Many organisations have been left reeling from trying to understand how to survive the great resignation or attempting to rationalise it in the context of their industry.
Some will claim that the Great Resignation transcends Covid-19 and is an inevitable side-effect of late stage capitalism. Others will argue that calling the recent surge in people resigning from their jobs the Great Resignation isn’t accurate, as a more honest description would be the Great Reshuffle. Perhaps lockdown forced people to re-evaluate their lives, resulting in a mass exodus as they changed career paths.
Whatever the Great Resignation cause or true essence, one thing is certain: there has been an increased rate of workers resigning from their jobs since the pandemic.
For organisations across the world, the Great Resignation poses numerous uncertainties, but it is hardly a warning of a forthcoming doomsday. In fact, there are valuable lessons that we can learn from it to ensure that we improve our organisation’s structure going forwards.
What is the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation has become a kind of buzzword to describe an increased rate of workers resigning from their jobs following the pandemic. But what exactly is it?
To put it simply, the Great Resignation was caused by Covid-19 lockdowns. The pandemic made many people rethink their job or question the consuming role work plays in their life. In March and April 2020, many employees around the world were fired or made redundant as organisations hurriedly reshuffled their budgets to prepare for Covid-19.
The Great Resignation was first noticed in the US, where resignation rates plummeted as millions of employees left their employment in April 2020. Some people quit work altogether, others ‘downsized’ their career so it would take up a less subsuming part of their life, and the rest simply changed to a job that they believed better aligned with their values or lifestyle.
Whether the Great Resignation is slowing or speeding up is still up for debate. However, the culture that once dictated individuals to stay at a business for a large portion of their life has completely vanished.
What is causing the Great Resignation?
There are many causes of the Great Resignation that spurred from the pandemic. Many people who worked in the medical industry or service jobs quit due to increased stress and unreasonable demands from their management.
In other industries, there are three main causes that have inspired people to participate in the Great Resignation:
Insufficient pay is a major driver of the Great Resignation and decreasing employee retention rates.
Australia is currently the 12th most expensive country to live in, and Sydney is famously the world’s second most expensive housing market. The cost of living is rising higher than wage growth, which has left many Australians in a vulnerable place.
Companies are generally reluctant to increase wages, instead finding it more profitable on their behalf to give employees bonuses and benefits. Low pay has resulted in a growing number of employ
Lack of growth opportunities
Nobody wants a dead-end job. It can be difficult to remain inspired at work if your job consists of a relentless repetition of the same task every day. If employees feel tired in their job or are not provided with guidance on how their career could grow if they stay within their organisation, chances are they will want to find a new job that offers them something new and exciting.
ack of recognition or respect at work
Almost a quarter of workers who resign cite a lack of recognition as one of their driving reasons for leaving. Recognition directly improves workplace culture, meaning a work environment that doesn’t promote positive feedback, will inevitably result in employees feeling insecure and unappreciated.
How to combat the great resignation and attract top talent
Now that we’ve covered the root causes of the Great Resignation, it may seem inevitable that organisations will have to accept spending an ever-increasing amount of time organising recruitment and training. However, the Great Resignation is hardly a death sentence.
Think of the Great Resignation as the opposite of a Trojan horse. While it may appear daunting from the outside, it actually offers an opportunity to improve current processes and the overall workplace culture. Creating genuine change will not only increase your organisation’s productivity, but will also ensure your employees’ working life is more enjoyable and enriching.
Offer hybrid work arrangements
Nowadays, most people expect that their workplace will accommodate hybrid working arrangements.
Covid-19 taught us that hybrid work is not only achievable, but is in fact directly linked to certain benefits including improved work-life balance, greater productivity and a cut down on travel expenses.
Offering your employees the option to work both remotely and in office illustrates that your organisation is both flexible in its processes. It is also a positive sign that management trusts its employees’ autonomy.
Demonstrate your company supports employees and recognises achievements
Have you ever worked extremely hard on something only to get no praise? It can be frustrating to feel like nobody appreciates or even notices your hard work.
Organisations wanting to know how to prevent the Great Resignation should first prioritise creating an environment that actively encourages positive feedback that’s more genuine and personalised than just the occasional ‘great job’. Facilitating a culture of feedback on both a peer-to-peer level and a manager-to-employee level will result in a more genuine, honest working environment.
Shout-outs in emails or team meetings can be a fun way of demonstrating that your company recognises achievements.
Offer competitive salary packages and benefits
As we mentioned above, one of the primary reasons employees will leave an organisation is due to low pay.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this: competitive salary packages and benefits.
Employees will appreciate working for a business that is willing to offer competitive salary packages and benefits. Increasing salaries is an investment in your company’s success, as wage growth is one of the biggest contributors to increased productivity.
While benefits are not an alternative to competitive salaries, they can act as a further incentive for employees. Benefits may include provided meals, coffee machines, study reimbursements, novelty work environments (such as a games room or an office bar), flexible working arrangements, extra leave, mental health services, gym membership or commuter subsidisation.
Keep up to date with technology trends
Technology makes life easier for workers, so it’s crucial that your organisation displays a willingness to incorporate new and exciting technologies to keep staff engaged.
Outdated technologies can negatively impact productivity and result in further costs down the line for repairs and maintenance. New technology makes work easier for everyone. Modern technology also demonstrates that your organisation is modern and ahead of the times – a particularly useful sentiment to engage with when marketing your business or recruiting
Promote an inclusive and socially responsible company vision
People want to feel good about the place that they work. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that 62% of Generation Z (people born after 1997) want to work in a company with values that match their own.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives illustrate that your company is committed to diversity and is making a concerted effort to provide employees with the necessary tools for succeeding. Other programs and policies such as corporate volunteering and sustainability initiatives can also help your employees to feel proud of their job.
Experiment with new recruitment and hiring processes
If you are consistently losing staff, then there may be systemic problems associated with your recruitment process that are resulting in non-ideal staff being hired. Take a step back and analyse your employee onboarding process by following these five easy tips:
- Ensure that your job descriptions are completely accurate and provide the whole description of the role. Summarise what your company is about and let the candidate know the highlights of the company, as well as what a typical day in their role will look like
- Update your careers page and online presence. Make sure that the careers page is up-to-date and doesn’t include any job offers that were filled months ago.
- Get involved in job boards and social media. Social media posts that illustrate the benefits of working at your organisation can attract potential talent.
- Improve your background check strategies. Only conduct checks for applicants that reach the final point of the hiring process to save time and money.
- Finally, it’s important to remember that attitude is sometimes more important than skills. People can be trained on skills but can’t be trained on personality.
Optimise your company’s recruitment processes
Recruitment is one of the most important challenges all organisations face, with lasting impacts that can dramatically shape the future success of your company.
Ensure your next recruitment project ends with the best employee for the job being welcomed to your organisation. PerformHR’s tried-and-tested PHR strategy session is designed to provide organisations with the right tools to create a strategic roadmap that aligns with their specific business objectives and values.Get in touch with our expert HR project support team today and discover how simple it can be to transform your company’s recruitment processes during the Great Resignation.