The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era: The Great Resignation. It’s a term first coined in 2019 to predict a mass, voluntary exodus from the workforce—and it’s here and it’s now. Employers and employees both are still reeling from the disruption that this public health crisis has caused, from workplace safety concerns and family care responsibilities to lockdowns, shutdowns, and remote work.
With more than 9 million job openings in the US, businesses of all sizes and various industries are having a hard time finding workers. To further complicate matters, people are quitting their jobs at an unprecedented rate. In just the time period from April through June 2021, the US Department of Labor reported that 11.5 million workers left their jobs. There are several studies showing that this trend is likely to continue for at least the next year.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the results from recent surveys about worker attitudes including who is leaving, why they’re leaving, and what they’re looking for. Discover why it’s important for your business to adjust your talent management strategy now to minimize employee resignations and increase retention.
Roughly half of Americans are looking for new job opportunities
According to Bankrate’s August job seeker survey, 55% of Americans in the workforce said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months and 28% who say they’re currently not looking for a new job expect to search for a new job at some point in the next year. This survey also revealed that job flexibility was the number one reason why workers are looking for new opportunities.
Recent Gallup research found that 48% of employees are actively searching for a new job. What’s most surprising is that workers in all job categories from customer-facing service roles to highly professional positions are participating in the job hunt. Much has been said about how time spent at home allowed people to reevaluate their jobs and lives. Gallup research showed that employees of all generations rank “the organization that care about employees’ wellbeing” in their top three criteria—and it was the number one priority for millennials and Generation Z.
In fact, a new global study found that this massive wave of resignations is largely driven by Generation Z and millennials. According to this study from Adobe, more than half of Gen Z is looking for a new job in the next year, which is more than any other generation, and they were the least satisfied with their jobs overall. 66% of Gen Z and 73% of Millennials said they will switch jobs to get more control over their work schedule.
Money talks, but the Great Resignation is about more than money
High turnover seems to be everywhere these days and businesses are trying what they can to lure in workers including signing bonuses, raises, and even retention bonuses. So why isn’t this enough to stem the tide? Jennifer Glass, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, notes that the labor force is currently experiencing two things: retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. When workers were home full-time, they realized they could get by on less and many liked being home and enjoyed the easier schedule. This time at home caused so many people to reevaluate their jobs and ask: Is this the best job for me? Best employer for me? Am I spending too much time commuting? Do I have too much stress? In fact, according to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 74% said that the time spent at home during the pandemic caused them to rethink their current work situation.
That’s why forward-thinking business leaders are asking questions and listening to their employees to help navigate this new environment. Here’s what they’re doing:
Asking employees for their input about what’s working and what’s not.
Uncovering employee pain points and figuring out how to relieve them.
Taking action on employee feedback.
Communicating honestly about what is happening in their organization.
5 practical tips to attract and retain top talent
Many of the best ways to attract top talent and keep your best employees haven’t changed. Rather, the pandemic has merely amplified the importance of going the extra mile. Here are some practical ways to improve employee retention:
Provide flexibility and keep remote working options. Now that the pandemic has demonstrated that remote work can be successful, businesses must maintain flexible work arrangements to meet expectations and increase employee satisfaction.
Know what your employees want and deliver. It’s important to recognize that your business needs to “support the whole person—whether that’s through flexibility, a wide range of benefits, financial stability, or meaningful projects to keep them engaged.”
Embrace ongoing employee development efforts. Employees want to feel valued and recognized as an important part of your business success. Ongoing education, training, and promotion is an important aspect of retaining top talent.
Offer competitive compensation. Even though many workers are switching jobs to find greater flexibility and fulfillment, compensation is still an important factor. With inflation running hot, employers must address wage pressures to keep the best employees.
Understand that some turnover will happen; be prepared. In a competitive environment, turnover is going to happen. That’s why it’s important to perform succession planning and put your business in a good position to recruit from outside if needed. Be sure to build your reputation as an employer of choice in your region or industry.
Asure is here to help
Asure provides solutions that help businesses like yours attract and retain the right talent to help your company grow. Asure’s solutions support the entire employee experience lifecycle—from recruitment through offboarding. More than 80,000 businesses rely on Asure to help them build a team that shares their vision and has the skills and passion to take business to the next level.