CEO Insider

How Leaders Can Retain Employees During The Great Resignation

The pandemic was the catalyst for a series of harsh and unpredictable changes in industries ranging from real estate to food service to child care, health, care and beyond. And, one common denominator that has affected all these industries since 2020 is steeply declining employee retention.

 ILEC was started at the height of the pandemic by Terry Powell and myself, in part to address exactly that issue. The thing about the pandemic and the subsequent Great Resignation is that people can either grow and adjust with the challenges and take a leadership approach that inspires employees or get sucked into the undertow as another statistic of poor employee morale and as a result of inadequate leadership. 

ILEC is proof that people and businesses can grow and thrive (to 15 franchises so far, in our case) through the pandemic and Great Resignation by putting the heart and soul back into the workplace and employees.

Ignite a Connection, Keep Your People  

A leader has to be able to meet employees on their level and figure out their goals, dreams and motivations. It’s also critical to maintain a vital workplace with a pulse. Igniting connections and inspiring people in the workplace creates an atmosphere people want to return to. It’s a leader’s job to take the time to foster this kind of work environment.

Right now, as more professionals turn toward remote work, this leader-employee interaction is too often absent. That workplace connection isn’t as strong, and turnover rate is increasing as a result. To retain employees, leaders must evaluate the heart and soul of their organization and ask the tough questions like, “How do I show concern and compassion? Do I truly care for the people here? Do I have the courage to show my heart to people?” 

Taking a look inward and asking these questions are the first steps. If working with an executive coach, the next step is to confirm that the leader wants to turn their company around. For example, we have a proven philosophy, process and tools to empower leaders and future leaders to unleash their potential. But our real asset is our coaches, all of whom have significant leadership experience. 

Clients benefit from a high ROI that delivers authentic results, and executive coaches are able to help C-suite teams with real-life workplace issues, such as knowing how to bolster employee morale during the Great Resignation or understanding how to best lead through a national health crisis. 

It may go without saying that leaders who are more transparent, kind and earnest with all employees will have the greatest likelihood of retaining them, regardless of a pandemic.  

For leaders who were already implementing an “elevated-heart-and-soul” strategy in their organization pre-pandemic, the shock waves felt by the Great Resignation were, in most cases, something that could be dealt with in stride. For the organizations in which leaders weren’t in-tune, they are likely dealing with the heavy burden of a lack of workers who have left the workplace and don’t want to return.    

There’s only so much business books, seminars and studies can do to help a failing business. The truth is, the cognitive aspect is important: A leader needs to be able to understand what needs to be done and have the courage and judgement to lead their teams through the toughest of ordeals and environments and also utilize the cohesive power of the team and all its attributes. 

Many ILEC coaches are seeing organizations where leaders don’t understand this concept. They’re not internalizing it. They’re not embracing it. They’re not living it. They’re not embodying it. The key is you have to have senior leadership in an organization that has been proactive in recognizing the leading indicators that are predicting the next Great Resignation.

Discover Transformational Solutions and Beat the Great Resignation 

There are organizations that are out in front of this Great Resignation and doing something about it. The key is to inspire teams and develop solutions to keep companies united toward a common goal. These solutions can bring powerful, dramatic, transformational opportunities to help organizations and leaders really raise the game with respect to bringing in a higher level of leadership, equipping leaders with the appropriate skills to tackle the challenges of the Great Resignation.

When looking for a coach across America, they should be committed to helping C-level executives to allow these highly capable executives to measure and calibrate how strong a culture is based on elements such as workplace communication, productivity, employee interactions and cohesiveness and several other intricacies that occur day-to-day. The system develops stronger leaders at all levels, accelerating the development of high potentials and emerging leaders and helping organizations build and sustain strong cultures. 

Coaches should be able to put their finger on the pulse of a company’s culture and are able to help an organization’s leaders get accurate feedback through solutions, retreats, workshops and seminars. These are the ground-level building blocks that get back to the heart-and-soul of an organization that sustains long-term employees, long after the recession is over. 


Top executive coach and Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC) co-founder John Mattone emphasizes “elevating the Heart and soul” to combat the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs.

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John Mattone
John Mattone is the world’s top executive coach and the co-founder of Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC) Franchise. ILEC is a transformative, results-oriented leadership growth franchise whose coaches ignite, cultivate, and polish an individual's heart, mind, and soul in support of creating an exceptional leadership and cultural capability in an organization. ILEC coaches are located nationwide and coach leaders around the globe.


John Mattone is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.