Hitting the US in 2021, the “Great Resignation” is set to hit Australian shores in March 2022. While it may sound like a sweeping statement, research is repeatedly showing that around 40% of the workforce – at least – is currently looking for a new job.
While this could be seen as a negative situation, it actually provides a superb opportunity for employers to re-evaluate their working environment and working culture, in order to attract and retain the best talent.
It seems there are three prime reasons behind the forthcoming “Great Resignation”, all of which have been triggered by the pandemic.
During a downturn, such as in the recent pandemic, employers often freeze recruitment, streamline staff numbers, reduce training spend and put a hold on pay increases. While employees may have understood and sympathised with such measures at the beginning of the pandemic, as the months have progressed and employers have not reinstated benefits, many employees have become disillusioned. They are, however, waiting for the economy to stabilise before changing jobs.
Re-evaluation of priorities
The pandemic has prompted many people to re-evaluate what’s important to them. This has resulted in a workforce seeking “valuable” employment – jobs that make a difference and provide value in the community.
Increasingly, people are looking for purpose-driven roles that align with their values. As such, it’s a good time for businesses to consider their own vision and mission statements – what do they stand for? What do they believe in? How do they uphold these values? Is this being conveyed to the workforce?
The desire for flexibility
The pandemic opened many employers’ eyes to the benefits of flexible and hybrid working. People realised what could be achieved in the two hours per day they used to spend commuting – and they wanted such flexibility to continue. People began to appreciate working from a quiet, sunny study and going for a jog at a lunchtime, while starting earlier in the morning or later in the evening, depending on individual body clocks.
Now they’ve experienced such flexibility, it’s very hard for employees to return to Monday to Friday, 9-5 office working, with a long commute on either side.
Ask the questions
Now is a great time to consider whether you’re offering a workplace that will entice and retain employees. If employees do leave, then take the time to find out why. Exit interviews are extremely valuable for discovering how you can better attract and retain staff into the future.
If employees do resign
Accept that some employees will move on, regardless of the attractiveness and flexibility of your workplace. As such, ensure your resignation process are in place. Remember, you may have to pay:
- Any outstanding wages
- The balance of any time off accrued in lieu of overtime
- Unused annual leave
- Unused long-service leave
- Notice pay
If you need help navigating employee resignations, the HR Dept is here to help.