Written by Keerthana Sreenivasan, Partner at Supertrends Institute
The pandemic has prompted many people to reconsider what employment entails, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. The result is a significant spike in resignations. More than 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, CNBC reported earlier this year, and almost half of the workforce intends to make a major pivot or change jobs.
This trend of people looking for a change is often referred to as “The Great Resignation.” The 2020 pandemic shifted some workers’ priorities, motivating them to pursue their “dream job,” follow their passion or transfer to being a stay-at-home parent. However, for many, the choice to leave was motivated by how their employer treated them during the pandemic.
What influences the attrition rate?
When people decide to quit and begin to look for another job, your chances of keeping them are substantially reduced. At that stage, you might have already lost the fight. An early August survey conducted by PWC found that 65% of employees said they are looking for a new job, and 88% of executives said their company is experiencing higher turnover than normal. The top reason employees gave for considering quitting was to get paid more, but they’re also looking for better benefits, career advancement, and more flexibility.
It is human nature to want to be acknowledged and to feel valued. Some employees would rather quit and start over in a new industry than remain in a job where they felt undervalued and unrecognized. In a survey conducted by Workest, of more than 600 US businesses with 50-500 employees, 63.3% of companies say retaining employees is actually harder than hiring them. Employee satisfaction is pivotal in motivating individuals to stay. In order to stay on the job, employees need to have relationships with other people in the workplace, and the work-life needs to be balanced with their personal life. According to a 2017 study, 74 percent of younger employees would accept a pay cut for a chance to work at their ideal job, and 23 percent of those seeking a job wouldn’t need a pay increase to take a new position.
With the rise of work-from-home, more people have had time to reflect on their future and identify what really motivates them. It isn’t uncommon for employees to quit for a variety of reasons, ranging from not wanting to return to the office after getting used to remote work to realizing the job isn’t right for them. In contrast, others may be simply exhausted trying to balance everything during the pandemic. According to Bankrate’s August job seeker survey, 55% of people in the workforce, meaning that they’re currently working or actively looking for employment, said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.
Pandemic-an opportunity to reset
The pursuit of success can be attributed to any number of passions to which we can dedicate our lives. As human beings, we have an innate desire to follow something we love. As a result, many employees seem to be pursuing passion projects to help find financial freedom during these testing times. According to the Daily Mail, 74% of Americans have also quit a job to pursue their passion – with careers in retail, hospitality, and finance the least popular. Over the years, our mindset has evolved to meet the needs of the rest of the world. As the pandemic has slowed down our lives, people have had time to think about what they want to do rather than what the world expects of them – a mental reset that has empowered individuals seeking something more.
A hope for a promising future
Being able to survive failure is part of a broader set of developable skills that some people are more adept at learning. In today’s competitive world, a 9-5 job isn’t always going to cut it for every employee. As a result of The Great Resignation, many employees will be driven to take on new roles and challenges. By following their passion and adapting to their new lifestyle, we will see a positive shift in mentality. Hopefully, the consequences of The Great Resignation will be an eye-opener to companies, so that they make positive changes in the way they work and prioritize the mental health and concerns of their employees.
Now we would like to hear from you:
“How do you see the Great Resignation bringing about long-term, substantial change in the workplace culture and the way businesses invest in their employees?”