If you have logged into LinkedIn recently, you may have noticed the countless articles discussing the challenges employers are currently facing filling job openings. Likewise, maybe one of your coworkers recently quit their job, or perhaps a friend has been debating leaving their company. These instances might not be as coincidental as you think.
During the last few months, concern has developed surrounding a potential mass-quitting from employees around the globe. This is due to several factors that have caused workers to become unsatisfied with their current job situation and are searching for a positive change. This impending mass-quitting of employees has been dubbed The Great Resignation.
What is The Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation was coined by Texas A&M University business professor Anthony Klotz. Klotz states that since the COVID-19 pandemic ushered economic uncertainty for people around the globe, workers remained at their jobs even if they were unhappy with their position. Therefore, when the world starts to open again, COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, and confidence in the labor market is restored, employees who have been clinging to jobs they are unsatisfied with will start to quit in droves.
Some employees may resign from their jobs with a new job lined up, while others may quit without the next step in place. Either way, employers are expected to face the typical operating challenges of offboarding and onboarding employees, except magnified on a much larger scale. The Great Resignation is causing a messy, expensive, and time-consuming process for companies trying to get back on their feet after the global recession.
What Other Factors Are Causing The Great Resignation?
There are other reasons The Great Resignation is gaining momentum. These include employees reevaluating priorities, not wanting to go back into the office after working remotely for more than a year, and the shift in demand that favors job candidates rather than employers. We discuss these in more detail below.
1) Reevaluating Priorities
The pandemic has encouraged people to appreciate aspects of their lives outside of work. This includes spending more time with friends and family, as well as pursuing hobbies. Consequently, some workers are now deciding that they would instead work for a company or hold a position that offers greater work-life balance. In some cases, people are opting to take a pay cut in order to have a less demanding job. Furthermore, some workers are deciding they would rather work in a new industry or obtain a different position based on their passions.
2) Desire to Work from Home Permanently
Some employees have been working from home throughout the entire pandemic and have grown to prefer remote work. The reasons for this vary, including work-life balance, higher productivity, and greater autonomy. As a result, companies are noticing that some employees prefer to search for a new, remote job rather than being forced to return to the office.
3) Shift in Demand
Throughout the pandemic, businesses from varying industries have been having difficulty finding enough workers to fill open positions for both white-collar and blue-collar jobs. Employees and job candidates now have the upper hand because there are countless job openings and not enough people to fill them. Therefore, workers are more confident they can find a new job and are not as likely to accept a job they do not want. Instead, employers have to put more effort into showing candidates why working for them is a good decision.
Strategies for Companies to Retain and Attract Talent
With The Great Resignation occurring, companies should proactively create strategies to successfully navigate the situation and minimize its impact. We researched methods that companies can implement to help retain their talent, along with attracting new candidates, and highlighted them below.
1) Be Open to Applicants Making Career Switches
Like we stated earlier, workers are reevaluating their priorities and jobs and are deciding to follow their passions. This means job candidates will be switching industries and positions. From a hiring perspective, candidates may not seem like a good fit if they do not have the exact experience a company is looking to hire. However, this can be an excellent opportunity for companies to hire motivated individuals who will be excited to take on new roles, challenges, and opportunities, all with a fresh perspective. Don’t disregard applicants just because they are not the norm.
2) Offer Flexible Working Conditions
This is a big factor. If your company approves it, remote work is a massive benefit for many job seekers. Remote working provides employees with numerous benefits, including erasing the commute, reducing transportation costs, not having to buy or pack lunch, and a better work-life balance. If being fully remote isn’t possible, alternatives such as the hybrid model might be a solid option. The hybrid work model might look something like three days in the office and two days working remotely per week. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon have implemented the hybrid model.
Additionally, flexible working allows employees to vary the hours they ‘clock-in’ and ‘clock-out for the day. For example, instead of working the typical 9 am-5 pm, an employee may choose to work 7 am-3 pm because they have to drive their kids to soccer practice after work. Overall, employees value the flexibility and autonomy these work models provide.
3) Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Lastly, companies should cultivate a company culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Employees are continuing to demand equal representation from employers as diversity in the workplace becomes non-negotiable. Employees value opinions from coworkers with different life experiences, education, work history, cultures, and more. Not only that, but diverse workplaces also encourage greater innovation and profit.
Furthermore, employees and society are increasingly vigilant about companies that foster diversity and those who talk about the topic without action. As a result, companies that do publicize their DEI efforts should have initiatives in place that support these values.
The possibility of The Great Resignation should be a wake-up call for employers. Due to workers now having more power in the labor market, companies will have a difficult time retaining and attracting new talent if they rely on dated policies. To stay competitive, businesses need to update their policies, cultures, and hiring practices to accommodate the modern workers’ evolving needs and wants.
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