Mission-Driven Companies Have an Advantage in the Great Resignation

In a labor environment where talent can be choosy, mission-driven companies can beat the Great Resignation by following this guide.

learn more about Michael Waterbury

By Michael Waterbury

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Record-breaking "quit rates" defined the labor market in 2021, and about a quarter of the workforce is looking to change jobs in 2022. Despite this trend, my company has been able to retain top talent while making some extremely coveted hires. Across the board, our new hires indicated that our Goodroot mission of increasing affordability and access in healthcare resonated with them.

But that's only the first piece of the puzzle. Here's my three-step guide for companies to beat the Great Resignation.

Related: Great Resignation or Great Redirection?

Have a mission with measurable outcomes

In an industry like healthcare, people with experience can always find good jobs. As they work in those jobs, they can't help but notice the system is broken. The total cost of healthcare in the US now exceeds the revenue of the Federal Government at over $3.8 trillion, and medical debt remains the leading cause of bankruptcy.

So, opportunities to make a living in healthcare abound. But the chance to leave a mark — to leave the industry better than you found it — is rare. That's what we offer. And our team has the ability to track how we're doing.

With a mission to lower healthcare costs, our team can see their work taking millions and millions of dollars of wasted healthcare spending out of the equation. They're not just generating revenue or hitting targets to help our company grow. They are also moving the needle backward on healthcare costs. Our team is working toward a legacy of providing equitable, affordable healthcare for their families, friends and every patient. That makes each day matter.

Create new roles for talented individuals

As a leader, my primary responsibility is to free and amplify talent. The healthcare industry is so big and complex that it often hinders the innovative potential of the people who work in it. It also drives out some very creative people who become frustrated with the entrenched issues.

This type of situation exists in all industries and at all levels. Talented, motivated people are restricted and muffled every single day, sometimes for no better reason than "that's the way we've always done it."

Healthcare is a very profitable business, so it's easy for leaders to embrace the status quo. To each their own, but when that approach stifles the employees with aspirations and ambition, it hurts everyone. You don't lock a houseplant in a closet and expect it to grow. You put it by the window and water it daily.

I believe the way forward for the healthcare industry is to empower and incentivize people who already know how to solve the chronic problems we face to put their ideas into action. This connection between untapped potential and our mission drives our hiring process.

Do we hire for specific roles? Sometimes. But our best hires are often brilliant people we've known through relationships in previous roles who see what we're doing and collaborate with us to create a new position just for them.

You've heard the saying about fitting a square peg into a round hole. Just focus on finding the best peg, then you can carve out the shape of the hole together.

Related: Sizing Up Candidates for Cultural Fit Throughout the Hiring Process

Clarify culture

Someone can be on board with the mission and be ready to create a new position that uniquely capitalizes on their talents and ideas, but if they don't fit the culture, it isn't going to work.

When you're disrupting one of the largest and most troubled industries in the country, you have to move at a fast pace. We have to work harder and smarter than the legacy players we are looking to shift. We can't just go through the motions. We're trying to set new standards in motion.

You can try to describe your culture to applicants, but it's better if you can demonstrate it. At the core of our culture is entrepreneurship. We have built systems to draw out and reward innovation. Sharing stories of how these systems work during the hiring process helps both sides gauge the fit.

In addition to rewarding innovation and performance, we create a culture book each year with submissions from every employee. Language and the words we use matter. That's why inviting each team member to put their thoughts and experiences with our culture in writing makes it part of the company record, and reading the experiences of others helps us see the common threads as we all work on behalf of our mission.

Related: How to Write An Unforgettable Company Mission Statement

Fortunately, even amid the Great Resignation, the supply of people who want to be a part of something like this still seems to outpace demand. If you can set your business up to attract people who are trapped in roles that don't serve a compelling mission, utilize their talents or mesh with their values, your company is going to do very well during this tumultuous period.

Business Strategies, Entrepreneurial Advice & Inspiring Stories are all in one place. Explore the new Entrepreneur Bookstore.

Michael Waterbury

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO of Goodroot

Michael Waterbury is founder and CEO of Goodroot, a community of companies reinventing healthcare one system at a time. After a 20-year career as a health plan executive, he became an entrepreneur on a mission to increase access and affordability to quality healthcare through innovation.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.


How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.

Business News

Mark Zuckerberg Has Promised More Transparency Amid Meta Layoffs — 5 Reasons That's a Smart Strategy

For decades, transparency hasn't been particularly popular among business leaders who manage teams. The times are changing though, and transparency is now gaining traction.

Business News

Would You Buy Maggie Murdaugh's Monogrammed Snake Print Pillows? Items From the Murdaugh Family Home Are Going Up for Auction

The sale comes just weeks after Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the June 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son Paul Murdaugh.


The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid

There are many reasons employers and workers advocate for pay transparency — it can build trust, lead to fair compensation for historically underpaid individuals and eliminate the stigma surrounding money talk. But as the practice becomes normalized, honesty can backfire.