Working from home gave employees the time needed to reflect about what they like and what they do not like. They quickly realized how much time they will save every week just not commuting to work and back home. Others realized they hated their jobs and wanted to do something that would give them greater satisfaction and purpose. And some people have used the situation in the job market to find a new job and stop tolerating bad managers or toxic environments.

This “great resignation” we currently see within the labor market is the result of the slowdown we all experienced due to the COVID pandemic.

World changes—what about you?

Hiring new employees will be hard but retaining them will be even harder! The world has changed, but some companies have not, and they didn’t adapt to the new post-covid world. Those companies that have adopted a digital-first mindset have a recruiting advantage as they will be able to provide and implement the right tools to their people, which will make their life easier. Not only will they reduce their workload through tools and decrease stress but they will also be able to offer flexible working arrangements to those who need them.

Flexible working arrangements

Employees want more certainty about post-pandemic working arrangements, not just a promise that they can work remotely but they know that the company could change their decision and try to get them back to the office. People no longer see flexible working as a benefit that was offered only by a few companies, they’ve experienced it and they want it as a standard thing.

Working from home brought us many problems, like being constantly online and getting emails or messages at 9:00 p.m. or even on the weekend; although this may be accepted as a way of life it should not be okay.
Offering more working arrangements and respecting the traditional working hours and not adding extra stress to your people could be one of the best benefits you can give to your team. And this will not cost you a dime, but it will require you to improve the workplace culture.

Workplace culture is everything

A healthy workplace culture will not only help lower retention but it works like a magnet. It attracts new people way better than anything else you will find. And good culture is and will be the major reason why people will consider joining your organization and it will be also the reason why they do not join.
Employees want to feel like they are part of an organization that genuinely cares about them, an organization that cares about things like diversity and inclusion and that understands that people want to be part of decisions. People want to feel included and not be constantly told what to do without any proper communication.

Show them respect

Once pay and benefits are fair, how you treat people makes a huge difference. And how you treat your people matters way more than before! Including employees in important decisions that have an effect on the company through surveys is an easy thing to do and has an enormous impact, of course if you listen to them rather than just collecting their feedback.

There’s been no loyalty to employees for decades so there is no longer loyalty to bad companies and leaders. People were afraid to leave their jobs because they were connected with their location and they were not able to find a similar job in their area, so they stuck around tolerating the bad behaviors of their managers.
Not anymore, now they do not need to relocate for a better job. Thanks to remote work they can find a company with a great culture and managers that appreciate their work much quicker.

Work Life Balance

Coca-Cola’s former CEO Brian Dyson delivered a 30-second speech on the occasion of the 172nd commencement of the Georgia Tech Institute on September 6, 1991. And even though this speech is more than 30 years old it describes perfectly what so many people are now realizing thanks to COVID and what has become one of the major reasons why people are changing their jobs.

The 5 balls of life speech: “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them work, family, health, friends and spirit. And you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

The work-life balance has become one of the most important things for employees and how you treat your people matters way more than before. Just as there’s been a lack of loyalty to employees for decades, there is no longer loyalty to a company that treats their people badly.

People were afraid to leave their job before because they did not want to move somewhere else if they were unable to find a similar job in the area, so they stuck around in companies that treated them badly and companies that tolerated bad behaviors of their managers.

But people do not need to tolerate that anymore. The post-covid world has given them the option to choose from more companies than before. Now they do not need to relocate or feel stuck at work with a terrible leader. Now they can find a company with a great culture and managers that appreciate their work. People are able to choose what they want and not be limited by the fear that they will not find a good job in their location. Their new location has become the whole world.

Last thoughts

If you do not offer people a transparent company culture and a culture where they feel valued and respected, they will leave because now more than ever they have way more options to find a new job.
The “great resignation” is not just a phase, a one time thing that will happen this year and we will get back to normal next year. If our world is not going to be impacted by some economic crisis, we will see a similar movement in the labor market within the next few years.

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Jan Tegze

Jan Tegze, author of the book Full Stack Recruiter, results-oriented Talent Acquisition Leader with extensive experience in full life cycle recruiting, and broad knowledge in international recruiting, sourcing, recruitment branding, recruitment marketing, and pro-active innovative sourcing techniques. Author of the Sourcing.Games, and blogger who believes that recruitment is a great field and he is constantly trying to make it better.