Can People Analytics Curtail The Great Resignation?

As one in four people are likely to switch jobs within the next 6 months, some employers turn to people analytics for guidance.

As the news continues to report record inflation levels, more individuals seek new employment and higher pay to grapple with their increased cost of living. Replacing employees is an expensive endeavor, and as the cost to do business is also rising for employers, they are incentivized to keep employee turnover at a minimum.

Many accommodations can be made, but employers need to have the information necessary to implement changes to increase employee retention. Companies are also gathering data through employee surveys to better understand nonmonetary motivations. For example, many parents enjoyed staying home with their children during the COVID-19 lockdowns and wished to continue working from home or switching to part-time.

Predictive analysis and been leveraged as an option to reduce employee turnover. Many employers approach retention similarly to customer acquisitions, building employee profiles (like customer profiles) to predict future behaviors. Specific profiles tend to exhibit predictable levels of engagement, and changes within this metric could signal a red flag. Employers use data to predict the future and identify targets for “stay” interviews conducted by management.

Many leaders have been focused on data that tracks behavioral changes related to engagement with company message boards, meeting attendance, and completion of company surveys. According to Nick Curcuru, Vice-President of advisory services at Privitar, 25% of workers in North America are expected to leave their positions in the next three to six months, with 33% of people actively looking for another job.

Better tracking of these data could prove beneficial and allow employers to be proactive instead of reactive. Gathering employee feedback and reacting to their concerns is a phenomenal way to keep employees around and boost their productivity and overall happiness with their careers. Focusing on team needs should go far beyond curbing The Great Resignation and become a standard way of doing business. Proactive employee engagement activities yield information about why people are leaving and why people are staying. These best practices can and should be shared across departments to reduce the number of unsupportive managers, excessive commute times, lack of training, poor onboarding, and other factors that leaders may find hard to track without data.

Companies must also ensure their data collection is well received by employees and operate within ethical bounds. According to, most employees do not object to being monitored for work-related tasks like business emails and phone calls, but 72% of employees oppose monitoring their social media, and 48% say they do not trust their organization to protect their data.

For analytics to curtail The Great Resignation, HR must set strong ethical policies on what information should be collected and how it is stored. Most importantly, employers must act on the feedback they are receiving from their team.



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Student comments on Can People Analytics Curtail The Great Resignation?

  1. In theory, this sounds like a fantastic tool but I wonder if there are tangible real life examples of positive applications of such predictive analytics with supporting data. Companies that invest in such initiatives will have a real competitive advantage in the new reality of the labor market that is impacting both blue and white collar industries.

  2. I think that key stat about employees not mind being monitored can be misleading – I actually think it depends on the industry and where you work. I would imagine that those who work in tech are more attuned to the boundaries and that this type of data governance also differs in the EU for example. I know that some of my EU family members are quite anti-Google because of the data privacy issues – perhaps the world will change.

  3. Interesting idea, Mannix. I would also describe the “great resignation” as a cultural shift where less importance is accorded to employer loyalty, I am not sure if tracking employer engagement would actually change the culture shift but it could theoretically make a difference on an individual level, depending on the industry and country.
    As mentioned above, some countries or cultures might be more reluctant to data-tracking involved with tools as you described.

  4. Thanks for sharing your views, Mannix. I do agree that people analytics will play a bigger role in employee engagement and retention in the coming years. What I found most interesting about your blog is that fact that many of the initiatives you speak about still rely on ‘listening’ to the employees – I wonder how one can effectively collect such qualitative data and make it actionable at scale. I worry that this may be too complex to administer, and firms may resort to passive data (email tracking etc.) to make decisions instead, which could miss some of the feedback which would be critical to employee engagement.

  5. Hey Mannix – I totally agree with your point of view on how People Analytics could be used to curtail the impact of the Great Resignation for employers. As Meghna has mentioned above, one challenge is to be able to “listen” to what the employees need and want – which in fact is a big one. Perhaps one thing companies could do in order to enable “listening” to employees is implementing the role of an “analytics translator”. As the below-attached McKinsey article describes it, this is someone who helps bridge the gap between organizational needs and data scientists. The article then goes on to how an analytics translator can draw on their domain knowledge and help business leaders identify and prioritize their business problems with the highest value. I imagine a role like this, could help an organization utilize the power of data and analytics to increase retention and resolve – at least internally – the great resignation problem experienced by so many organizations.

    McK Article:

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