The Great Resignation: Why Community and Belonging Matter

Zoe Oppenheimer

At a time when we couldn't leave our homes for weeks on end, the world looked to technological solutions to stay connected. As the pandemic retreats, there are remnants that will stay with us.

The Great Resignation, as it has been dubbed by economists and workplace analysts, is one such remnant. In 2021 alone, we saw an exodus of 38 million Americans leaving their jobs. Perhaps you're one of them.

The trend marks a pivotal time in employee relations, with many people re-evaluating their relationship with their employers. Demand for greater flexibility, higher compensation, and better working conditions are common reasons for departure.

Perhaps one of the most significant changes expected to remain after the pandemic is the transition from in-office to remote work. No longer is the office the default place for employees to accomplish day-to-day tasks. In fact, according to the Future Workforce Report, the number of remote U.S. workers is projected to almost double its pre-COVID levels by 2025, at more than 36 million.

This growing trend is accompanied by an increased decay of social cohesion within the workplace, and more importantly, a diminished sense of community and belonging. Even with remote and hybrid work, the office serves an incredibly important role in fostering connection, community, and collaboration.

Key findings from a July 2021 survey by IDC reflected that happier and more engaged members of the workforce led to higher customer satisfaction. One key factor affecting employee experience was an organizational culture of inclusion and belonging.

As organizations become increasingly reliant on tools like Slack and Asana to manage asynchronous collaboration, it's critical they also invest in new technologies to drive employee connections and community.

An EY study conducted before the pandemic showed that 34% of people considered the workplace to be where they felt the greatest sense of belonging. When the world shifted to remote work, many lost their primary source of community, a loss that needs to be addressed to avoid negative impacts on employee wellbeing.

To stay competitive during the Great Resignation, leaders must establish more opportunities for colleagues to connect with one another. A strong, cohesive workplace culture not only benefits the bottom line, but also promotes a healthier, more fulfilling employee experience.

Connection and belonging matter. Not just at home, but at work as well. As Grove Co-Founder and CEO Chris Allsopp remarks, "As the world shifts to remote and hybrid ways of working, it's more important than ever for companies to have an intentional strategy for fostering employee connections."

Grove's platform empowers companies to foster stronger employee connections by bringing people together. Get started with a free trial, or schedule a demo with our team to learn more.

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