While the world was debating upon the arrival of the second wave of the pandemic, whether or not it will move to its third wave, the employment industry had its own waves. The last several months, approximately since April 2021, saw several resignations especially in the Technology industry. A slew of workforce have been resigning for many reasons and Organizations have been responding as businesses undergo thorough transformations. The Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index shows that over 40 percent of the global workforce are considering leaving their employer this year. Over 40 percent across the globe - That’s big! Co-founder of global recruitment portal Jobs.com calls it the "largest shift in human capital in our lifetime". It is so huge and impactful that economists and industry specialists have termed this era as the era of the ‘Great Resignation’.
As a Technology company, we’ve had echoes of this phenomena even within our own Organization. Of course, we learn that the impact of the Great Resignation is higher in giant Technology companies where the attrition rates have skyrocketed since the beginning of this year. This got us thinking as to why there is a sudden change in the ethos of employment with this tidal wave of resignations. We also spoke to recruiters, industry insiders and people who run businesses.
Let’s face it. The pandemic has changed us, changed us in ways that are incomprehensible. And that encapsulates what we think as the fundamental reason for the Great Resignation. As human beings, we have begun to respond and deal with uncertainty differently. Uncertainty, has now become part of our conversations, our life decisions and the way we would like to re-design our lives. The industry people say that most of the employees have become braver and more direct in their dealings of employment, whether they choose to stay or leave.
During the onset of the pandemic, when they were asked to work from home, most of the employees clung on to their employment. Retaining just the employment was enough for most of the people. It is true that the dreams, desires and aspirations that were pent-up and put to slumber for the last 18 months have begun to resurface. As places have started to open up, it is no doubt that everyone wants a whiff of fresh air, even if it means in terms of their employment as well.
It is obvious that, if there is something such as Great Resignation, there will be an equally balancing Great Selection. Companies have begun to offer varied job roles, higher levels, better pay, learning opportunities and most importantly flexible work arrangements. Employees have begun to understand the perks of freedom and choice during their stint of working from home. Individual aspirations for holistic wellness and wellbeing have also begun to sprout almost everywhere, thanks to their new-found hobbies and interests in health initiatives, during the lockdown.
During our discussions with industry people, few trends are prevalent in several Companies across the globe.
-Employees who are between 30 and 40 years old and with mid-level work experience have had the greatest increase in resignation rates. This may be possible that employers prefer middle level executives due to the fact that in-person training will not be possible in times like these. Also workforce in their mid-level employment look for better pay compared to any workforce group.
-Post-pandemic also has brought several opportunities with an influx of businesses investing in many countries like India. Simultaneously the talent are rethinking their careers and roles, in a fluid set-up rather than a hierarchical fixed set-up they used to have.
-Flexibility through Hybrid working has become a major temptation that Candidates are unable to resist. Couple higher pay with hybrid working conditions, Companies are able to attract Talent like never before. Though several sectors are resistant to hybrid working, Technology companies have been in the forefront to adapt, in order to attract more Talent.
-The dynamic between the Employers and employees have gone through a radical shift. Blame it on the absence of physical presence around each other, the Managers are no longer able to exert influence over employees. While leaders and managers have been finding ways to engage employees in virtual set-ups, redesigning the leadership strategies, it has become true that Employers are losing the grip they once had.
We have presented to you what we think may be a combination of factors that has cause this Great Resignation a phenomena across the World. Now, companies are in dire need of redesigning ways to engage their employees and retain them. It has become a necessity and not a luxury to rethink employee experience in newer and innovative ways.
We are in a different world, thanks to a sub-microscopic organism, we will have newer challenges to conquer, find newer ways to live.