* This is a contributed article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of IBTimes.

2021 was dubbed the year of 'The Great Resignation,' as the dust settled from the pandemic and employees decided to seek greener pastures. This led to record levels of people voluntarily quitting their jobs; this trend isn't going anywhere.

Some employers are offering lucrative bonuses and wage increases to tackle this issue. Unfortunately, this is not working because recruiters around the world are failing to recognize the root cause of the issue, and - spoiler alert - it's not money. To make things worse, a third of new employees leave their posts after a mere six months, even after the wage bonus.

Many assume that the key to bolstering employee retention rates lies in the number of zeros added to their annual paychecks. Not only are wage increases failing to slow down the Great Resignation, but they are fuelling the wage-price spiral, where wage hikes lead to increased costs which leads to rising prices. As inflation hits a new 40-year-high of over 9.1%, this spiral is the last thing the global economy needs, and it is particularly punishing for frontline workers, the backbone of our society.

The answer to the Great Resignation is far more nuanced than blanket pay rises, for frontline workers end up being worse off - it is dampening the wage increases and inspiring employees to be proud of their work again. This principle is not a product of frivolous, rose-tinted idealism, where we imagine a utopia (or a return to the gold-star reward system of Kindergarten) in which everybody has their dream job; rather, it is rooted in concrete data.

A study into workplace pride showed that employees with high individual pride are ten times more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs. Furthermore, these employees are also twenty-four times more likely to remain at their current companies, thereby saving their bosses the continual turnover-rate headaches they are currently having to contend with.

Companies are failing to recognize the importance of this. Especially in today's pandemic-fuelled world of remote working, it is more difficult to confer praise and build a strong relationship with employees when you're often interacting through the buffering screen of a Zoom meeting.

This means that, especially in the present job climate, employers have to put in the extra effort to recognize, celebrate, and inspire employees to create a culture of workplace pride. Every time an employee quits, it costs the company an average of 33% of their annual salary just to fill that space.

The main reason given for leaving? Unsurprisingly, 79% of people who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as the fundamental motivation behind exploring alternative job opportunities. Big corporations can easily lose touch with their employees. This was epitomized by the Burger King story of an employee who never missed a day off for 27 years and was rewarded with - try not to get too excited - a goodie bag of candy bars, a movie ticket, and a lanyard. We also saw how Starbucks' response to union strikes about unsafe working conditions was to close one of their stores in retaliation.

As the world shifted towards remote working, businesses should have bolstered their employee-reward systems, whether monetary or not. Instead, workplaces have been allowed to grow disjointed, disconnected, and demoralized.

There are two kinds of pride: intrinsic and extrinsic. The former comes from within and depends on how self-motivated and driven someone inherently is. This cannot be easily influenced by others. What can be enhanced by employers is extrinsic pride, which revolves around recognition for the work being done and the impact it has. The source of this can be an employee's family, peers, subordinates, superiors, and customers.

People used to feel pride in the work that they do and the impact it has, whether they toiled away for minimum wage or held an esteemed position of seniority - whatever our level, we held our heads up high because we saw ourselves as a valued cog in the machinations of our businesses, hospitals, schools, public service department. We saw that we mattered.

Something has fundamentally changed. Whether the pandemic, the shifts in global trade, or the advent of TikTok, the current generation sees themselves as servants to another as opposed to contributors to a greater good. Employees are not shown the appreciation they need - and deserve. Amazon might think Darryl, the factory worker, is the best at what he does on the planet, but if nobody from management sees him as such, how else can he see his greater contribution and value?

Governments have to shoulder some of the blame for this culture change. The prime example can be seen in the UK government's treatment of its nurses. During the pandemic, the nation stood on doorsteps and applauded the magnificent work being done by NHS staff. (Former Prime Minister?) Boris Johnson regularly celebrated their superhuman efforts in his increasingly disheveled news conferences. What better way to instill employee pride could there be than this? But now, two years on from the first lockdown, the UK government has proposed a 3% pay rise for NHS staff, which in real terms amounts to a pay cut for those that were previously heralded as national heroes. Nurses quite rightly feel undervalued, and they have decided to go on marches, with strike action also being planned.

The message is resounding, and it is self-destructive for companies to simply let it fall on deaf ears. 70% of employees say that their sense of purpose is defined by their work. If your company does not provide its workers with a feeling of purpose, the employees will leave, and you will only have wages as a tool to attract and retain talent. A very expensive strategy. When it comes to the world of business, we see time and again that it is a loss of pride that comes before the fall.