The Great Resignation and How it Impacts Business
So many people have resigned since COVID-19 hit the US that there’s even a term for it now – ‘The Great Resignation’.
Australia may not be immune to this trend. According to a recent survey, nearly one in four Australian workers are actively looking to change employers. In addition, nearly 1 million Australian workers changed employers in the past year, with professionals being most likely to do so.
What is driving high staff turnover?
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 restrictions have had a massive impact on Australian society and workplaces, especially in major capital cities. They have led to more people working from home (67% versus 42% pre-COVID), as well as more people questioning where they live, their work/life balance, and their career choices.
A desire for more flexibility
Many people who have worked from home during the pandemic have enjoyed the experience. They don’t miss their daily commute in traffic, and they like the extra time they can spend at home with their families.
Employers that don’t offer this flexibility post-COVID-19 may find it harder to keep their staff.
The pandemic has encouraged more people to ‘downsize’ their careers, especially those with stressful jobs. Those that can afford it can choose to work less rather than more and reduce the amount of work stress they have in their lives.
Rise in self-employment
In a surprising statistic, new business registrations in Australia have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It seems more people want to work for themselves than ever before, with the number of start-up businesses rising by over 15% over the last year.
More people moving to regional areas
Migration levels to Australia’s regional areas are the highest they have ever been. Many city slickers are choosing to escape city life. While some will remain with their employers and work remotely from home, many are undergoing a career change as well as a sea change.
There’s also the resignations being triggered by Australia’s ageing population. Increasing numbers of Australians are reaching retirement age, which means more people are permanently leaving the workforce. Growing numbers of Australians are also scaling back their working hours as they reach retirement age.
This is a long-term trend that’s predicted to last until at least 2050.
The risks of high staff turnover for your business
High staff turnover can be a cost and time sucker for your business. You have to spend time recruiting and training replacement staff — which can have a huge impact on cash flow. Good staff are hard to find because they are usually in high demand.
High staff turnover can also affect the quality of the goods or services your business provides. When good staff leave, they take their knowledge and experience with them. Sometimes they also take their client relationships.
How can your business avoid the effects of The Great Resignation?
There are a number of measures you can implement to help your business avoid becoming a victim of The Great Resignation. They include:
- offering more flexible working arrangements
Tie in with the trends of workers wanting more flexibility or to downsize. It’s better to offer feasible and flexible working arrangements to keep good staff than it is to lose them due to inflexibility.
- providing career development opportunities
Good staff don’t like to go stale in their jobs. When they feel they are getting stale, they tend to move on. You can help your team avoid getting stale by providing them with career development opportunities to learn new skills.
- enhancing the job satisfaction of your staff
Poor job satisfaction is a major reason why people leave their jobs. Do everything you can to keep your staff happy — especially your good staff. Open communication, proper resourcing, fair pay and a good working environment goes a long way towards ensuring job satisfaction.
- rewarding your loyal staff
Reward loyal staff as much as you can, including via both financial rewards (pay increases or bonuses) and non-financial rewards (like time off, long lunches or early finishes during quiet times).
Good employees will always be in high demand, and the last thing you want is for them to be lured to one of your competitors offering better pay and conditions.
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