The Great Resignation



The Great Resignation
As the Covid-19 pandemic transformed the social, cultural, political and economic state of the world, individuals were forced to adapt to a new unprecedented state of normal. However, amongst the frequent lockdowns, quarantines, mask mandates and QR code check-ins that became part of our everyday life, no one could have anticipated the mass exodus from jobs – a phenomenon that has since been coined The Great Resignation.
What is The Great Resignation?

2021 marked the year where workers left their jobs at historic rates. The phenomenon was driven by economic and psychological factors, as employers attempted and failed to keep staff industries that treat them as indispensable and less than valuable. Increased work from home and hybrid working environments have also afforded workers with more time to explore personal interests and hobbies. This, combined with mounting anti-work sentiments and external health and wellbeing anxieties, have led to many leaving their jobs in search of larger personal fulfilment and happiness.

According to the survey by The Adecco Group, Australian workers are the most burnt out in the world with 53% having had to take leave for their mental health.

“Since the beginning of FY22, we have observed that professionals in Australia are prioritising the purpose of the company and the role [as opposed] to the remuneration or the employer brand name,” said Leo Denes, Australiance founder.

A lack of purpose in a role is causing people to leave “and it has really changed from the previous generations were you would spend your whole career with the same company.”

Research conducted by Deloitte and PwC also found that feelings of restlessness and a demand for more flexible working arrangements is causing employees to seek out new positions, and predicting that up to 40% of workers will change jobs in the next 12 months.

While the reason for The Great Resignation is largely varied, the impact that the pandemic had on work culture is undeniable with many calling it a “wake-up call” that had them second guessing their jobs. With burnout, stress, general dissatisfaction and mental health strain increasing exponentially, it is clear that there are lessons companies and employers must learn from to better support employees.

What are some things we can learn?

Working from home and hybrid environments have demonstrated that our work and personal lives have become more entangled than ever before. Beyond this, it has demonstrated that employees are the backbone of companies and are fundamental to the maintenance of business. So, it is more important than ever for employees to provide staff with sufficient infrastructure to support them through tough times. Providing free and accessible counselling and guidance services for employees and their loved ones who may be experiencing mental health issues is imperative. Additionally, building employee networks where staff can gather and learn mindfulness skills, or enjoying social workshop activities will create a more supportive environment.

Implementing cultural changes will not be easy, however, employers must be proactive, as it is only through the building of trust that companies can combat The Great Resignation.

“As highlighted in the Episode 3 of our video series on How to attract, retain and incentivise top talents for your startup, employers should be as transparent as possible on their company vision, mission and culture at all stage of the recruitment process,” said Denes.

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