This article originally appeared in HBR.org.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, many companies have boosted pay, and offered greater flexibility in order to recruit and retain the best people. At some, senior leaders have attempted to inspire employees by emphasizing a corporate purpose or mission, in the same hope.
But these initiatives haven’t had much impact on aggregate quit rates. The data shows that U.S. employee turnover was rising steadily before the pandemic and then spiked in 2021. Meanwhile companies that tried to attract people with promises of higher pay and/or greater flexibility are finding it harder to keep those hires: A recent Harris poll indicates that 20% of employees who left their jobs in 2021 to join other companies for those reasons now regret their decision.