More than 100 million Americans transitioned from in-person to remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Pew Research. And over half of those workers hope to continue working remotely, at least part-time, once the pandemic ends. As employers force a return to normalcy, many workers are still wary of returning to the office. In fact, the pandemic has caused a record number of people to quit their jobs. This phenomenon is so noticeable that it’s being called the Great Resignation.
If you’re having trouble retaining employees or attracting new workers, you’re not alone. Roughly 41% of the global workforce is considering leaving their current employer this year, according to Microsoft Research. At the same time, human resources departments are reportedly having a more difficult time than usual filling jobs. Here’s what you should know as an employer when it comes to navigating the Great Resignation.
Five Trends Employers Should Know about the Great Resignation:
#1: Workers Want More Flexibility
Numerous studies show that most employees want to continue working remotely at least three days a week–even once it’s safe to return to the office. That means employers may need to offer more flexibility to keep existing employees happy and attract new ones.
Many employers have already begun to accommodate this ask. In fact, a recent KayoCloud survey found that over 80% of companies are embracing a hybrid model.
#2: Workers are Looking for a Sense of Meaning
According to a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, more than a quarter of employees surveyed said they took new jobs to find more purposeful and meaningful work. A PwC survey also revealed that a third of employees would trade a potential salary raise for paid time off to volunteer.
Of course, a sense of meaning and purpose looks different for everyone. However, understanding what employees value may be a good place to start when it comes to successfully navigating the Great Resignation.
#3: Some Employers May Need to Rethink Office Culture
A contributing factor to the Great Resignation is that many workers simply feel better working from home. Pew Research found that remote work has been a net positive when it comes to employees’ sense of belonging, satisfaction, and stress and anxiety at work, according to those surveyed.
This is mostly true for women and minority groups, who feel the need to conform to antiquated office culture. Indeed, some people of color report that working from home has been a nice break from office microaggressions. As employers strive to develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce, now may be an opportunity to reevaluate company culture as well.
#4: Employees Are on the Move
Remote work has sparked a mass exodus from traditional employment hot spots. One PwC survey found that 12% of workers have moved more than 50 miles away from their company’s core office location. Furthermore, another 22% are considering a similar move.
Many workers are moving away from expensive, crowded coastal cities for locations with cheaper housing and lower taxes. Many of these workers plan to stay put and find new jobs rather than return to their former offices. That means employers who previously had a large local talent pool available to them may need to cast a wider net moving forward.
#5: Remote Work Can Be a Double-Edged Sword for Employers
Remote job postings on LinkedIn have more than quintupled since the start of the pandemic, according to the Work Trend Index. And these jobs are enticing. In fact, 46% of remote workers say they plan to relocate since they no longer need to be physically in the office.
This can certainly be seen as an advantage for many employers. Many businesses can now recruit from a larger talent pool by offering remote work. On the other hand, as hybrid and full-time remote work become more commonplace, competition among employers is likely to rise. In other words, employers will have to find other ways to attract and retain good employees beyond remote work.
To be sure, not all employers will be impacted equally by the Great Resignation. Nevertheless, understanding worker preferences is essential for attracting and retaining talented employees.
Even if you’ve been fortunate in keeping employee turnover low, now may be the right time to reevaluate your culture and business practices. A strong workforce can be critical for the future success of your business, as well as your eventual exit strategy.
If Oak Capital Advisors can help you plan for the future, we’d be happy to speak with you. Please start by requesting your complimentary retirement readiness assessment.