What CHROs Are Saying About the Great Resignation

Community Blog
Written by Anthony Congi

DECEMBER 8, 2021

They say the only constant is change, and that is certainly true for the impact of two years of a global pandemic on C-level leaders – and CHROs, in particular. HR leaders are navigating a complex workforce landscape with people management issues at the forefront. The Great Resignation (or Great Reshuffling), employee retention, engagement and recruitment are in the top spot of CHROs’ priorities.

While the Great Resignation might directly impact HR leaders the most, they are also the most likely to be engaged with employee retention and organizational culture to begin with. In fact, CHROs in Evanta communities have listed employee engagement and experience as one of their top 5 priorities for the past few years in our annual Leadership Perspective Survey.

How is this latest challenge for HR leaders impacting them? In a recent pulse survey, we asked nearly 300 CHROs how they are managing the Great Resignation – here are 5 things we learned:

1. How Different is the Turnover from Past Years?

64% of CHROs said yes when we surveyed if they are seeing higher-than-normal rates of attrition in 2021 compared to past years. But, nearly a third of HR leaders (27%) said attrition was about the same as in the past. Only 9% of CHROs said that they are not experiencing high attrition rates in 2021.

2. How High of a Priority is this for CHROs?

When asked to rank on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the highest) on employee attrition being their largest priority right now, 84% of CHROs said that it’s a 4 or 5. 33% – a third of respondents – cited it as a 5, or their current top priority. Not surprisingly, the survey shows CHROs ranked attrition as a higher priority than any other role in the C-suite.


3. What’s Causing the Turnover?

80% of HR leaders believe that the top cause of employee attrition is fallout from the pandemic, including stress or life changes. 71% cited competitors or other companies recruiting their employees, and 66% of CHROs attributed it to high workloads, lack of resources or burnout.


4. What Can CHROs Do?

To retain their current employees, 76% of CHROs said they are focusing on improving company culture and employee engagement – one of their ongoing priorities as HR leaders. Tied for second place at 72% were both offering more flexibility and reviewing compensation and benefit packages.

Their strategies for recruiting new employees are identical. 73% of CHROs cited promoting company culture and employee engagement as their top strategy for recruiting. 68% of survey respondents selected offering remote or flexible work arrangements as their second recruitment strategy, closely followed by 67% who said they are offering competitive compensation and benefits.

5. How Long Will This Last?

CHROs equally indicated that they believe the Great Resignation will last for the next 6 to 12 months (34%) or 12+ months (34%). Only 4% of CHROs expect it to be over soon, lasting 6 months or less.

Planning for 2022 can be challenging with so much fluidity in the workforce. As SVP & CHRO Erin Feigal of Prime Therapeutics noted in a recent article, “The current workforce landscape has been a moving target, and that trend will likely be here for some time.”

HR leaders shared these thoughts about how they are leading through the uncertainty and encouraging employee engagement:


A top priority is helping leaders understand what a big impact they have on employee retention and engagement.”

As opposed to looking at the circumstances of ‘21 as an anomaly, we are planning as if this will be the status quo in ‘22.”

Compensation is a key factor for us – we have invested heavily in up leveling toward the market data.”

Focusing on employee engagement, motivation, and recognition under the broader human capital management umbrella.”


You can read more about how CHROs are managing through the Great Resignation in our voice of the community article, The Impact of the Great Resignation. Or, to find out more about employee attrition, recruiting and retention from your peers, check out our calendar of upcoming CHRO events


Anthony Congi headshot

Anthony Congi

Content Manager at Evanta, a Gartner Company


by CHROs, for CHROs

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