Employees are leaving companies en masse. In the US it is estimated that 4.4 million people have resigned from their jobs – approximately 3% of the entire American population. This is not just happening in the West, but in Asia as well. Based on a study conducted by Microsoft, “47 percent of workers in Asia are likely to consider changing employers (versus the 41 percent global average) and 56 percent are likely to consider a career change (versus the 44 percent global average).”
What are the reasons for this Great Resignation by employees?
Some of the reasons cited for employees leaving are:
- The need for flexibility
- Lack of purpose and meaning at work
- Burnout and exhaustion
Some leaders may think everything is hunky-dory. However, the studies point to employees being more dissatisfied and unhappy with their jobs than ever. The pandemic brought out what has been buried all along. Hours that are way too long. Employees have too much work, with too little time to do it.
Many employees want the flexibility to work from home — they do not want the long commute and have become used to working from home where they feel they can be more productive.
This implies that managers and leaders now need to lead and manage remote and hybrid workforces in the medium and long-term (given that we do not know when Covid variants will stop becoming a threat to the general wider public’s health). This is the next normal.
Managers and leaders need to consider infrastructure, communication, collaboration tools, and platforms, as well as knowing how to make sure everyone, especially those working remotely feel included.
Do all employees have access and capability to be in meetings via video conferencing and collaboration tools? If not, leaders and managers need to make sure employees have access to the right hardware, software, and bandwidth.
During meetings, a simple thing such as addressing the remote worker first and getting them to contribute first in meetings goes a long way to make them feel included and levels the playing field for all in the room.
Besides this, leaders need to manage communication and information flow, so that all employees are in the know. Practical steps might be to note every decision down and include remote workers, even if decisions that were decided during in-person meetings they were not in — (if relevant).
All this necessitates that leaders and managers are made aware of the issues and upskilled to meet the challenges of this new mode of working.
Now more than ever, employee engagement is just as important. Remote employees feel a sense of disconnect if they are too far away from the team on a long-term basis. Companies moving to a hybrid model, need to plan and see where they can do in-person meetings more strategically.
This could be bringing the whole team together for a team engagement session or having pre-scheduled meetings to address more complex issues during in-person meetings. Leaders might also consider having one-on-ones in person at least some of the time during the quarter to keep that personal touch alive.
This means that teams might need to plan their schedules far in advance. Some companies plan their quarters more strategically to address such scenarios. In addition, employers should plan to meet the needs of the employee not just in terms of the professional work, but on a personal level as well.
Supplying training such as managing personal finances to deal with the economic downturn or employee services to help in the mental health and person’s overall well-being is becoming increasingly popular among companies to ensure employees are fit for work.
Companies can no longer just rely on the old tried-and-true methods for employee engagement but now need to think out-of-the-box.
Leaders also need to be flexible and consider alternative working arrangements to make sure employees retain a high sense of autonomy in a time of uncertainty.
- Compressed workweek: This arrangement provides employees with greater flexibility in working schedules by allowing them to get an additional day off provided they fulfill their contracted number of hours.
- Flextime: Refers to an arrangement that gives employees the freedom to work non-traditional working hours. Employees can decide when their day starts and ends as long as they fulfill their contracted number of hours per week.
Refocus and Realignment:
Leaders need to refocus and realign employees to the next normal. However, this can be challenging as Employees no longer want to stick with jobs that provide little meaning, long hours, and risk burnout — even if the pay is good.
Here is where leaders can use coaching and counseling skills to help employees in finding meaning in the company’s work while showing them how their work impacts customers and the world in profound ways.
In summary, the Great Resignation has prompted many companies to rethink their social contract with employees. To retain employees in the long run, leaders need to consider
- Leadership awareness and upskilling to lead and manage a remote and hybrid workforce
- Employee engagement is now more important than ever with a greater emphasis placed on empathy for the employee
- Refocus and realignment using coaching and counseling skills become more important to help employees find the right fit, meaning, and flexibility during this pandemic era
Thriving Talents is committed to motivating and mobilizing your Millennial Talents to be more productive and profitable in their personal and professional lives. We offer training and development programs to:
- Upskill leaders to manage remote and hybrid teams
- High impact and innovative team engagement/bonding sessions
- Personal finance and wise investments
- Coaching and counseling training for leaders and managers
If you are interested in our solutions and offerings please connect with us at email@example.com