The Great Resignation - just a phase or here to stay?

The Great Resignation - just a phase or here to stay?

The Great Resignation - which saw droves of workers leaving their jobs or switching careers during the post-pandemic era — is far from over, and job loyalty may be a thing of the past.

When people first began leaving their jobs in early 2021, experts generally believed that the “Great Resignation” was a direct side effect of pandemic chaos and uncertainty. But now, with Covid restrictions mostly lifted, the resignation letters are still piling up. Despite widespread predictions of a slowdown, data shows not only are people still leaving positions on mass, but many workers who haven’t resigned yet plan to do so in the coming months.

A shortage of skilled workers after the easing of lockdown restrictions meant employees had the upper hand. Large pay raises and bonuses were up for grabs in a desperate attempt to retain talent.

Initially, this may have been enough to retain employees but following the pandemic, with furlough and an extended period of working from home with no commute many people have decided their work-life balance has become more important. Job fulfillment and the ability to be their true self at work have become the top reasons for employees considering a job change.

Employees are waking up and asking themselves what they really want. They are looking at work as less of a structure that pays the bills and more of something that they want to provide them with fulfillment. Many job seekers are not concerned about the task of actually finding a new role as they see the number of roles available for skilled employees on multiple job boards and recruitment company websites. The power dynamic is shifting, and perks like free food and a corner office are no longer what people value most.

If you’re an employer right now, this situation can feel daunting, but this is a chance to look at these challenges as an opportunity to self-evaluate yourself and your business. You can’t fight human nature or massive global mindset shifts that are happening, so you might as well try and get ahead of the curb.

The two main things that companies are still falling short of right now are flexible work arrangements and staying in touch with employees’ individual needs.

Invest in your people, and make sure that you’re giving them work that resonates with them, that challenges them and stretches them. When people start to stagnate, they start to get bored, and they start looking elsewhere.

One of the most valuable things employers can do to stay ahead of the current market is to build their employer brand so that their communication out into the market highlights their culture as caring and compassionate with a commitment to developing their people at their core.

Employers who have the opinion of ‘they’re lucky to have a job’ who take their team for granted and assume they’ll be there to stay, are quickly realising this is not enough to hold on to their employees. It is a challenging time for leaders as there is a real need for change and revaluation. They have to be willing to change their approach and actively seek out feedback, listen and take action on this. By being proactive, they will gain more insight to understand where this worker’s market is taking us. Conduct stay interviews to ensure your current staff are happy BEFORE your employees leave and hold exit interviews with the employees who do leave to understand the true reasons for the move.

It's also important to ensure your recruitment and onboarding process is as truthful as possible.

Be honest about the culture and values of the company when you invite people to work with you. Everybody has their own bucket list of things that they expect at a company they’re working for and when companies contradict commitments they’ve made, there are too many opportunities out there for people not to look elsewhere and find a company that can meet their needs.

We may see a slight drop if we head into a recession but as long as workers understand what they're looking for, employers are going to have to make some changes in order to accommodate that. And it seems like people will be willing to leave if they don't get it.

The main question employers should ask themselves is ‘do we have an open mindset to adapt the workplace to be the most attractive possibility for the workers?

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