The Great Resignation: What Companies Should Do Next

Also known as the “Big Quit”, the Great Resignation refers to the recent wave of millions upon millions of Americans quitting their jobs. This unprecedented phenomenon has turned the tables, leaving employers questioning what they can do to keep their employees onboard—is there a solution?

In this article

What Is the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation is one of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market, with roughly 48 million Americans quitting their jobs last year. This trend appears to be an ongoing one, as January 2022 saw a quit figure of 4.3 million, and the current quit rate stands at 23% higher than that of pre-pandemic times.

Why Are So Many People Quitting Their Jobs?

With the number of quitters in the millions, it’s only natural to expect the motivations behind the quittings to be many and varied from one person to the other. Quitting in favour of landing a better job, including pay, flexibility and treatment, has been cited as one of the major reasons behind the surge of employees opting to leave.

Forbes has dubbed the phenomenon as “The Great Talent Migration” owing to the shift it has seen in employees quitting their jobs and taking their talent to other employers that had a more lucrative offer. A good work-life balance has become a non-negotiable for today’s employees, as well as good compensation and benefits.

The Great Resignation: What Companies Should Do Next

How Employers Can Evade Talent Loss

Whilst the Great Resignation continues to be an unprecedented occurrence to face the labour market, employee turnover is nothing new. However the overwhelming rates of employees quitting as of late have left talent acquisition specialists questioning what can be done, if anything, to not only attract talent, but to retain it also.

Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to conquering this novel labour market issue, there are measures that companies can take in an effort to minimise their loss of talent during such a critical time.

1. Offering Flexible Working Conditions

Now more than ever, employees are prioritising the flexibility of their employment: hours, location, and everything in between. What used to be the nonnegotiable of physically coming into the office and clocking in is becoming more and more of a choice for many employees. By giving their workers the option to work from home, a cafe, or Portugal while visiting old friends, employers can capitalise on what some employees value more than other perks or pay: the freedom to be flexible. With around 90% of employees desiring hybrid or remote work, this is not something that can be easily overlooked.

2. Having Competitive Perks

They say that the grass is greener on the other side, and when it comes to attracting talent, perks are the determining factor of your grass’ greenness.

Flexible working conditions, which were mentioned above, are one of the most important employee benefits for satisfaction–a determining factor for employee retention. Retirement benefits, education benefits, and paid time off are also among the top benefits for attracting and retaining employees.

Other perks include health benefits, encompassing health insurance that your employees can rely on for their wellbeing. This makes them feel protected in both, the metaphorical and literal sense.

3. Fostering a Positive Corporate Culture

A company’s corporate culture essentially sets the tone for everything that the organisation does. If you’ve read our blog post on corporate culture, then you’re familiar with its impact on the motivation and productivity of employees. So it’s no surprise that corporate culture can be closely linked to employee attrition.

A good corporate culture means that the workplace is somewhere you are happy to be at, and a bad one will push employees to their breaking – or quitting – points. Not only is employee attrition a sign of poor corporate culture, but it also perpetuates it as employees quitting can raise alarm bells that call for others to consider following suit.

The Great Resignation: What Companies Should Do Next

Hiring the Right People Is More Important Than Ever

The Great Resignation serves as a reminder that companies need to have the right people behind them. Great employees are even greater supporters of the business that they work for. This makes them loyal and therefore much less likely to leave—especially during a time when the labour market is as sensitive as it is today.

It’s crucial to understand that employee retention starts with recruitment. During the screening process, measures can be taken to identify candidates that share your vision, goals, and make a good cultural fit. By recognizing aligning values, the right candidate that is most likely to stay the course of their employment is likely to be selected.

A hiring strategy such as implementing an employee referral program can do a fantastic job of enabling you to quickly tick off a lot of crucial boxes right off the bat. By taking on candidates that have been directly recommended by existing employees, you can rest assured that they are likely to be a good fit for the company and reflective of the employees you already have supporting your company. Unsurprisingly, this also encompasses loyal employees that you have managed to retain for some time—they are clearly happy with the workplace and so, are likely to foster loyalty and satisfaction amongst prospective and new hires.

Conclusion

The Great Resignation is a worrisome occasion for many employers, but it doesn’t have to be. Changing labour market conditions call for a response from employers to remain competitive and relevant amongst jobseekers. Employee retention is determined by a range of factors, which can essentially be traced back to satisfaction. Fostering a good corporate culture, having competitive perks, and implementing an effective recruitment strategy are just a few ways for companies to survive this trend of quitting employees.

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