Here’s a well-known fact: burnt out employees are embracing the Great Resignation. In early 2021, our Senior HR Consultant brought up the now-popular term and projected that it was inevitable to take place in Australian shores. It has indeed gained momentum. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid it and help your company recover from a crisis. But you need to know how to manage it correctly. The Great Resignation is a symptom of the company’s culture and as the leader of a company — be it small or large— you need to know what can cause your employees to leave in droves.
Over the past two years, remote work has provided many employees with more flexibility and quality time with loves ones. It has also demonstrated that a physical office isn’t always essential for high productivity. Businesses have got their COVID-safe plans for bringing their people back to the physical workplace many employees are voluntarily calling time on their jobs. In fact, according to a 2021 Microsoft study , more than 40 per cent of the global workforce are considering leaving their employers last year.
There are many factors contributing to workers retreating from pre-COVID work patterns. Major global events, including pandemics can reshape society in fundamental ways. We are currently witnessing a shift in the balance of power from employer to employee. Spending many months at home in lock down can get people thinking about what is important to them and what role they want work to play in their life.
Historically, employers offering a competitive salary, a nice office, good benefits were enough to attract great talent. Those things may still be appealing today, but employees are seeking more. They are now looking beyond the perks and benefits that a job can bring, whilst assessing ways in which their work can enrich their lives. They are looking for greater flexibility, less work stress, more time with family, prioritising their health more, and to genuinely find a way that work can fit into their lives rather than their lives fitting into it.
We are also seeing a trend in career downsizing where people are moving away from ambition being a primary motivator and looking for alternative ways to cultivate self-worth and fulfilment.
In addition to these factors the job market is strong and it’s a candidate market out there. Employees are leaving roles that they consider to be limiting whilst gaining confidence that there will be other opportunities. They are seeking roles that they can tailor to their own needs rather than the needs of their employers.
Employers wanting to retain talent in current and future climates need to be agile.
Tuning in to what employees are asking for and looking for ways that a mutually beneficial structure could co-exist. Having open discussions with employees about what aspects of their job are deal breakers and what reconciliations they are willing to make could assist both parties.
When work demands do not compromise their personal values, employees are then more productive and successful in their roles. For example, if work travel is a concern for working parents, there are ways to explore for meetings to take place that don’t require them to get on a 6 AM flight.
To retain talent, businesses need to re-examine the way work is fundamentally designed to fit the needs and lives of the modern working adult. We need to ask ourselves, just because it has always been done that way, does it still need to be? Ensuring that your employees are technologically set up remotely, providing support and establishing connection with colleagues is simple logistical tweak that can have huge benefits for employees and their team leaders.
The world of work has changed. Amid all the uncertainty of recent times perhaps we have been gifted with the opportunity to redesign the role of work in our lives and the way in which we do it.
LMHR has a team of experts in conducting business health checks to tap into the pulse of organisations, its people and what makes them tick. If you would like some assistance in balancing the needs of your workforce while addressing the needs of your business, we would love to hear from you. HR can be painful. Our team of HR experts do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on running the show. Get help now. Contact us today!