Gartner Business Quarterly

Proven guidance for C-suite action

2022 Q1

Lessons from the Big Quit

Unlock strategies to survive and win the race for talent

Nearly one-third of employees plan to look for a new job within the year, and 26% have already made phone calls or sent out their resumes to prospective employers.

Employees are departing for a variety of reasons: to sit on the sidelines of the labor market, to earn more money elsewhere or to switch fields altogether. With an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees, executive leaders must find solutions to grow and keep operating.

The Q1 2022 edition focuses on lessons from the “Big Quit” and provides guidance on how to get work done while short-staffed, recruit faster and better, protect institutional knowledge and bolster retention.

Download Q1 2022 Gartner Business Quarterly

By clicking the "Continue" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Contact Information

All fields are required.

  • Step 2 of 3

    By clicking the "Continue" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    Company Information

    All fields are required.

    Type company and location
    Optional Optional
  • Step 3 of 3

    By clicking the "Submit" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    In this issue

    Lessons from the Big Quit
    Letter From the Editor

    The Beatles: Get Back covers three weeks back in 1969, but the documentary’s release late last year seemed like perfect timing. A central plot twist in the film is George Harrison’s calm announcement:” I’m leaving the band now.” Since last spring, millions of workers around the world have made the same decision and delivered their farewells – as George told John, Paul and Ringo: “See you ‘round the clubs.” Employees are departing for a variety of reasons: to sit on the sidelines of the labor market, to earn more money elsewhere, to switch fields altogether. 

    You can’t rely on wishful thinking that this trend will fade away in 2022. The war for talent is broader and fiercer than before the pandemic, and every enterprise still needs people. To grow - and to keep operating – you’ll need solutions for right now, for the medium term and for the future. 

    You’ll get help in this issue of Gartner Business Quarterly. We’ll explain how to handle your immediate pain – how to get work done while short-staffed, recruit faster and better, protect institutional knowledge and stave off competitors dangling more money at your workforce. To bolster retention, we’ll show you how to meet the priorities of employee segments on the front line and in the corporate center. Yes, you can give factory workers flexibility and expand the talent pool. And you might be surprised to learn what in-house lawyers value most.

    The short articles inside contain real-world experience from a global group of organizations including Arm Ltd., Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Buckman Labs, Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, Nationwide, Texas Instruments, and Xerox. 

    GBQ helps you align with others and reach peak effectiveness, so your enterprise can achieve its goals, be bold and principled, and bring employees, investors and the public along for the ride.

    Our standing departments keep you up to speed — Cutting Edge, a look at provocative new data; and Briefs, short takes about smarter spending and planning, talent and culture, growth and innovation, and data and technology.

    We welcome your feedback. Please contact me at

    — Judy Pasternak

    A Framework for Assessing Attrition Risk: Who Wants to Pack Up, and Why?
    More than six in 10 employees say the pandemic left them longing for a big shift in their lives. Executive leaders must delve deeper if they hope to stanch the wave of resignations underway. For clarity, and to choose the right response, compare this professional decision to a personal choice: Leaving a job is like selling a house.

    Employees Will Leave; Their Knowledge Doesn’t Have To
    To prevent “brain drain” from impairing business operations, implement a program to capture and share information about processes, efficiency and relationships built up over time.

    Steps to Work Through Staff Shortages
    It’s imperative to plan for periods of worker shortage. Organizations must keep the business running and protect those who remain: 83% of employees say they are already working at, or over, capacity. Among our tips: “speed dating” for contingent workers, mechanisms to adjust priorities, staffing back up in stages.

    4 Bold Ways to Disrupt Pay-Based Plays for Your Talent
    You’ve no doubt noticed that aggressive competitors with open wallets are courting both your job candidates and your existing workforce. Failing to respond is a risky move. In the same way the pandemic forced organizations to overcome their hesitancy about remote work, the hypercompetitive labor market is prodding executive leaders to reconsider efforts they once dismissed and come up with new ways to stave off rivals.

    To Solve the Recruiting Crisis, Make Hiring a Team Sport
    Executive leaders must partner differently with recruiting to prioritize openings, expand talent pools and streamline the decision-making process.

    4 Hard Questions to Ask About Your Company’s Fairness Strategy
    Of the 3,500 employees we surveyed worldwide, only 18% said they work in a high-fairness environment, as measured by how they believe their employer handles various aspects of the employee experience, such as talent management, promotion and pay. This finding is deeply troubling. Those who see their experience as fair show up to 26% higher levels of performance and up to 27% higher levels of retention.

    The Whiteboard: Big Questions to Ask About Supporting Frontline Workers
    Contrary to popular belief, organizations can, and should, offer more control and opportunity to employees on factory floors, in warehouses, at call centers, behind food counters and at the wheel of delivery trucks. It’s time to help them — or lose them. Let’s head to the whiteboard and sketch out creative ways to meet these requirements for the biggest portion of the global workforce, 2.8 billion strong.

    Personal Fulfillment Is the Secret to Highly Engaged Legal Teams
    Lawyers who choose to practice in-house want work that fits their interests and allows them to see an impact on the business. This opportunity has 51% more impact on in-house lawyer engagement than compensation and benefits.

    Adapt Agile Methods to Give Employees Time to Think (and a Reason to Stay)
    Email is landing; chat messages arrive – ping, ping, ping. While technology has exacerbated the need for employees to be “always on,” a methodology born in Silicon Valley can protect them. Use Agile principles to reduce interruptions that prevent workers from focusing and sap their productivity – and get known for being a workplace that gives people a chance to focus.

    3 Ways to Help Managers Lead With Empathy
    Managers often understand the concept of empathy and why it’s important, but they tend to struggle with how to apply this in their day-to-day roles. Even if they feel for direct reports struggling with burnout or challenges at home, they’re cautious about being too pushy. They also need tools and practice to be effective – not just nice.

    Build Employee Trust Through Better Communication
    Progressive leaders build confidence in their intentions by explaining the rationale behind how the company makes decisions and creating opportunities for open dialogue. If this were as easy as it seems, it wouldn’t be such a problem — 64% of employees report low trust in their organization. Specific steps can improve leaders’ messaging and listening.

    Workforce Disclosure for Investors Can Also Lure Talent: A Q&A With Bank of America Corporate Secretary Ross Jeffries
    A sampling: “This is a way to give a little bit of transparency to a potential employee. What can I expect when I go to work there? What's the culture like? What are the employment practices? How do they view career progression? This really adds muscles to the bones of what people might know.”

    About Gartner Business Quarterly

    Gartner Business Quarterly provides business executives with insights from best practices research and the real-world experience of practitioners. The journal’s insights especially equip executives to tackle challenges that cut across the C-suite and affect multiple executive teams. Writers, contributors and data analysts are members of Gartner Research & Advisory (R&A) whose teams are led by Senior VP Val Sribar. The Gartner Business Quarterly publication is led by Editor-in-Chief Judy Pasternak with executive sponsorship by Group VP Scott Christofferson.