If you've been a member of the working world for more than five years you've probably daydreamed of quitting your job, moving to a tropical island and selling coconuts instead. Whether it was a nightmare boss, an infuriating coworker, or a crippling workload, there was something that made you contemplate handing in your notice.
But... you didn't. You couldn't! You need a job, you want to grow your career, you may have a cat to feed. So, the daydream remained just that, a dream. And you carried on working.
Then Covid arrived, and most of us had to work from home, or made redundant, or put on furlough. We found ourselves at home, not knowing what was happening or how long the limbo would last. It also made us wonder if what we're doing is right for us... could it be the time to follow a new path?
Turns out, a lot of people decided it was the time to quit (1 in 4 people in America alone). Leading to the Great Resignation.
The Great Resignation
The term was coined by the US academic, Anthony Klotz, to describe the wave of pandemic-related resignations. However, to the dismay of many business owners, this is more than a blip.
Why it's happening
(and why it's not a blip)
- Options - Millions of businesses made job cuts in 2020, but now the same businesses (and others looking to grow) want to hire more people in 2021. This high number of vacancies has people looking at their options, wondering if the grass is greener. If there's a better paying job that piques an interest, why shouldn't a CV or two be sent out? 🤷♀️
- Burnout - The grind culture was already present before 2020, leading to many workers to burnout and leave their jobs for months or even permanently. Similarly, those who remained working after their teams were whittled away experienced the stress of the unknown and high workloads. A combination that lead to record-high numbers of burnout. 😵
- Reflection - Whether it was enjoyable time off or not, the lockdown gave us time to step back and rethink our lives' trajectories. Covid also reminded us that life is too short to do something you don't enjoy. Even if times are uncertain, maybe it wouldn't be so bad to quit and take some time to ourselves... 🧖♀️
- Travelling - It was off the table for a long time, and the one-hour of allotted exercise didn't stack up to the sunny shores we usually escape to on our summer holidays. But now, (albeit with some logistical gymnastics) we can travel again! Some are even leaving their jobs to travel, as they see this as the perfect time to shake up their lives. ✈️
But it's not going to end soon, and the reason for that, is due to a power shift.
Before, (especially around the 2008 recession) people needed jobs, and since there were slim pickings in the job market, job seekers had to take what they could get. The ball was in the employers' court.
Now, (after 2020) the ball is no longer in their court. There are lots of jobs, and people are taking their time to see what's right for them. This means it can take longer to fill a position, and the candidates have the bargaining power when it comes to pay and benefits.
How it's affecting business owners
The Great Resignation is growing, causing a staffing shortage. For example, in the UK, over a quarter of businesses reported a lack of staff is affecting their ability to operate. Recruitment firm, Randstad, predicted serious cost implications for employers (up to £25,000 per worker) and has been advising employers about improving 'pay and other conditions to help them retain their best staff'.
Stopping the resignation
So if you're a business owner your palms may be starting to sweat right now. But, with any hurdle, there's a way to get over it. After all, you got through 2020! 💪
So here's how to develop your business into a resignation free zone. ✋
Thank the veterans - Those who stuck with you through the pandemic, through the uncertainty and high workloads should be thanked. If they feel their efforts are taken for granted, you will be losing some key members of staff that stuck by you and your company when things looked bleak.
Wages - Be competitive with salary. There are many jobs out there and they may be offering something a lot better than you do. So even if the role isn't a new one to fill, look at what you're paying your existing employees and ensure it's competitive.
Flexibility of work - If 2020 taught the working world something, it's that we can be trusted to work from home. Although many people like social interaction too, it's nice to be able to choose where you work. Letting your workforce retain that freedom will mean a lot to them.
Office dog - Sounds silly, but even something like allowing pets in the office can be a great stress reliever, and a cute little perk that could sway a candidate to choose your company over another.
Sabbaticals - Okay, it may sound counterintuitive right now, but giving sabbaticals is a great way to retain staff longterm. In fact, they're on the rise. Not only does it scratch the travel itch, but it's a great way to battle burnout.
Help employability - Your workers want to get ahead and grow their careers. An obvious way they can do that now is by changing jobs, so enable them to grow their careers and skillset while staying in your company by offering training. Training is included as a perk on many job listings on recruitment sites, so don't fall short of the norm. Myskillcamp can help you give your employees professional, affordable eLearning that educates and motivates your staff.
Work Perks - Although respect, good pay and growth are the most important, perks of the job are always appreciated and don't have to break the bank. Free refreshments, Friday beers, gym memberships, fuel cards etc can go a long way to maintain motivation.
Train Management - Business owners and managers want to be the best leaders possible. But it's not always easy when team sizes change and you aren't working under one roof everyday. So ensure those in higher positions have the skills they need to retain staff. Leadership & management skills, conflict resolution, onboarding remotely etc... are all things management should be skilled in. If not, invest in eLearning.
So if you're a member of HR, Learning and Development, or a business owner reading this, it's up to you all to ensure your company is competitive. Of course, resignations will always happen, you can't predict every worker's needs or ambitions. But being a company that cares for the workforce, gives them the benefits they deserve, and nurtures their careers, will see you retain a lot more staff than the global average!
Now, we can't help you source an office dog, or move your new pingpong table through the office door, but we can help you with training.
With over 300,000 training courses in 18 languages in countless subjects, we can provide you with the best training for your staff and give you the analytics to see the success of the courses you choose.
Lastly, if you're interested in the potential impact that learning can have in your business then join our upcoming webinar on 30th November.