Notebook paper that reads, I Quit

When the stock market crashed in 1929, it ushered in a decade-long era known as the Great Depression. When the U.S. housing market bubble burst during the late 2000s, it brought us the Great Recession. Now, in 2021, as pandemic concerns begin to recede and workers are being asked to return to the office, the Great Resignation is upon us.

Also known as the Big Quit, the Great Resignation is the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below, we look at some of the main causes of the Great Resignation, examine the wants of workers and how employers can improve their retention rates, and explain how PSCI can be of assistance to those dealing with open positions.

Causes of the Great Resignation

The pandemic has given people all sorts of reasons to search for new employment. There are low wage workers who are seeking better pay, workers who fear returning to their places of work due to unsafe working conditions, and others who were waiting out the chaos of the pandemic before quitting their jobs.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the entire world to take a step back. As labor statistics show, many have reevaluated what it is they want out of a job, with the majority seeking to maintain the same level of work-life balance they’ve achieved over the past 18 months.

But, while that’s an easy explanation for the Great Resignation, the real problem – which the pandemic helped to magnify – goes far deeper.

According to Gallup research, nearly half (48%) of all American workers are actively looking to change jobs. Salary and COVID-19 safety concerns, though, are only part of the reason why. The main problem, they concluded, is employee disengagement. The three main reasons for that, being:

  1. Not seeing opportunities for development
  2. Not feeling connected to the company’s purpose
  3. Not having strong relationships at work

In order for employers to retain their employees, and stem the tide of the Great Resignation, those are the areas they’ll need to focus on.

What Workers Want

In this new era of work, employees are placing themselves first. If organizations don’t offer a good work-life balance, fair treatment, and a working environment deemed safe, they’ll have issues retaining and attracting employees.

What workers really want is to be trusted and to be managed by empathetic leaders. They want to work for companies whose managers understand the challenges they face, that’ll work with them when issues arise, and that trust them to get their work done.

They want to work for companies who are part of the community. They want to know that the work they’re doing is really making a difference.

They want to work for companies that are invested in their growth, companies that’ll invest in training and education opportunities designed for them to further their career.

They want to be recognized. 63% of workers surveyed said they are unlikely to look for a new job if they are regularly recognized.

They want room for growth. A study of more than 400,000 people published in Harvard Business Review found that when employees believe promotions are managed effectively, employee turnover rates are half that of other companies in the same industry.

Employers who do take steps to create an environment where associates feel safe, valued, and are offered a more flexible working arrangement, stand a better chance at coming out ahead.

How PSCI Can Help

Even when organizations are able to offer all of the above, there’s never a 100% guarantee in employee retention. When organizations are left with a multitude of unfilled roles, they can turn to companies such as PSCI to help them fill the void. With our market knowledge, talent pipelines, and years of experience finding and placing top local talent, we’re well positioned to handle the hiring needs faced by a business.

When you do partner with PSCI, you’re not only privy to our extensive market knowledge and talent pipelines, but options exist that’ll help make your positions easier and more cost effective to fill. Benefits such as lower overhead, quicker hires, and the option to try before you buy (contract-to-hire).

So, as you experience hiring needs, whether caused by the Great Resignation or not, don’t hesitate to contact our offices for help in staffing your open roles.

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