While 2020 found employees fighting for job security, 2021 has proved that the job market is drastically playing in their favor.

As we look ahead to 2022, it has become plainly obvious and more important than ever for leaders to create an environment to keep their employees satisfied and happy at work.

The shift needed

In the digital era, companies more than ever need to create human-centered workplaces with the primary focus on their No.1 stakeholder -- their employees. 

To do that, leaders need to get in the game of engaging employees but play it strategically with a long-term focus, not for short-term gain.

This means fostering an environment where employees want to go to work, where people feel like they belong to a family. In turn, leaders must figure out a way to leverage their most precious resource in a manner that works for both companies and employees.

The primary way to do that is to begin valuing the employee as a whole person, and not just as an "asset" or resource to be used for financial gain. 

"On the surface, the Great Resignation may look like a battle for escalating compensation and remote work perks, but if you probe a little deeper, what you learn is that this is about employees feeling disconnected, having lost their personal connection to your company and to the meaning in their work," says Christy Wyatt, CEO of Absolute Software.

Wyatt, like many of her executive peers, believes that employees are making deeper choices these days about how their work fits into their broader lives, leading many of them to leave one company in pursuit of another. To crush the Great Resignation, leaders must value the entire employee -- not just what they can provide for your company. When you do, you'll get a more loyal, driven contributor who will stay.

This has real competitive advantage. People who are cared for in cultures of belonging and shared values, where both their personal and professional needs are met, are more than happy to tell others about where they work and why they work there. Proud employees believe they have found the right company culture for themselves -- that the company is a reflection of them, and they are a reflection of the company.