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The Great Resignation: An Unexpected New Normal
The Great Resignation: An Unexpected New Normal
Anubhav Bhatt

Content Developer

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The Great Resignation: An Unexpected New Normal

10 Nov 2021

A recent survey of 30,000 global workers found that 41% considered quitting or changing professions in the next year. More than 15 million people have quit their jobs since April 2021. We are in the middle of “The Great Resignation,” a term coined by Anthony Klotz, who remarked it as a collective epiphany on the true value of labor and leisure catalyzed by the pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic, the world witnessed immediate mass lay-offs impacting the lives of millions of families practically overnight. Many organizations filled these vacant positions later in the year through strategic hiring; however, this was when the ball was in the employer’s court, and they could choose to hire or fire people. Today, the employees seem to have the upper hand as far as their employment is concerned.

The pandemic has made employees rethink work-life balance and the importance of leisure time. Employees are now looking beyond their 9 to 5 jobs and are trying to work on other aspects of their lives that were often ignored earlier.

Let us have a look at the global impact of this movement.

  • In the United States, over 20 Mn Americans have quit their jobs since April 2021.
  • OECD countries have witnessed over 20 Mn workers not returning to work since the pandemic struck.
  • The attrition rate in the tech sector of India is up 23%.
  • Over 54% of Millenials and Gen Z are considering quitting and close to 46% are planning to relocate.
  • Only 20% of the global workforce displayed engagement to work.

Addressing the root causes of these staggering statistics starts with better understanding them. In this article, we will understand the “great resignation” in a problem-solving approach.

Lack of Job Security & Inadequate Career Progression Pathways is a Concern Post-Pandemic

2020 saw employees being laid off in masses and post-pandemic; the possibility of this scenario appearing again is worrying to the employees. For most employees, a concern by their respective organizations was expected but not delivered during the pandemic.

After returning to work, some employees even complained about organizations not being concerned about their career trajectories and where they are leading. Combining both of these reasons, we understand that employees expect a certain amount of concern from organizations regarding their personal and professional lives.

One of the ways organizations can increase retention in this great resignation while improving existing talent is through planning career progressions for employees.

By planning the correct career progressions, organizations can enable full-scale reskilling/upskilling initiatives to support employees in their continued growth. The average shelf life of skills is less than five years. Helping employees  learn and upskill is imperative to both their continued success and a company’s bottom line.

Employees Prefer Remote/Hybrid Workplace Models

The pandemic proved that many employees don’t need to be in the office to be productive. One survey found that 39% of people would consider quitting if their employer wasn’t flexible about remote work. Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure sits even higher at 49%.

The remote work model enabled employees to spend more time with their families, travel, and manage a lot more work by staying at home than they could if they were in the office.

This resulted in a mindset shift as employees now prefer the comfort of their homes to work rather than a closed office. However, on the other hand, some employees wish to return to work, creating a perplexing problem for employers to choose a suitable work model.

In a situation like this, employers are trying to incorporate a hybrid work model that combines relevant office time with remote working to deliver the best of both worlds.

Surprisingly, managing a hybrid team is more challenging than managing a team in a related work model, and with the great resignation happening, it’s getting harder. To solve this, there are a few things employers can do that can result well.

  • Set clear goals and expectations for both teams and let them know.
  • Change parameters to assess performance and allow both teams to collaborate well on projects instead of micromanaging.
  • Conduct targeted hiring using location intelligence, now being offered by specific talent intelligence tools.
  • Focus on employee wellness and health to prevent burnout
  • Create a full-fledged hybrid work policy that works for both teams.

Lack of Inclusiveness is Turning Off Gen Z from Companies

Diversity & Inclusion has been a pressing issue in most organizations for the last five years, and there have been extreme measures implemented to manage this.

However, most efforts were taken to incorporate diversity into the organization, and very little focused on developing a culture of inclusiveness. One of the prime reasons the great resignation is happening is because employees don’t feel included in the organization. They often feel:

  • Excluded from team meetings
  • Disrespected often by team managers for little or no reason
  • Being discriminated against based on caste, creed, gender, color, race, and more.

It is essential to understand that D&I is not just a policy to implement but a practice to adopt. An inclusive workforce can lead to over 150% improvement in employee retention rates . With diversity come different individuals, and they have to be made comfortable in their respective work cultures.

Enterprises can adopt various ways to develop a culture of D&I, including:

  • Educating managers about inclusiveness and needs of different individuals
  • Celebrating differences to make everyone feel included
  • Making pronouns and personal views matter.
  • Forming a D&I committee to address employee grievances
  • Crafting return to work models to support diverse talent
  • Including neuro-diverse talent into the workforce

By combining diversity with Inclusion, organizations will be able to manage their workforce with ease and nurture talent to derive the best business results. To do this in a data-driven manner, enterprises can take help from AI-backed talent intelligence tools that are custom-made to look into D&I from an eagle’s eye view.

Employee Well-being is more than just Work, its Lifestyle.

The heart of the matter lies in employees feeling taken care of. Employee well-being is a largely avoided issue in most organizations, and it has to be addressed in the best way possible.

Employee well-being is how employees’ work, expectations, and workplace affect their overall health and happiness. Employees might not feel well even when your organization has clearly defined goals or when you pay them money, bonuses, and titles. It’s because well-being has so many elements.

Enterprises have to take care of the social, emotional, environmental, financial, and physical wellness of employees. These are some of the major concerns in the great resignation movement.

Here are some ways enterprises can correctly promote employee well-being:

  • Offer innovative compensation models, including ESOPs.
  • Provide period leaves, paternity leaves, No-questions-asked leaves and bereavement leaves.
  • Listen to employees and address their problems.
  • Allow for flexible notice periods.
  • Allow time-off to single parents to take care of their children.
  • Promote physical and mental health through different app/center subscriptions.

There are many reasons why employees may be considering leaving their jobs. While some may be outside of your control, getting proactive about what you can control can help you get ahead of the Great Resignation and avoid losing your best people.

If some employees do ultimately decide to move on, be sure to ask them what your company could have done to support them better. Maybe you couldn’t have prevented them from leaving — but you might be able to stop the next person.

Talent intelligence  platform like Draup eliminates workforce challenges to help talent management teams move faster than the workforce trends. This analytics-driven workforce tool identifies and closes workforce gaps and assists in making more intelligent business decisions.

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