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What is the “Great Resignation?”

BIPOC Woman Smiling Holding a Box of Office Items

By now, you’ve probably heard the term the “Great Resignation,” but what exactly is it? After the stay-home orders went into place last year, millions began working remotely or became unemployed. However, now that companies want their employees to return or back up and running, many organizations struggle to attract and retain talent. This has put the labor market in a precarious position as thousands and thousands of people are resigning if their companies will not or cannot support the flexibility they’ve grown accustomed to over the past year and a half.

Why are Employees Resigning?

Millions of employees are resigning because they no longer want to work in the same ways they did pre-COVID. If people went remote at the beginning of the pandemic and then suddenly are supposed to return to the office full time without the option to work remotely on occasion or have the option for a flexible schedule, organizations are at serious risk of losing their employees.

Many people found the new work-life balance of working remotely or having a flexible schedule an increased quality of life. However, others no longer want to return to the monotony of desk or industrial jobs. They’ve learned new skills during the downtime brought on by the pandemic and want to find a new role that fits these new skills and passions. Still, others want to find jobs where they can work shorter hours or flex their schedules to spend more time with their families or doing other hobbies. Finally, others have decided to join the “gig economy,” which allows them to completely set their own schedules since they contract themselves out to different organizations or projects.

How Will Companies be Affected?

Companies that do not adapt to meet the needs of their employees will experience high turnover as a result of the “Great Resignation.” With turnover, your remaining employees will be affected by larger workloads and will be more likely to disengage from their work or even burnout, leading to more turnover.

Companies will also see their bottom line be affected if they have a sudden high turnover. Obviously, with less staff, there will be a loss in outputs and productivity, negatively impacting your bottom line. Organizations’ bottom line will also take a hit in the higher recruitment costs. Finding employees is a large financial undertaking in this tight market. In fact, the average cost per applicant in 2020 is $12 – this is likely even higher now.

How Can Companies Stop the Turnover?

To stop a high turnover rate resulting from the “Great Resignation,” put your employees first in every way possible. For example, hold open communication forums or town hall meetings where your team can share their thoughts and concerns, make sure they feel heard and value, continue to offer flexibility whenever possible, and provide development opportunities so they can continue to grow. You can learn more about top retention tactics in one of our earlier blogs.

The “Great Resignation” is changing the recruitment and retention landscape forever. Employees hold the power over what they value most in their careers – if your company no longer meets these value needs, you’re at risk of high turnover as part of the “Great Resignation.” Taking care of your employees and valuing their needs will be the best way organizations can combat losing their top talent.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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