The coronavirus pandemic altered our lives in more ways than we can count. While masks and social distancing have become the new normal, so has the outlook of the corporate world. In the past year, more adults than ever have been making large career changes and bettering their work lives. In August of 2020, a record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in the U.S., in what many are calling “The Great Resignation.”
What is causing this recent corporate trend?
With canceled events and offices closing down, many professionals had a chance to reassess their wants and needs. This led to a huge surge in job departures and industry switches. Compensation and advancement opportunities were common factors, but the biggest reason? Lack of appreciation.
“One of the things I hear the most when talking with job seekers is they feel undervalued in their current role,” says Kiki Tyler, Account Executive of Office Support at Green Key Resources. Clients reaching out are concerned about company culture, a detail many have overlooked in the past. Work from home culture has taken a significant effect on the importance of flexibility.
In short, money isn’t everything. Job hunters want to know they can be trusted by their managers to get their work done. Gone are the days of long commutes and being chained to a desk. This need for a healthy work-life balance is what caused many people to flee their previous jobs.
In a recent Prudential survey polling 2,000 adults, 87% said they’d prefer to work remotely at least one day a week. In fact, 42% of them claim that if their company didn’t allow fully remote work, they would find work elsewhere. This has caused a major shift in the way companies are treating their employees.
Tyler says, “Throwing money at the problem isn’t going to make it go away. Increasing an employee’s salary to get them to stay is a short-term solution to a bigger issue. Company culture and communication are two places to look for low, no-cost solutions companies can implement now to make people feel more valued and appreciated today.”
How can employers value their employees?
These changes are happening quickly and companies will feel the need to keep up. The cost of filling lost roles versus making simple changes is becoming more and more prevalent. And while the perfect company culture varies from person to person, feeling “burned out” and underappreciated is no longer considered acceptable.
Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M who coined the phrase “The Great Resignation”, says, “I think employers are going to need to do some trial and error, run some experiments on different setups. Organizations should approach this like a scientist.”
This new work-life balance demand might seem difficult to achieve, but can definitely bring along some positive experiences. Valued adults produce better work. Various happy hours and free yoga will no longer suffice. Companies need to listen and learn from their employees, while growing together with them in this new age of work options.
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