Is the Great Resignation over?

The Great Retirement – ​​which saw droves of workers leave their jobs or switch careers in the post-pandemic era – is far from over, and workplace loyalty could be “a thing of the past,” as one industry expert puts it.

According to a recent survey by Microsoft, 52% of young people surveyed, namely Gen Z workers and Millennials, said they would likely consider changing employers this year. That is 3% more than in the previous year.

Microsoft refers to Gen Z as those between the ages of 18 and 26 and Millennials as those between the ages of 27 and 41

In contrast, only 35% of Gen Xers (aged 42-55) and Boomers (aged 56-75) are considering changing jobs.

The global survey, conducted among 31,102 full-time employees or the self-employed, was not the only indicator that the Great Resignation will last.

Almost 7 in 10 Brits are, according to another survey by recruiter Randstad UK Employees say they are confident of moving to a new job in the next few months, and only 16% of employees say they are worried about finding a new job.

“The big retirement is here and loyalty in the workplace is a thing of the past,” said Victoria Short, CEO of Randstad UK.

“The pandemic has changed how some people think about life and work and what they expect from both.”

Companies still don’t get it right

While the pandemic was the impetus for the Great Resignation, the phenomenon will continue to take “various shapes and forms” in the period ahead, said Gia Ganesh, vice president of people and culture at Florence Healthcare.

Also dubbed the Great Reshuffle, LinkedIn says it’s a “watershed moment” for company culture. Employees are willing to part with jobs that don’t meet their needs, the professional networking firm said in the 2022 Global Talent Trends Report.

When we as a society start aligning our practices with how we treat people, with how our work environments are structured, the Great Reorganization will end.

Gia Ganesh

Vice President of People and Culture, Florence Healthcare

According to the Microsoft survey, the top five aspects of work that employees rate as “very important” are a positive culture, mental health or well-being benefits, a sense of purpose, flexible working hours, and more than two weeks of paid vacation per year.

“This phenomenon will continue for a while because employees still want to be paid fairly. They still want to have the right work environment and get the right job opportunities,” Ganesh explained.

“When we as a society start aligning our practices with how we treat people, with how our work environments are structured, the Great Restructuring will end,” she said.

That’s easier said than done, however, as some companies “still don’t get it right,” said Amy Zimmerman, Relay Payments’ chief people officer.

Businessman on video call from home during

Maki Nakamura | digital vision | Getty Images

The two things that companies are still missing: flexible working arrangements and being in touch with the individual needs of employees, she said.

“Everyone has their own bucket list of things they want from a company they work for, and when companies backfire on their commitments, there are too many options for people not to look elsewhere and find a company that that can meet their needs.”

While nearly 4.3 million people in the US quit their jobs in January, there were also 11.3 million job openings, according to the latest US Labor Department report.

What employees want

Microsoft’s survey showed that a lack of a promotion or raise was the seventh reason employees quit in 2021.

“The power dynamic is shifting and perks like free food and a corner office are no longer what people value most,” it added.

1. Flexibility

According to the survey, what employees really want is flexibility. The survey found that 52% of workers are thinking of moving to a full-time remote or hybrid job in 2022.

In particular, flexible working appears to be a major incentive for young workers. The survey found that Gen Z employees are 77% likely to engage with a company post on LinkedIn when “flexibility” is mentioned. This compares to 30% for Millennials.

2. Secondary employment

The appeal of flexible work arrangements lies in the side hustles and creative projects employees can pursue beyond their “day job,” Microsoft said.

Invest in your employees, make sure you give them work that appeals to them, that challenges and challenges them.

Amy Zimmerman

Chief People Officer, Relay Payments

It is reported that 70% of Gen Z are considering earning extra income outside of their current employer through a side project or business in the coming year.

3. Diversity

Gen Z employees also value purposeful work environments, diversity and inclusion much more than their older counterparts, Ganesh said.

“Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords, but it really means a lot to them. Gen Z people value being their authentic selves and bringing their whole selves to work. The company needs to provide a culture where it’s safe to be who you are,” she added.

What employers can do

The Big Resignation has opened up opportunities for workers to negotiate higher wages, and Randstad said employers should start “reexamining their pay levels”.

However, quick fixes like a bigger paycheck may not be as effective as companies would like.

With the job market heating up and the Great Retirement still in full swing, here are some ways employers can try to retain their employees.

Woman working at home talks to virtual assistant

Martin-dm | E+ | Getty Images

Businesses can consider a “counter-intuitive approach” to retaining and attracting employees by making customer satisfaction their top priority, wrote Bain & Co’s Darci Darnell and Maureen Burns in the book Winning on Purpose.

“Great employees don’t just want a job, they want to have a meaningful purpose — and in our experience, they want the opportunity to enrich the lives they touch,” the authors said.

Given a variety of factors at play in retaining talent, perhaps the easiest thing for companies to do is ask employees what they value, said Florence Healthcare’s Ganesh.

“It is very important to understand from the employees what keeps you here today? What can another company offer you that makes you think about leaving us?”

Zimmerman agreed, saying companies should conduct “on-site interviews” every 4 to 6 months to ensure they stay on top of their employees’ needs as they evolve.

“Invest in your people, make sure you give them work that appeals to them, that challenges and challenges them. When people start getting stagnant, they start getting bored and they start looking elsewhere.”

Do not miss: How to use the big resignation if you really like your job and want to stay

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