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The Great Resignation

Decoding The Great Resignation: How Fixing your Workplace Culture can Help Reduce Attrition

Employees are quitting jobs at a higher rate than usual, which is shaking the world of work forever. The US Labor Department revealed that more than four million Americans left their jobs in August 2021 — the highest number on record. These are alarming figures, with studies indicating that it is unlikely to be over soon.

“The Great Resignation” has brought many corporate giants to a standstill as employees continue quitting in droves. Talent management teams attribute employee attrition to be the most notable concern they currently face in the post-pandemic world.

Here are some common causes leading to excessive attrition in an organization.

  • Overwork culture is leading to burnout
  • Poor compensation packages to employees
  • Inaffective career advancement strategies

The pandemic has exacerbated the current job market. Global talent shortage is sitting at a 15-year low point. And according to a recent survey, 69% of employers see talent shortage as the most significant barrier when filling jobs in 2021. Before we deep dive into the causes, let’s have a look at a few reasons that figure into the current talent shortage:

  • Baby boomers are retiring: The most experienced pool —people born between 1946 and 1964 — are forced into retirement. Boomers make up a majority of the workforce, and most of them are retiring or plan to quit by the next decade. The pandemic has only added to demand, with 30 million baby boomers coerced into retirement in the third quarter of 2020. HR leaders across industries see this as a serious threat, considering the large and unexpected gap it will leave in the skilled labor pool.
  • Lack of skills in young workers: Young workers replacing the baby boomers lack managerial experience or the skills required to sustain in the modern workplace. The latest crop of talent has to be mentored to meet the changing needs of the businesses, especially around in-demand areas.

Talent shortages could have major implications. By 2030, a survey reports that global talent crunch could result in the loss of trillions of dollars in economic opportunities.

Overwork culture is hurting employee well-being

Keeping employees engaged is imperative for an organization’s growth. However, it may also count as a toxic overwork culture if it continues to affect the well-being of employees.

Owing to the economic pressure induced by the catastrophic pandemic, organizations push employees to perform tasks without adequate resources. When employees go through this burnout stage, they are more likely to jump ship and abroad to a new company that helps them strike a balance between personal and professional life.

Reimagining work-life balance

The trend of glorifying overwork to the point of burnout is worrying, leading to nothing but breeding ill health and shooting up stress levels among employees. A healthy work culture emphasizes work-life balance. Not only does this enhance workplace productivity, but it also plays a massive part in reducing the attrition rate.

Talent management teams can explore ways to embrace work-life balance. Here are a few things they can consider:

  • Embrace productivity and not hours worked: The main cause of burnout has been the tumultuous suffering of employees working more hours than required.
  • Encourage remote or hybrid workplace: COVID-19 has phased out the idea of having all employees under one roof and getting work done. Remote work is the future, and it does not seem to hurt productivity.

Ineffective compensation plans and benefits

Managers often praise their employees for working extra hours and staying committed till the tasks are achieved. However, appreciations alone are not sufficient to instill confidence in the team. Poor compensation packages have become the go-to reason for employees quitting their roles and moving to different companies.

Devising new-age compensation models to attract and retain

While compensation is one of the many reasons employees cite when leaving a job, it also becomes a major talking point when accepting new job offers. Companies must evaluate their compensation strategies and establish concrete plans to support employees with better packages. Communication around the needs of every employee becomes crucial in these times.

As fresh hiring becomes a cost & resource-intensive exercise, giving existing workers regular raises and improving the benefits reflects your support for retention. Talent management teams that understand the role compensation packages play have a great chance of coping with the mass exodus.

Lack of career growth and development opportunities

The post-pandemic workplace has reduced growth opportunities for employees. This propels them to always be on the lookout for companies that groom them professionally. The modern workforce is showing desires to develop professionally. Organizations with little to no investment in career development and growth of their employees will be grappling to retain their core workforce.

How reskilling can help

Working in these taxing times has made HR professionals realize the need to invest in employee career development. By shifting focus to career growth and development, companies can minimize the quit rate and retain employees with better skillsets. A case in point is that several corporate giants like Amazon and Microsoft are helping their employees with reskilling and upskilling initiatives for future advancement with the organization.

Talent management teams can introduce various strategies to support the personal and professional development of their employees. Following are some ways to help talent management teams create a meaningful impact in order to foster their existing talent force:

  • Invest in career development programs: Consider setting up workshops for employees and help them with ample training and support resources.
  • Recommend learning pathways: Addressing employee skill gaps is necessary to sustain business growth. Enterprises can leverage AI-powered talent intelligence tools to help talent managers create personalized learning pathways and bridge competency gaps.
  • Encourage on-the-job training: Perhaps the most widely followed practice is observing peers perform tasks and then allowing employees to do it themselves. Often practiced to train new recruits; however, with the growing adoption of technologies and lack of skills around it, talent managers can use this exercise as part of an internal job move.

Companies that institute reskilling and upskilling initiatives can expect to experience results in the near and long term. As we advance towards the future of work, talent management teams must encourage employees to learn and adapt to changing trends.

Waves of employees across the globe are leaving as part of ‘The Great Resignation.’ And as the pandemic drags on, many enterprises grapple to retain their talent pool. While the aforementioned reasons are only a few of the many reasons employees cite, talent managers can take a page out of successful companies’ books to fight the mass exodus.

Talent intelligence platforms such as Draup assist talent management teams in evaluating competitor hiring trends, mapping micro and macro paths, and identifying & bridging skill gaps. The platform helps businesses with a well-planned, data-driven process to engage employees with unique strategies and encourage them to stick around for the long haul.