The Next Big Workforce Challenge: The Great Resignation
“Am I living to work or working to live?”
The temporary halt that the coronavirus brought has reopened doors regarding worklife after covid. It also opened opportunities for people to know themselves better, to identify their desires and passions, and to seriously think about how they want their lives to look in a “post-COVID” world.
This past year has played a crucial role in the lives of many, especially those who used to work and continue to work 9-to-5 jobs. Many have been laid off – some temporarily, others permanently, as a result of the pandemic hitting local, nationwide, and global businesses.
The downtime and the change in working conditions have opened the eyes of many to the unhappiness and discontent employees may have ignored or tried to hide over the years.
Now that many see new possibilities, more people are taking a leap of faith. There are more employees quitting their jobs, making this season one of the major turning points in their lives.
Why is employee resignation on the rise?
While more countries are getting ready to say goodbye to pandemic restrictions once the government declares it, employees are also getting ready to move on and leave their current jobs this year.
COVID-19 may have taken the jobs of many, but it has also given employees the opportunity to assess the kind of relationship they want to have with work.
Jennifer Liu of Make It and Veronica Comb of TechRepublic identified some of the reasons for this “great resignation” as listed below:
- Employees want to keep working from home.
- Employees who are behind on rental payment are considering changing locations.
- Employees who have saved something up are considering changing careers to become entrepreneurs.
- Employees are concerned about their career advancement.
- Employees have rethought their skillset.
- Employees are tired of the lack of appreciation for the work they do.
- Employees refuse to endure poor employee management.
- Employees got a pay freeze or cut despite these challenging times.
- Employees are bored with their job.
- The discrimination between high-level executives and low-level employees became more evident as the company decides who can work from home with flexible hours and who should be physically present at work.
According to Time,
“The modern office was created after World War II, on a military model—strict hierarchies, created by men for men, with an assumption that there is a wife to handle duties at home.”
Now that another tragedy hit the globe that affected billions of people, the way things were run before the pandemic does not make sense to countless employees who used to work 9-to-5 jobs, five days a week.
Reassessment of company culture should be one of the main priorities – if not the top priority – of offices and workplaces.
The work-from-home setup has opened the reality of the broad disconnect between employers and employees. Employers have drastically underestimated the effect of toxic work culture, which is one of the primary reasons for employee resignation.
Furthermore, this new work arrangement also opened the eyes of many to the possibilities of providing for their family while staying with them at home.
According to the Chief of Research at Gartner HR, Brian Kropp, company leaders can choose to respond to the anticipated changes between these two approaches.
First, executives can explore, learn, and improve the hybrid approach.
Second, executives can dismiss any workplace changes and stick to their old ways.
Take a sneak peek into worklife after COVID
Employees who are leaving say they are looking for a new job with more flexibility, specifically those individuals that are offering a remote-work option.
If you choose the former, now is the best time to develop a company framework based on the hybrid approach. You can always tweak the system as you go along.
Below are some things to consider as you decide to be more proactive in engaging your employees and providing them with a better employee experience with the new setup of your post-COVID workforce.
Give clear rules about flexible working hours.
Be transparent about the principles behind the flexible working hours so that you and your employees both know what to expect from each other.
Give your employees the freedom and flexibility to choose their own hours and trust them to follow through with what needs to be done. A lack of autonomy may discourage employees, which can lead to turnover.
Adopt a hybrid setup: office + anywhere.
Before you announce how often your employees need to report at the office, you have to be sure that your number is justifiable. Employees will have a hard time understanding your reasoning if it is simply “because you said so.”
Be intentional about how to spend your time together. Give them reasons for being physically present by determining which tasks need to be done at the office or with colleagues.
Create focus groups and town halls to understand drivers of retention and pain points of employee experience.
Identifying drivers of retention and employee pain points are as essential today, after covid, as before the coronavirus happened. But before interviewing your focus group or handing out employee surveys, make sure that you have relayed the principles behind the new hybrid approach to your people.
By being transparent about your employees’ boundaries, you minimize misunderstandings and misinterpretations and maximize the potential of this new structure.
Build excitement for work after COVID
“Am I living to work or working to live?”
We hope that most are experiencing the latter, but many employees suffer the reality of living to work. Many are tired of being underappreciated, mismanaged, and not being compensated for the worth of their work. Thus, the “great resignation” is upon us.
Encourage your people to get excited to go back to work even though “going back to work” might only mean seeing them once or twice a week, meeting them via Zoom, or chatting on Slack.
Remember, happy people are productive people.
Heed the advice of J.P. Gownder, the vice president and principal analyst at Forrester:
“Making sure people have autonomy to do their jobs, are given the tools to do so effectively, and understand their purpose in the grand scheme always help retain top talent.”
Are you ready to increase employee engagement, organizational effectiveness, and performance? Churchill partners with you to provide best-in-class coaches and growth strategies for leader and team development. Start the conversation at 888-486-8884 or drop us an email at Solutions@Churchill-LG.com.
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