How to respond to the Great Resignation

How to respond to the Great Resignation

The current climate is not quite post-pandemic, but we have come along way since March 2020. The workplace has changed in ways we could never have imagined and one of the key changes evident since Covid-19 struck is the empowerment of employees. The current job market is skewed in favour of candidates, and many of them know it. The Great Resignation has come to represent a huge number of people voluntarily resigning and moving to new roles since 2021.

Understanding The Great Resignation

The term was first used by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University and has come to mean the phenomena which started in 2021. Professor Klotz’s term came into use as 4.5 million Americans resigned from their roles by November 2021 and we’re seeing similar in the UK.

The Great Resignation has been driven by a number of factors, all closely linked to the Coronavirus pandemic. They include:

  • Returning to the office – many employees prefer the flexibility working from home has offered and are seeking new roles to make it permanent.
  • Relocation – there has been a significant increase in people moving to the countryside from large urban areas, leaving their former job roles empty.
  • Career change – the pandemic gave people a lot of time to think. Many used this time to rethink their working prospects, even considering retraining and moving into a new industry.
  • Impact of illness – Long Covid is a recognised side effect of the virus and many people have been hit by this debilitating long-term condition. In turn, it may mean resigning to find a more suitable job to manage alongside the health condition.
  • There are other factors, including individual circumstances, but the culmination is a work environment where employees have the confidence to move on swiftly. This can be difficult for businesses to manage and have an impact on overstaff staff turnover.

    Effective Responses to the Great Resignation

    To combat the effects of the Great Resignation, businesses need to invest in their people and work on their retention rates. You need your company to be attractive and offer something that keeps employees happy and satisfied in their roles. Options to consider include:

    Flexibility
    Have you asked your employees if they want to return to the office? Some people may be looking forward to a full return, others may prefer working from home and some people may be in the middle. If your business can accommodate a hybrid approach to the working week this could satisfy everyone’s requirements.

    Finance
    If the market trend is towards higher salaries and benefits than your organisation is offering, it is clear why people are moving on. While you may not be able to compete in every instance, where there is space for financial improvements and increased benefits for your employees, it may be worth it to retain them.

    Development
    Upskilling and reskilling your employees keeps them keen. It also adds value to their work and makes them feel like an important and useful asset to the company. Investing in relevant and interesting training to help your employee’s career progression and development is a key determining factor in whether they stick with your company. LinkedIn’s 2020 Global Talent Trends Report found companies with high scores for employee training have 53% lower employee attrition. Investing in your employees goes a long way to building loyalty and retaining their talents.

    Getting Past the Great Resignation
    There are several factors influencing the Great Resignation. The life-changing impact of Coronavirus has seen many of us revaluate many aspects of our lives, including work. Companies committed to retaining their best employees must consider their expectations and demands fairly, and look for ways to provide a workplace where employees want to stay.