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3 Ways Businesses Can Combat The Great Resignation

Posted 01/14/22

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It’s no surprise that the Great Resignation is the still a hot topic. When businesses are being hit with a tidal wave of resignations and operating with a “short staff” its going to remain top of mind. Business owners, managers and HR departments are looking for creative strategies to attract and retain their workforce. In this article we will give 3 ways that Businesses Can Combat the Great Resignation from an HR perspective.  

What is the Great Resignation?

The “The Great Resignation, as defined by Wikipedia is an economic trend in which employees voluntarily resign from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021, primarily in the United States.” As HR professionals we are solution driven and here to offer some advice on how to attract and retain top talent in this new world.


Why You Should Care about the Great Resignation?

At this point if a business hasn’t experienced the worker shortage, it's not a matter of if but when. A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September 2021. “ The number of Americans quitting has now exceeded pre-pandemic highs for six straight months.”. This number is staggering and scary for many reasons.

What's Causing the Great Resignation?

In order to find a solution, we need to dig into what is causing the Great Resignation. There are a lot of varying factors by industry, age, and experience levels. Finding common threads in the data is all we can go off of. Common reasons for voluntary resignation are as follows.

Burnout

The pandemic effects will live on for years in terms of mental health and burnout. This is especially prevalent in workplaces that experienced increased demand during the pandemic. Employers that didn’t provide sufficient support for their workers during the hardest times are ones suffering the most now. A company’s culture plays a direct role in an employees need to feel supported. When they don’t feel supported or cared about it leads to indifference and indifference leads to resignations.

Mental Health

The Covid-19 Pandemic has really taken a toll on the mental health of many. Some news outlets are even calling the Mental Health crisis a Pandemic in a Pandemic. Managers and non-managers alike are stating they are leaving their jobs for the sake of their mental health.

Work/Life Balance

Whether you like it or not, flexible work is here to stay. The way we work has changed dramatically over the last 2 years. Some people realized they got more done at home,  enjoyed family dinners or simply liked having more flexibility to decide when and how they would perform their jobs. Those freedoms and experiences stuck with people as the return to work policies were enacted around the country. A staggering one third of people reported that work-life balance was better at the height of the pandemic than it is now.

Self-Employment

The pandemic woke up the inner-entrepreneur in some folks, especially of those ages 30-45. They have the experience and have a “now or never” attitude. The Labor Department’s data shows that there are now a half of million more, self-employed workers than there were pre-pandemic.

Stagnant Pay

We have to address what many feel is causing the Great resignation, pay.  Burnout has been stated the number 1 cause but pay certainly matters. Are people seizing the moment and ditching jobs where pay has been stagnant for a long period of time? Yes, yes they are.

Who’s Causing the Great Resignation?

No business or employee is immune to the Great Resignation. Like most things, it varies by industry and position. The Harvard Business Review conducted a study on 9 million employee records from 4,000 companies and here are the most recent trends.

Resignation rates are highest among mid-career employees. As you can imagine employees 30-45 years old had the greatest resignation rate YOY, roughly 20%. While turnover is typically highest among younger employees but YOY 20-25 year old resignations actually decreased.

Resignations are also highest in Tech and and Healthcare. It appears that industries that had increased demand during the pandemic are directly tied to resignation rates. No surprise, because when people are increasing their workloads they are more likely to experience burnout.

Plan of Action to Combat the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has no signs of slowing down anytime soon. What can we do right now to fill our open positions and keep our best and brightest employees.

1) Create a Supportive Culture

Its been said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Companies are in business to make money but your workforce wants to feel cared about and supported. How can you meet employees half-way.

  • Encourage Vacations
  • Create a culture of leaving work at work
  • Balance work-loads
  • Invest in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts
  • Start a mentorship program
  •  Invest in your employees period.

2) Create an Engaged Workforce

  • Invest in training and development of people who manage people
  •  Build a culture of appreciation
  • Show employees that their work matters by aligning their roles with the organization goals.
  • Show Your Employees that You Care
  • Create a culture of free thinking and empowerment. People want to feel heard and valued

3) Pay

  • Take care of your best and brightest talent. People are evaluating stagnant wages
  • Reward performance and longevity
  • Increase minimum starting wages. If not possible include fringe benefits like flexibility and perks.

As we are finding our footing in this “post- pandemic world”. Practice kindness and humility. When things get hard “phone a friend” or the HR professionals at AlignHR. We are here to help.