Ever since the beginning of 2021 the labor market has seen an increasing number of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs. While this development can mainly be observed in the United States, there are similar movements also in Europe, China, and Australia. This trend has quickly been given the name the Great Resignation.
While turnover rates dropped significantly when the pandemic first hit in the beginning of 2020, a whopping four million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021, and these numbers remain high up until today.
This leaves employers questioning themselves how to retain employees and how to better estimate flight risk in order to be prepared for what is to come.
Understanding the root causes
Trying to evaluate the risk of people leaving requires companies to better understand the reasons behind it. Of course, every person has their own individual and subjective causes when quitting a job. The past months have, however, shown a few aspects that seem to have an impact on employees especially since the turmoil caused by the pandemic has started to quiet down.
- Taking missed opportunities: Likely, quite a large number of employees were already thinking about leaving their job before the pandemic. Due to all the uncertainties in 2020 many of those might have decided to postpone a transition to keep some form of stability in their lives. With things settling down they are now looking to take missed opportunities. This seems to be particularly true for mid-career employees between 30 and 45 years of age as a recent study has shown that resignation rates are highest among this group of employees.
- Increased workload: The same study has also brought to light that it is often employees that are facing a higher workload than before the pandemic who decide to quit their jobs now. This increase can result from layoffs in combination with hiring freezes but also from being part of an industry that became particularly important during the time such as health care or technology.
- New ways of work: The past two years have changed the way we work in an unprecedented way. For almost everyone who does not have to be on-site to get their job done, working from home has become the new normal. Many employees are, therefore, used to the flexibility this comes with and would like to keep it that way, at least some days a week. Not being granted this possibility is likely to cause employees to look for other employers that are willing to do so.
- Lack of sense of belonging: While working from home comes with a couple of perks it also means no lunch or coffee breaks with colleagues, no company or team building events. And this can result in a lack of loyalty, sense of belonging, and employee engagement. This, in turn, is likely to make it easier for employees to quit and move on to another employer.
- Changed approach to life: Without a doubt, the pandemic has changed the way we work but for many it has also changed other areas of life. Having to stay home and socially distance has left people with lots of time to think about what they really want. Whether it is spending more time with friends and family or starting a completely new career path, it usually means giving up their current position.
Make use of HR technology for a data-driven approach
So, the question remains: What can companies do to avoid resignations and improve retention? One crucial aspect is to gain an overview of flight risk throughout the company and make decisions based on facts and figures rather than just into the blue. This is where state-of-the-art HR technology[TK1] comes into play.
As a first step, it supports in gathering relevant information. This can be, for instance, data on an employee’s workload, development of compensation and performance, time with company, number of days working from home (if applicable) in combination with the distance from their home to the office, training opportunities, etc.
The appropriate software can then also use this data to calculate quotas and visualize the information in an easy-to-understand way helping to estimate the likelihood of employees leaving the company. Once this knowledge is established companies can develop tailored retention programs aiming at taking and offering the right measures that will satisfy their employees to a point where they have no desire to leave anymore and will happily stay.
Ingentis org.manager visualizes HR data in any desired form helping companies make informed business decisions. Its broad feature set allows for the automated creation of data-rich org charts but also easy HR controlling, Big Data visualization, and the modeling of potential structural changes in a sandbox environment. It interfaces with UKG Pro and various other data sources. Find it on the UKG Marketplace