ways to allow them to do more of what they do and love most.

Contact me for your FREE 20-minute Coaching Call




I am Dr. Loren Murfield, and I develop aspiring and emerging leaders pivot to their breakthrough success.   Contact me today to begin your pivot. Contact me for your free, 20-minute strategy session.

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