Tag: The Great Resignation

The Great Escape and The Great Resignation result in mass exodus of workers
According to a new report by Kincannon & Reed, the disruption and upheaval caused by the pandemic during the last two years has resulted in a dramatic ripple effect across many industries, including those that ensure a safe, secure and abundant food system. Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, implementation of safety equipment and protocols, along with the fact that stay-at-home orders upended standard operating procedures and forced on-the-spot decision making for all levels of the workforce. This, coupled with endless Zoom calls and dealing with on-edge customers and consumers, and simply supporting teams manage the ‘new normal’ made for an environment that business leaders have never seen before. It’s enough to make a person throw in the towel. And many have.

The pandemic has forced members of the workforce to take stock and re-prioritize their lives and careers – leading to a mass exodus of staff that the HR industry has dubbed “The Great Resignation”.

Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media, has called it the ‘Great Escape.’ Older workers have also taken advantage of early retirement as part of the normal employment work cycle. According to the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, roughly two million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic.

With skills shortages and The Great Resignation hammering the market, questions we should be asking are: How should company leaders manage an unexpected exodus? How can they attract new talent while also retaining the great leaders?

Kincannon & Reed’s Carolyn Schubert, Managing Director, and Jim Gerardot, managing partner, say leaders should consider five key points as they navigate this constantly evolving environment:

1. Prepare Talent for Leadership

“Many senior leaders retire for various reasons,” said Ms. Schubert. “It’s a double whammy for an industry that has also been a victim of the Great Resignation. The problem is the industry hasn’t done a very good job of succession planning and preparing others within their ranks to take on leadership roles. Companies need to put a solid succession plan in place to train, keep and promote talent.”

2. Treat Recruits Like CEOs

Ms. Schubert says the fact that there simply aren’t a lot of people changing jobs has created a talent war. “To attract and retain the best of the best, you must be forthcoming with candidates and let them know what’s possible beyond the job you’re recruiting for,” she said. “Act like you’re recruiting for a CEO job because the candidate you’re interviewing could be your next one.”

“During the recruiting process, share your financials, strategic vision and long-term goals; give candidates an opportunity to interact with board members,” said Ms. Schubert. “Make them feel important and let them know they’ll be a part of the organization in a larger way.”

3. Show Them the Money

Mr. Geradot says that today’s candidates are looking at total compensation – short and long term. “They are seeking and comparing specifics on benefit packages, relocation incentives, signing bonuses, as well as long-term incentives – all considerations when looking to attract top candidates in today’s market,” he said.

4. Be Transparent

“Be fully transparent about company culture, structure, and benefits, and the future,” said Mr. Geradot. “The current war for talent means the brightest prospects are inundated with opportunities, so they’re being selective and doing their homework to better understand a company before they step foot in the door (or log onto Zoom) for an interview.”

5. Prepare to Sell Yourself

There was a time when companies, particularly legacy companies, had the attitude: “The top candidates will want to work for us,” said Mr. Geradot. But that’s not the case anymore.

“Instead of potential employees having to sell companies on the value they can bring, the tables have turned,” he said. “Companies are in the hot seat – having to prove themselves – and start-ups seem to have a leg up on speaking to culture, values, purpose, and perks.”

 

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Mass exodus of workers expected by June

“The Great Resignation” continues to make the news with new research from talent solutions agency Robert Half finding that 32% of employees will search for a new role in the first six months of the year.

According to new research from the specialist talent solutions nearly a third (32%) of employees will search for a new role between January and June this year – the equivalent to 9.4 million workers across the UK.

Analysis of Robert Half’s internal data revealed that job applications surged in Q1 for the past five yearsand this year looks to be no different. According to findings, nearly a quarter of candidates (23%) will begin their new job search in the next three months – with trend data suggesting that the uptick usually begins in the third week of January.

The research found that around two fifths (42%) of workers seeking new employment are looking for a higher salary, but money is not the only factor they’re considering. In order to retain staff employers should focus on career progression opportunities and benefits which are triggers for 25% and 21% of jobseekers respectively.

Aquent, the innovative recruitment agency for creative, digital and marketing roles have announced the results of its 2021 Talent Insights Report and the key takeaway from the report echoes that of Robert Half’s research: There is going to be a significant impact on the post-pandemic supposed “Great Resignation” and the driving factors are access to flexible working and increased salaries.

Following the rise of hybrid working throughout the pandemic, 24% of those looking for a new role are seeking more flexibility in their working arrangements on a permanent basis. The findings reiterate what we already know that is that flexible working is an essential offering if employers want to attract and retain their talent.

But it must be stated that dissatisfaction with remuneration, opportunities and working arrangements are not the only push factors for employees, the study found. The pandemic had 23% of job-seekers saying lockdown gave them time to re-evaluate priorities, with more than one in five (22%) saying they want to change career path or move into an entirely different field. Aquent’s findings also reflect this and worryingly, job dissatisfaction increased to almost 33% in 2020 and 2021, compared to 22% in 2019. This unhappiness was most likely influenced by poor leadership and layoffs. While trying to find a new work-life balance in the middle of a global pandemic, talent was frequently expected to maintain the same level of production, if not more, especially for middle-management roles (VP, Director, Manager). Talent in this category are facing increased pressure from above and below, with 54% to 59% of middle-management employees considering leaving their role in the next three to six months.

It remains a candidates’ market with the industry seeing a dramatic shift in what talent expects from their employers. Over the past few years, the job market has seen an unprecedented shift towards employees expecting more from their employers, and they are showing more confidence to leave if they don’t get it.  Although the number of people actively looking for a new role in 2021 has fallen by 10% compared to a year ago, talent are clearly still in the driver’s seat as millions of job openings remain vacant.

Aquent’s survey revealed that candidates are now choosing flexible working arrangements almost as much as higher compensation (28%). Further, career advancement slipped from a high of 25% last year to 17%, indicating changing priorities post-pandemic.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half, commented on the findings: “While we always experience a sharp increase in job applications at the start of each year, we are anticipating unprecedented levels of UK workers looking for a new job this year. Despite an uptick in the number of employees looking for a new role, demand from employers will still outstrip supply – placing the cards firmly in the hands of candidates.”

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64% of workers will resign if not paid more in 2022

According to new findings in Robert Walters’ 2022 UK Salary Guide, two thirds of professionals have stated that they will actively be seeking work in the New Year, with 59% feeling ‘very confident’ about job opportunities in their sector. This, despite calls to return to working from home.

Robert Walters believes that the large majority of white-collar workers have held onto their December bonuses and January pay increases and that the Great Resignation is still on its way.

According to the findings in the survey conducted of 6,000 white collar workers, January appraisals could trigger a mass employee exodus if workers are not duly rewarded for their loyalty and hard work during the pandemic. It found that 72% of professionals are expecting a pay rise in the new year, where are a poll of 500 companies by Robert Walters revealed that less than 28% of employers plan to make changes to existing pay packages.

The stark difference between employee’s expectations compared to what employers are willing to pay – dubbed The Great Pay Divide – could result in the Great Resignation peaking in February/March 2022.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters & Walters People commented: “For firms that have performed well in 2021; the talks of your organisation ‘bouncing back,’ hitting record profits, or hiring in certain areas rapidly, will all be front of mind for employees in their upcoming appraisal. This conversation is a sensitive one – but it is exactly that, a conversation. Companies need to prepare their management teams on how to best articulate their company’s narrative around remuneration and career opportunities. Meetings should be face to face (where COVID-19 rules allow) to maximise a human connection. If this process isn’t managed correctly businesses will be faced with the challenge of high staff turnover in the first quarter of the year.”

Pay or we’ll leave

The survey revealed that two thirds (64%) of professionals have stated that they would leave their job if they are not offered a pay rise in 2022.

Toby continued: “Employers should not rest on their laurels assuming that an employee of 5+ years will not leave their business in times like these.

Professionals with the most in demand skill sets across legal, accounting and finance are achieving 20 to 30% pay increases when moving roles. In technology the pay rises are even higher, sometimes up to 50% for those with software development or cyber security experience.

More than ever organisations need to take the time to make detailed assessments of market rates and competitor pay to ensure their January pay and bonus meetings are aligned with their industry.”

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Businesses admit resignations due to mental health concerns

Research from FutureLearn has highlighted the importance of mental health first aiders in the workplace. A new survey of 1,000 key decision makers in business has revealed that over one in five (21%) business leaders state they are willing to re-evaluate their mental health policies, offering reassurance that steps are being taken to support their staff’s wellbeing in the wake of the pandemic and to curb the apparent “great resignation”.

Currently, there are no legal requirements for allocated psychological first aiders compared to the requirement for physical first aiders or fire marshals – despite being a business essential. However, with the employee experience now in sharp focus, businesses are proactively improving mental health support in the workplace to combat trauma felt post the pandemic. According to the report there has been an increase of 10% of businesses with support in place. This comes after 68% businesses admitted to not having mental health support for their staff pre-pandemic, with this number decreasing to 58% post-pandemic. With 12% of employees revealing they have left their job citing mental health as one of the main reasons for leaving, it is clear just how important mental health policies are when it comes to the retention of staff.

The report revealed that of the businesses who have made changes to their policies since the pandemic, 42% have already implemented online counselling for employees and 34% have already invested in mental health first aiders.

Yvonne Chien, Chief Growth Officer at FutureLearn commented: “We commissioned this survey to reinforce the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace. We’ve seen how the past 18 months have impacted mental health. This national shift has only strengthened our belief in the significance of businesses having access to the right support.”

Conrad Vivers, Mental Health Champion at FutureLearn said: “I’m proud to be a part of a team to help change the conversation we are having about mental health in the workplace. Being a mental health first aider has given me the skills and insight to not only give 1 to 1 support for those in need, but also to confidently bring mental health as a talking point to meetings where people are at the core of the discussion. Through supporting people in the workplace with mental health challenges we’re impacting the evolution and elevation of society. The ripple effects of these actions lead to a safer environment for employees and help FutureLearn fulfil its duty of care towards employees. In some form or another most people need support. Even if it’s just to say: “me too, it’s been tough.””

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Burnout continues to fuel the retention crisis

According to its latest study, McKinsey & Company has reported that more than 15 million US workers have quit their jobs since April 2021 with 40% of employees saying that they’re likely to quit in the next three to six months. This, because of burnout, the study revealed.

According to McKinsey, the pandemic has led to employee retention struggles that require serious reconsideration of how employers address mental well-being and they’re calling it the “Great Attrition”.

The largest-of-its-kind study released recently by leadership consulting firm DDI surveyed more than 15,000 employees and 2,000 HR professionals across 24 industries. The study found that nearly 60% of leaders reported feeling used up at the end of the workday.

Burnout has long been a concern for employers, and “leaders who are feeling burnout are now nearly four times more likely to leave their positions within the next year,” according to DDI. The length of the pandemic and the sustained effort required to keep companies afloat through uncertain times (and virtually) have increased exhaustion and stress. Meanwhile, the lines of work/life balance have blurred, families are facing increased financial anxiety, and the pandemic has put a strain on marriages and parents.

Staff need more support, but what does the ideal support system look like? 

In today’s mental wellbeing landscape, support typically starts with professional care but this model of care is problematic because according to Benefit News, in the US, those needing mental health support have to wait an average of 19 days to been seen and only “if one of the 12% of therapists accepting new patients are in the person’s network”. Stigma and fear of repercussions also play a role; 40% of first responders, for example, say they don’t seek help from workplace services because they are afraid of getting fired.

Employers can be the leaders in making proactive mental health care accessible to Americans by doing the following:

  1. Implement meditation spaces and courses in the workplace is one solution. Sixty percentof employees experiencing anxiety in the workplace show marked improvement upon practicing meditation. Many workplaces are already introducing corporate mindfulness classes to their benefits, with stunning results.
  2. Champion overall health. Because stress has also been associated with poor eating behaviors and diet quality (both causing it and being caused by it), nutrition and exercise are key. It’s not reasonable to expect an employee working a nine-hour workday to have time to go to the gym after work, make a healthy dinner from scratch, and also spend time with his or her family without feeling burned out. If workplaces offered healthy meal options at work, and even nutrition courses, it could make a world of difference; it’s also important to create a culture that encourages physical activity during

The arrival of the pandemic brought with it isolation and real human connection is at the lowest point in history. Many family members live in different states or countries, and according to NPR, more than 60% of Americans say they are lonely.

McKinsey’s study revealed that this increase in loneliness has impacted people’s personal and professional lives and made workers more susceptible to burnout. This is especially true for non-White employees, who are “more likely than their White counterparts to say they had left because they didn’t feel they belonged at their companies.”

The bottom line

Workplaces can address the fundamental need for connection by acknowledging the connection between loneliness and burnout; rethinking workplace environments to allow for more socialization and communal working; creating peer-to-peer mentorship programs; introducing ways for employees to volunteer together for a company-backed social cause; or using a platform like Listeners On Call that enables employees to talk to trained listeners with a shared life experience anonymously and confidentially. Also, the platform has the ability to meet employees where they are today on their own personal journey of wellness.

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Half of workforce looking to reskill

In the latest survey from CV-Library, it’s been revealed that ‘The Great Resignation’ is set to continue with more than two thirds of the UK professional workforce saying they’ll look for a new role in 2022.

More than half of the workforce (57.6%) is planning to reskill or retrain next year with belief that it will make them more employable.  Other factors driving the reskilling are a desire for a more meaningful career, better long-term job security and being unable to find a suitable job with their current skills.

The top five reasons for moving on in 2022, according to the CV-Library survey were:

  1. 1%: want/need a career change
  2. 3%: higher salary
  3. 7%: the uncertainty of the pandemic delayed an inevitable decision
  4. 9%: more flexible working opportunities
  5. 2%: burnout

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library commented: “Employers can take action to prevent increased staff turnover. Offering top salaries is the obvious choice but investing in training and upskilling, offering remote working opportunities, and building strong internal teams, look to be the smartest moves businesses can take in 2022.”

Ken Brotherston, Managing Director at TALiNT Partners doesn’t necessarily agree. He weighed in: “Whilst I might quibble about the percentage of people claiming they will look for a new job, I do agree that there are a range of underlying challenges for employers which need to be addressed and that there is no single solution.”

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Staff still leave current roles for bigger wages

Employers are facing the worst candidate shortage on record but according to research from international recruitment agency Aspire, two thirds (65%) of people currently working are either searching for or are open to new roles. This will offer hope to hiring businesses.

Employers have, however, been advised to plan for a potential ‘great resignation’, which is likely to see existing workers move jobs if businesses aren’t able to meet the changing needs of staff.

Nearly 600 candidates working across a range of industries from creative to marketing, technology and sales, took part in the study which explored the key issues facing the labour market in the wake of the pandemic.

But this data also serves as an important reminder to businesses about the need to cater for employees’ evolving job requirements, in order to hold onto workers, explained Aspire founder, Paul Farrer: “Given the sheer number of job vacancies right now it’s crucial that employers have a plan in place not only to win this fiercely competitive war for talent but also to retain their current workers. As we have seen with the petrol crisis, an inability to secure talent can result in organisations ceasing to function.”

Paul Farrer made further comment: “Salary is often the first consideration for people when they are prompted, but it’s much more complex than that. The pandemic created a perfect storm. People who may have otherwise moved jobs in 2020 stayed put due to COVID-19 uncertainty. So 2021 sees two years’ worth of employees seeking change. Salary freezes and stalled promotional prospects in 2020 are also playing out. We are witnessing wage inflation across many sectors too, with employers having seen their staff leave for significant rises elsewhere.

“In this environment, smaller, independent organisations have the advantage over larger businesses to a degree. They benefit from agility and are able to move swiftly, make critical hiring and salary decisions there and then. But our research shows that it’s not all about the money. Flexible working policies, a clear and realistic progression path and a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important to jobseekers.”

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38% of employees are looking to change roles  

Almost all HR leaders are concerned employee turnover will skyrocket in the coming months, according to a Gartner survey of 572 HR leaders.  

Another Gartner survey of 1,609 candidates between May and June 2021 found that nearly half of today’s applicants are considering at least two job offers simultaneously. 

Talk of “The Great Resignation” is still dominating the news, despite no concrete evidence of its existence. According to data by Personio, close to two-fifths (38%) of employees are looking to change roles within the next six to twelve months.  

To gain competitive advantage in today’s war on talent, employers need to focus on retention strategies such as the following:   

  • Ensure career progression plans: empower your staff to be the CEO of their careers and ‘grow your own’ instead of hiring externally.  
  • Implement mentorship programmes. These foster a sense of belonging in the workplace.  
  • Emerging talent is very focused on diversity and inclusivity. Ensure your business is inclusive.  
  • Promote a work/life balance. Wellbeing is a key focus for employees now more than ever.  
  • Widen your business’s talent pool. Hire outside of the normal parametres of the preferred skillset. It’s not always about skills, it’s about potential, too.  
  • Offer flexible working that aligns to employee and work needs: flexibility is no longer a perk, it’s a prerequisite for employment since coming out of the pandemic. If you’re not prepared to offer your workforce flexibility, they will find an employer who does.  

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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75% of companies have suffered confidence-damaging cyber-attacks

A new report by FTI Consulting indicates that more companies are coming under scrutiny for their business practises and behaviour.

The top three areas of investigation worries are: business conduct and the treatment of customers, sustainability and ESG practices, and the relationship with public bodies and government contracts. According to the report, a quarter of UK respondents identified each of these areas as major concerns. The services sector and financial sector were the most likely to report experiencing regulatory or political scrutiny over the past 12 months (23% each).

Potential emerging crises

 According to The Resilience Barometer the nature, severity and potential trajectory of these threats are forcing companies to embed resilience on more fronts:

Growing cybersecurity threats: 75% of companies surveyed suffered a cyber-attack in the past 12 months, with a rise in phishing attacks among the most prevalent type with 25% experiencing a loss of customer/patient data, and a further 23% reporting a loss of third-party information.

Class actions and mass consumer claims: 13% of respondents experienced these in the past 12 months, and 12% expect this to continue in the next 12 months.

The “Great Resignation”: Over the last 12 months, 28% of companies surveyed have experienced a shortage of talent and skills, and 72% have reported increased mental health issues in their workforce since the start of the pandemic.

Edward Westerman, Global Investigations Initiative Leader at FTI Consulting commented: “The ever-changing landscape will put the onus on companies to take a proactive stance regarding investigations. Leveraging new technologies and data and analytics can help companies efficiently manage an ongoing investigation and help mitigate the risk of future crises.”

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